Usually Principals talk about difficult staff / what is its definition ? A staff who is an ongoing challenger and has a kind of running feud. The conflict may be in respect of knowledge, skills, interpersonal relationship, attitude, aptitude, external contacts, work allotment, importance given etc.,

The author has found that normally such staff are unaware of the consequences of such action. A PGT asked to take substitute work for class VI writes in the order book, “ Iam a PGT – I won’t take class VI” The Principal just photo copied that page and sent it to the Asst. Commissioner who got him transferred to a school 2000 miles away.

One Principal was a Ph. D., and expected a very high standard of work from everyone. One teacher could not speak English well. The students made fun of him. The Principal told him, “ You are a Literature M.A., but your students speak English better than you” – wrong choice of words.

The Teacher’s self respect was wounded because the Principal told this in the presence of the lady Vice – Principal. The teacher used his bramasthram . He complained to the Commissioner that the Principal ridiculed his English speaking ability referring to his caste in derogatory terms. That was  enough to set the house on fire.! The Principal was immediately transferred! Indiscretion invited catastrophe!

Some staff don’t have the aptitude to work – unable to work – A III class history graduate – related to the local MLA – knowledge deficiency – inferiority complex – all this made him a bully to other staff.

Some are qualified, knowledgeable and competent – but – a PGT got poor result in his subject. As a consequence he was transferred to a school with only upto class X. He felt punished and humiliated. Result- he went to the class but didn’t teach anything!- unwilling to work. So is it a problem of competence or cooperation?

Aggresiveness, coldness, rudeness, roughness, crudeness – found in some: but majority will be pretty good.

Find out if the environment or external circumstances are the motivators for the negative conduct of the staff member or if any word or action on your part has triggered the animosity. Your intransigence might have impelled him to behave like that.

Unable to eat? – ‘Udiliv’ tablet twice daily may whet appetite but the doctor has to see if there is any problem in the food pipe. Student doesn’t sleep well. Parent can be advised to give Horlicks or a 2S Anxit sleeping tablet. But the real problem may be some stress. Sleep in the class may be tiresomeness. The real reason may be a high esonophiles count or obesity. So don’t mask the symptoms. Go to the root cause and remove it lock, stock and barrel.

You expect something from your staff. Have you at time paused and ask yourself. What do you expect of Me.

A Principal equipped his room with blinds: glass topped velvet covered table: A/C ; sofa set; fridge; reclined cane chair;toilet; coffee table; executive chair, but the staff room had no curtains. Only broken chairs, shaky tables, no wash basin with mirror, not even a rocking chair or a water cooler for tired teachers.

Comparisons are odious. How can you get quality work from the staff?

Confusing, conflicting instructions from you, inability or unwillingness to appreciate good work; no respect for their talents irrespective of rank or position; non -positioning of resources/ facilities- no scope for training or skill development- these are all the minimum inputs expected from your side . You think you are good Principal. Find out if your staff also think so.

Would you like to be remembered for something / as someone? What should set you apart? First your point of view should not change with the view. You should stick to and be passionate for a cause. Gandhi for non-violence, Churchill for dogged tenacity and defiant spirit.

You should be respected for your results not for your rhetoric. You can get fame in the short run and name in the long run. But it takes real talent to make both.

You should be able to inspire many as Anna Hazare did. You should become an ignition key.



– Dimensions of the Life and Work of a Principal –

447) One who knows that when people talk to him they must get what they see and that he should to be both a light southern breeze and a gale force depending on the situation.

448) One who knows to be,

  • Independent
  • Proud
  • Perfect
  • Open minded
  • Free
  • Healthy
  • Dignified
  • In control
  • Of destiny

449) One who knows that the moment he dons the title, the Mantle of teacher, then immediately the triple virtues of love, service and sacrifice enter his soul and if they don’t he is not  a teacher.

450) One who listens, understands, absorbs, churns and becomes the embodiment of the knowledge acquired in that class.

451) One who knows that,

  • The more he gives up, the more respect he will get.
  • The more he tries to get respect, the more he will lose respect.

452) One who knows that he should be one who gives constant cooperation by making others powerful in a short space of time.

453) One who knows that by thinking too much he will lose the power to decide.

454) One who knows to develop the power to recognize, to decide, to adopt and to imbibe.

455) One who knows to change the words: “ It should be like that” to “We shall do it”.

456) One who knows that the power to face is the power to be good to those who are bad. To face does not mean to fight with them but transforming them.

457) One who has 4 powers,

  • P to Pack up – make something short
  • P to Tolerate
  • P to accommodate
  • P to face

458) One who knows not to make the past his present and not mix the past with the present.

459) One who knows that when the instruments of sound have failed then only the instrument of silence will be useful.

460) One who knows that – with love he need not make any efforts; he can read others’ thought when he applies a full break to his thoughts.

461) One who knows that a child can’t place a question mark but can place a full stop and that he has to make it do the first one- Ask questions.

462) One who knows to practise the “ No Triangles” policy and has the decency to talk another person directly ( with whom there is an issue) and not discuss it with a third person.

463) One who knows that a car satisfies needs like

a) Transportation

b) Status

c) Peer envy

d) Auto freedom

e) Family space

f) Self respect

g) Thrill of speed

h) Chick Magnet to impress

i) Freedom

j) Safety

k) Security – bullet proof

l) Collection of vintage cars

m) Fuel efficiency

n) Love – the car

So also he asks the staff to list out the needs what the school in general and the teachers in particular should satisfy.

464) One who knows to dream of things that never were and ask “why not ?” ( that is what great leadership is about).

465) One who knows that education can be a boon only if there is a sound foundation of critical thinking, curiosity, active participation in the class room and a problem solving orientation.

466) One who knows that as a leader he has to create trust in the staff through leadership by example, instill hope and confidence in them, feel enthusiastic and proud about being part of the journey and convert that vision into reality through hard work and excellence in execution with fairness, transparency and accountability.

467) One who knows that it is much more difficult to learn from success than from failure, since failure makes one to think while success reinforces one’s earlier actions.

468) One whose daily morning meetings with the senior staff reflect India’s interactive style with the West’s presentation style as was found in the meetings of “ Havells” Chairman Qimat Raj Gupta had.

469) One who impresses on his students that being educated means:-

  • Responsibility to show fairness to less fortunate
  • To create a future that posterity can be proud of
  • To fulfil the promise that freedom has brought us
  • Raising one’s confidence to think of an worthy dream
  • The ability to translate that dream into reality by high performance
  • Opening up one’s mind to accept new ideas, evaluate and use them for progres

470) One who knows that a plausible impossibility is better than a convincing possibility.

471) One who is fair and unbiased and starts every transaction on a zero base, without bringing in any baggage from prior transactions.

472) One who emphasises universal values such as honesty, decency, hard work, tolerance, courtesy, seeking what is good in each of the staff and deemphasising differences

473) One who knows to ask in his every action how it will make the lowest level worker in his school and the poorest person in the society better.

474) One who knows that to create a lasting legacy of leadership, he should just ask a question:

‘What can I do so that people will miss me if I disappear tomorrow?’

475) One who knows to show a set of happy, hopeful, confident, enthusiastic and energetic people right from himself to the peon and thereby a successful school.

475) One who knows confident people attract good talent and generosity is a sign of such confidence.

476) One who knows that,

  • performance leads to recognition
  • recognition leads to respect
  • respect leads to power

477) One who knows that he can’t sustain progress unless he makes a difference to the society.



(Whose ideas have been adapted for Education Management)



  1. Alan Bennett
  2. Vidhura
  3. Vijay Amritraj
  4. Gordan Ivanisevic (Tennis player)
  5. Gowri Kailash (President-Rane)
  6. T. Srinivasa Raghavan ( M. D. Sundaram finance)
  7. Nina John ( Rotary district governor)
  8. Shivasubramaniah, Founder – The paper clip
  9. Keki Dadiseth – Tatas
  10. Adi Godrej
  11. Devi Shetty ( Narayana Health care)
  12. Alan Yates
  13. Adani
  14. Chauhan – ( Bisleri)
  15. Subash Chandan (Zee TV)
  16. Guruswamy
  17. Birbal
  18. C. Bose
  19. Swami Ramdas
  20. Poondi Mahan
  21. S. Dhoni
  22. Swami Parthasarathi
  23. Azim Premji
  24. Devdutt Patnaik
  25. Thiruppugazh
  26. Tiger Pataudi
  27. Sunil Gavaskar
  28. Kapil Dev
  29. Saurav Ganguly
  30. Sachin Tendulkar
  31. Balasubramanian (Researcher)
  32. Brian Lara
  33. Nirmal Sekhar
  34. Viv Richards
  35. Gary Sobers
  36. Desmond Haynes
  37. Michael Jordan
  38. Paul Oswal
  39. Walter Robb ( CEO – ‘Whole foods’)
  40. Eberhard (M. D – Mercedes Benz- India)
  41. Madeline Levine
  42. Babar
  43. Dara Shikoh
  44. Shajehan


Renunciation is the power of battling against evil forces and holding the mind in check.

― Sri Sathya Sai Baba