Heads Up

'A camel is a horse designed by a committee'

Please don’t feel like you need to get everyone’s input or agreement for your vision. I know we live in a time when we feel we must get consensus and more often than not I totally agree with this, but I believe that creating a vision is something best done by an individual or a small group (like your senior leadership team). If we create a vision in a larger group, it often ends being watered down and not being anything anyone is really excited about; in fact, the positivity we get from it is that we worked together to achieve it. I’m sure you’ve heard the expression, ‘A camel is a horse designed by a committee’, well the same often happens when large groups create a vision.


A head was once telling me how, a few years ago, in a previous school they’d worked on their vision with staff, governors, and held huge workshops with the children. It sounded wonderful and I was keen to hear more, but then she flippantly said ‘I can’t remember what it was now’ and my heart sank. A good vision is really easy to remember and whilst this school had involved everyone, the head, of all people, couldn’t remember it and I suspect very few people could.

Top tip: It’s ok to lead, you are leader and have been given this position because you are trusted to lead, so when you are working on your vision, work on it in a group of up to about 8 people who are going to lead it with you.

About the Author

Sonia Gill is founder of Heads Up, specialising in supporting Head Teachers and School Leaders create an outstanding school culture. https://ukheadsup.com