‘Self-doubt makes me more decisive’

Executive head Kay Charles obsesses over her decisions, compulsively turning them over in her head and playing out every possible eventuality. But far from being debilitating, this self-interrogation is the very thing that she believes makes her a good leader

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I have always believed that self-doubt is healthy. And I am pretty sure that it is something you just have rather than something you can learn. But I am certain that, as a headteacher, self-doubt is integral to doing the job well.

I am a compulsive reflector. Not only do I reflect formally, as part of performance-management self-evaluation, but I also reflect mentally, mostly in my car going to and from work every day, normally by rehearsing my thinking out loud and talking to myself. I write poetry, too, usually as a way to discharge my disgruntlement with a new policy or directive from on ...

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