The OPTIMUM Programme: Unlocking the potential of your full leadership team

The OPTIMUM Programme

Unlocking the potential of your full leadership team

If you want your Leadership Team to…

  • Move from merely being a ‘working group’ to a High Performing Team
  • Adopt a solution focused mindset based on being truly in this together

  • Build real trust with each other around a shared common purpose

  • Lead and manage change and strategic planning effectively

  • Have the breakthrough conversations that matter

  • Have a positive impact on the teaching and learning experience in your school

Origins of the OPTIMUM programme was asked to develop a unique programme in 2020 to work with leadership teams using an innovative, practical and impactful approach.

The challenge set for us was:

  • ‘It needs to be raw & real – to truly make THE difference in how we lead’

  • ‘To bring life to LAOS and so much more’

This is a tried and tested programme developed BY AP’s, deputy principals and principals FOR AP’s, deputy principals and principals. It draws on the proven skills, mindsets and approaches from national and international experience across a range of contexts, not just education . . . 

It asks a lot & delivers a lot…

Are you ambitious for your leadership team?

By building a high-performing team . . .  imagine the . . . 

  • innovation and solutions that would emerge

  • team spirit and goodwill that would be engendered

  • constructive mindsets that will deliver for the whole school community

  • conflicts that would be resolved healthily

  • effective collaboration that would become normal

  • modelling of team approaches across the life of the school

Unlocking the potential of your full leadership team

Pillar 1

  • Identifying team leadership strengths, challenges & issues

  • Emotional Intelligence-understanding self

  • Self awareness – what are your blind spots?

  • Understanding different behaviours
  • From difficult conversations to breakthrough conversations
  • Listening is your superpower
  • Application in your school team

  • Learnings from other schools

  • Case-studies, common scenarios

  • LAOS in our leadership

  • Actions to take before next session

Pillar 2

  • Teams – how they work & become high performing

  • Trust – the essential ingredient

  • Influence & persuasion

  • Conflict Clinic – your scenarios addressed

  • Assertiveness – yes it’s allowed as is humility & gratitude

  • Time – making it work for you

  • Breakthrough conversations – dealing with the issue

  • Roles & responsibilities in a collaborative team

  • Personality types

Pillar 3

  • Leadership mindset – go for it

  • Managing change – spend less time on resistance & more on innovation

  • Coaching each other – how this can transform your leadership

  • Meetings that matter – tips, tools, & approaches

  • Collaborate – the anatomy of shared leadership

  • Constructive accountability to each other

  • The OPTIMUM PLAN for your team – the why, the what, the who & the when

Pillar 4

  • Consultancy on your Optimum Plan – each school is given honest & constructive feedback on their Optimum Plan

  • Whole school implications – bringing everyone along with us

  • Scenario planning for what could hijack our plan

  • Revisiting our opening agenda – what else needs addressing

  • Sustaining our development – staying in connection

  • Capstone session – celebrating our process, sharing our commitments

How it works – a mix of in-person, in school & live online

  • Seven school leadership teams – up to 8 participants per school

  • One full day in person at the outset and a final half day in person at the conclusion with all teams

  • Two live online sessions with all teams together

  • Each school team gets a confidential session with the facilitators during the programme

  • Dedicated online portal for resources & networking

  • In-school individual & team work to apply the learning

  • Lead facilitators Tony Lee and Luke Monahan with a team of practitioners

  • Programme manager to oversee the practical elements

  • CPD Certificate & digital OPTIMUM Programme badge


€5,850 per school team (€5,150 DEIS schools)

Places Available

Only 7 school teams per programme (up to 8 per team)

Next Programme

Spring 2024

An excellent programme with inspiring facilitators. Linking with LAOS and so much more – leadership skills & mindsets to lead with others

Paula C.

This programme is of huge importance – very informative & practical – school focused & realistic – school leadership teams really are looking for this support

Marsella A.

Very engaging, really impressive in fact. My concentration never wandered and I didn’t want to miss a minute.

Bob H.

Thought the course was brilliant, the great dynamic between Luke and the participants was excellent.

Cara B.

10/10, Excellent, very interactive, informative, respectful and fun.

Pat O.


Luke Monahan and Tony Lee are the lead facilitators – they have worked with hundreds of schools across all sectors in leadership development. Tony has held a variety of leadership roles as well as a key role in the Le Cheile Schools Trust. Luke whose background and experience is in schools, is also a sought after facilitator in change management, conflict resolution & team dynamics in a wide range of organisational settings. He is author of The Year Head – Resourcing & Developing the Role.

Tony and Luke will be supported by a range of practitioners in the field including some who have already been part of this programme.

Cúram - Luke Monahan

Luke Monahan


Tony Lee