How can leadership be defined? Characteristics of leaders can be listed out but not necessarily held by all of those in a leadership role. The goal for every district and school is to build capacity within to strengthen each individual’s abilities and skills. The capacity building provides sustainability in the organization and lifts all members as they all work toward common goals. Strong leadership is needed to foster the ability to build capacity at all levels of the organization.
Looking at leadership, you will find different models and approaches. Many times there are mixtures of strategies to use to tackle situations, projects, and change. Look at the various models and work through identifying leadership styles. It is essential to understand who you are before you stand before a group to lead. People will follow leaders they trust, like, and understand their beliefs.
We start with leadership as it is the central part of the gearbox operating the motor. One of my favorite books is Coherence: The Right Drivers in Action for Schools, Districts, and Systems by Michael Fullan and Joanne Quinn. They provide a guide to coherence by identifying ways for leaders to work on clarity of learning outcomes, shaping pedagogies, developing innovations through digital means, and promoting collaborative learning as we shift our practices. Leaders roll up their sleeves to become learners, doers, and reflective practitioners. Modeling what you would like to see is the best way to receive it.
Leaders are the center for focusing direction, deepening learning and strengthening instruction, cultivating a collaborative culture, and appropriately measuring growth. Our leaders today have big jobs, and gaining additional leaders in building capacity ensures a positive outcome. There are many levels of leadership in an organization, big or small. Once we can identify and establish the blueprint, we can systematically build a strategic plan focused on student learning.
Questions for today:
- Do you know what kind of Leader you are? If so, how would your staff, students, or families describe your leadership style? Is it the same for everyone?
- How do you build capacity in your District? Building? Classroom?
- Do you know John Hattie’s research? If not, Visible Learning by John Hattie is an essential piece of research to apply to your improvement process.
- What other leaders do you know? Please take time to look at the work of so many great leaders we have to guide you! There are many! Here are a few:
- John Maxwell https://www.johnmaxwell.com/ or on Twitter @JohnCMaxwell
- Robyn Jackson, CEO of Mindsteps, author @ASCD follow her on Twitter @Robyn_Mindsteps and LinkedIn
- Eric Jensen, author @ASCD, Twitter @EricJensenBrain
- Robert Marzano, author, https://www.marzanoresources.com/robert-j-marzano.html Twitter @robertjmarzano
- Jim Knight, author, https://instructionalcoaching.com/?gclid=Cj0KCQiAs5eCBhCBARIsAEhk4r4-h9Xjwo3-VugKijfHt1TjMgqhGMkgjhnQkx5saOLoZ5uaDcqxk-4aAkfJEALw_wcB, Twitter @jimknight99
- Some of my other favorites are Baruti Kafele (I picked him up at the airport to come to our district to speak; I had to get him there fast, I may have done a minor speeding we were in INDY it’s okay! I didn’t slow down when we crossed to Illinois, but they know me.) Peter Dewitt, Cathy Lassiter, Michael Fullan, Alan Blankenship, and my list can continue because it is long! Read, Read and explore! Connect, ask questions!
Follow me @BrendaYoho