6 Key Points for a Leader
Leadership in education is more important now than ever. Demands on instructional time are escalating, and accountability pressures are increasing. The historically neglected areas of social-emotional and civic competence are emerging as essentials. For leaders who know what direction they want to head, there are six key tasks that must be undertaken.
Belief and Vision
A leader must have a core belief that can be communicated with clarity, concision, and passion. This is referred to as a bedrock belief and a compelling vision.
Simple and Strong
Leaders must take off on a quick, sure start. Rather than taking on the most challenging problems, it is best to start with a small, potentially solvable challenge. This gives everyone a chance to see how the leader will work, and for those more directly involved, a chance to experience the new leadership style together. When efforts don’t work, much will be learned from how setbacks are handled.
Leaders must have skills to persuade and inspire. A realistic and clear vision of how the organization will look in the future, and help others see the vision as congruent with their own concerns, goals, or deep beliefs. They must communicate and model their strong convictions so that they inspire others for action, even when the leader is not available. Others with leadership roles or responsibilities also must embrace and articulate the vision.
Leaders must have a strong moral compass. To follow any leader, others must be convinced of that leader's dedication to equity, fairness, overcoming disadvantage, and giving voice. It's fair to say that not everyone will perceive these attributes on the part of the leaders, but his or her core followers definitely must.
Courage and Compromise
Leaders must have the courage to do what it takes. Because leadership ultimately is a moral commitment, leaders must be prepared to take risks, buck trends, show courage, persist, embolden others, and use a nuanced sense of compromise.
Leaders must have the emotional intelligence skills to optimize the situation in which they find themselves and the resources at hand, and inspire others to undertake maximal efforts. The leader must help members of the organization and constituents have a deep understanding of the mission and vision and a commitment to collaborate in pursuit of that shared understanding.
One need not be a principal, superintendent, or school board president to be a school leader. Leaders are those who step up to help their organizations succeed. They take a larger measure of responsibility for keeping track of the big picture.
This article has excerpts from Edutopia. Read the original here.