One of the things that concerns me about some styles of leadership is the distance that forms between the leader and the ‘followers’. When the leader is viewed as a person who is stationed above the rest of the people in the organization they can become unapproachable and untouchable. Setting up a culture where this is not the case has to be an important goal. A goal that will benefit everyone.
Leaders need to be constantly growing. If the people they work with are unable to talk to them about their opinions around decisions made and actions taken; or don’t feel they can collaborate and provide input, the leader is missing out on the knowledge of the group and the opportunity to reflect and change as a result of that input.
I have been in situations where nothing the leader does can be questioned. This led to a lot of mistrust. Leaders have to listen to what is being said if they expect to be listened to. Covey’s habit of “Seek first to understand, then to be understood” definitely applies.
A leader also needs to think about, Synergizing, shared leadership, building capacity, and Principal Quality Standard numbers one, two and three
- Fostering Effective Relationships
- Developing and Facilitating Leadership
- Embodying Visionary Leadership
All three of these are tied to the principal’s (leader’s) ability to work WITH the other people in the organization to promote personal and organizational growth.
We have to be approachable, we have to listen, we have to learn. We have to model what we expect from those who work with us and those we look to for leadership.
Our motto at school is:
Everyone a Learner;
Everyone a Leader
Time to focus on being a learning leader!