One person does not effectively lead a complex organization in a changing world. Rather, leadership is distributed across an organization in a range of ways. In Distributed Leadership in Practice, editors James Spillane and John Diamond examine and clarify the distributed leadership perspective by presenting selected case study articles that demonstrate how leadership is effectively stretched across schools through established routines, systems of practice, tools and individuals in a variety of roles.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed during ‘IEP Season’, but you don’t have to be a superstar (or suddenly have more planning time) to develop IEPs that will serve your students well all year long. Thinking of an IEP as a Leadership Tool can minimize needless stress and help ordinary people work together to develop extraordinary IEPs.
We're only human! Regardless of our role or professional station, we are all subject to our human shortcomings. Even the most knowledgeable, caring and competent individuals make mistakes. In relation to this inescapable truth (the bad news), there is also some good news: Errors in judgment often follow patterns which allow us to use strategies that can prevent poor decisions or bring them to light before they can do significant or lasting harm.
As an educational leader, how well prepared are you to engage in uncomfortable conversations in ways that are constructive, respectful and take into account the perspectives of others? School leaders are often put in the position of discussing issues or concerns that are hard to talk about, but rarely are they given strategies that they can actually use to navigate such conversations adeptly.
All of us have our own personality styles and mental lenses that we gravitate to. Although it may not come naturally, effective leaders must nurture within themselves the ability to examine situations and challenges from a range of perspectives – especially from the perspectives that don’t ‘come naturally’ to them. Free your mind and increase your problem solving ability (and thus your ability to lead) by reading Reframing Organizations: Artistry, Choice and Leadership by Lee Bolman and Terrance Deal.
As an educational leader ethics are intertwined with all that you do, so why not take some time to reflect on ethics as related to your professional responsibilities? Busy school administrators should take time to read Ethical Leadership, by Robert Starratt, every few years as a way to ground and refocus their thoughts and feelings regarding ethics.
Effective leadership is leadership for change. While individual change is challenging at the least, organizational change is much more complex and difficult to achieve. One of my favorite quotes, by Machiavelli: “ There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things”. Don’t take the challenge or organizational learning and leading for granted. Read this esteemed book by Peter Senge to expand your thinking on the matter.