The idea of leadership in Schools is always hotly debated. How much influence can a leader have? As I begin a secondment, I’m beginning to think more on this point and in many ways I believe that a leader is responsible for allowing a vision to take fruition and blossom. A vision must be shared for success to be achieved. Leadership can be dictatorial but we have many historical examples showing that this is a very short term and divisive approach. In order for leadership to have an impact, it must be sustainable. How can this be achieved? Recently, I have retweeted quotes that perfectly represent what I feel,
Quote from @inspiringThinkin
As leaders of a School we must always be aware of our own behaviour. If we ram road into leadership, what impact will this have on our School? Leadership is about setting a model for good practice and although tough decisions have to be made, it does not mean that you have to behave in a manner that creates division because ultimately, ‘United we stand and divided we fall’ is as true for schools as any other establishment. This brings me neatly to my next quote,
Quote from @JesseLynStoner
Leaders can often set the agenda for direction but ultimately it is about moving forward together and sometimes that is best achieved by devolving the leadership role to those best qualified to lead certain projects or areas of learning.We can follow the lead set by our staff, develop an understanding of the way forward by choreographing the dance together or in education jargon setting a School improvement plan that involves all stakeholders.
School leaders do not have all the answers but we can be very good at discovering who might be able to help with the answer. It is a matter of looking to the future and accepting that we do not know everything however we can facilitate the sharing of knowledge.
This might not necessarily appear as a quote about leadership but in my opinion it is at the heart of our core strength. It is too easy in education to look at the barriers. Each hurdle can appear to become higher and higher and with each hurdle, the stress can become that much greater. For this reason alone, I firmly advise all new leaders to be prepared to change your thinking and try and look for an answer with a different mindset. There is always more than one solution.
One of the greatest barriers to improvement can be ourselves. We need to have faith in our team and in the structures we put in place to support and sustain changes however if like me you can allow yourself to overthink, then the next quote is very true,
For all new leaders good luck and remember you are not alone!