When thinking about educational leadership the above image came to mind and served quite the contrast to the solo leader described earlier. Should there be different definitions of leadership across professions? That may be a topic for another post but today we believe the essence of educational leadership is best portrayed in the image above. Like the acrobats, leaders begin with trust, they work together for a common goal, and they think of others to provide support.
Trust - Trust is step one. With the belief that someone or something is reliable, good, honest, effective, comes open communication and collaborative work. Leadership without trust works from fear and compliance. A system built on trust allows for risk taking and innovative thinking. Trust is where it starts.
Shared - Shared leadership connects leaderships to learning across a system. When administration, instructional coaches, support staff, and classroom teachers learn together in PLCs - fostering a growth mindset - they lead together. Linda Lambert lists three assumptions to shift thinking about who can learn and who can lead in a 2002 issue of Educational Leadership
- Everyone has the right, responsibility, and ability to be leader.
- How we define leadership influences how people will participate.
- Educators yearn to be more fully who they are -- purposeful, professional human beings. Leadership is an essential aspect of an educator’s professional life.
If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. John Quincy Adams