Saturday, July 21, 2007

Twelve Essentials of Effective Leadership

After reading Greg Farr's manifesto, I was inspired to finish my own draft of the things I believe are essential to leading a school. I have tried to implement these ideas, some more successfully than others, however I'm still a learner, so ideally the degree to which I'm putting these into practice is increasing as I gain experience and deeper understanding of the people and processes that make a school work for kids... and adults. Below is a list of the top twelve behaviors that I have found indispensable in leading a school. I will follow this up with a detailed explanation of each item in subsequent posts. They are in no particular order of importance.

1. Articulate a Clear Purpose and Compelling Vision.
2. Go Team! Build collaborative teams.
3. Embrace the numbers and squeeze 'em for all they're worth.
4. Be clear in the valley of decision.
5. Intuition is sometimes better than a mountain of data.
6. Recognize effort and achievement creatively and frequently.
7. Be the change you want to see in your school (apologies to Ghandi).
8. Face the hideous beast (AKA Confront Unproductive Behavior Productively).
9. Laughter is good medicine or "A spoonful of sugar makes the initiatives go down".
10. If you're not improving instruction, you're not doing anything.
11. You blow it sometimes, so deal with it.
12 A balanced diet will keep everyone fit and frisky.

Well, there you have it. Some are a little more obvious than others, so I'm sure you'll be waiting eagerly for the rest of the story.


Junie B. said...

I like the list and am looking forward to the "rest of the story". I would add to #10 that the instruction needs to not only continually improve but must match the needs of the learner. I'm enjoying the practical strategies/suggestions Dr. Mel Levine presents in his book A Mind At A Time. He presented at the D.I. conference and supports us paying more attention to individual learning patterns and minds so that children can maximize their success. I think his approach/ideas could help us reach our 90% literacy rate schoolwide.

danw said...

That sort of precision in instruction needs to be our goal in every classroom. One of the ways I hope to model this with staff is to individualize my work with teachers so as to provide targeted staff development for every teacher. Ideally I would be providing the best possible support and modeling how to work with students at the same time. I look forward to hearing more about the D.I. conference and the work of Levine.