One blog I’d recommend following is Derek Wenmoth’s. In a recent post he recalled a session he was in with Scott McLeod about adapting to the new digital era we are in. (Incidentally, I knew McLeod was in the country because I read a random article in the Southland Times about his ideas – no local reference, just there it was.)
The message that came through at the end of this session was this strong challenge –
Leaders lead! They don’t follow. They aren’t simply reactive (to government policy, constraints of policy, funding etc). They lead. They are compelled by a vision of what can be, and work with the resources available to them to achieve that. – Scott McLeod (Derek’s summation)
This challenge, he writes, was in response to the talk of barriers to this adaptation – those Ministry policies, mandates, lack of funding and so on. And I’m standing on my metaphorical chair, waving a flag to his next statement. Derek goes on to say that it’s time for leaders to have some courage start taking risks and be okay about failing. – They should lead and not just manage.
What are some things I’d suggest that school leaders could be doing to lead? Here are three ideas.
1. Know where you are going.
What is the direction and goal of your school in the next five years? Having a vision for the future takes time, thought and being connected to the right people to appear. There is a massive conversation taking place all over the world and online about the future of education and it’s a dialogue that is too good to miss.
2. Start identifying those who will follow in your school and community.
This video captures the idea that it’s the first few who follow who will start the movement. Who is on your staff, BOT and in your community that have the potential to support and carry out any initiatives you put in place.
3. Be willing to make a decision and make mistakes.
It’s very easy for leaders to put decisions off. Especially when we are talking about technology , for example, and you are told to, ‘Wait until November when there is a new model coming out!’ I like this saying
– You don’t have to get it right. You just have to get it going.
We can learn a lot from the student led inquiry model about the process of change and mistakes are only problems if we don’t learn from them!
Also – the danger of collaborative leadership styles is that we wait for everyone to get on board before we act. I’m not sure that school’s have any more time to wait!
There you go – I’m sure there are more ideas. Do you have anything to add?