Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Some Thoughts on Leadership

The art of leadership is always evolving, open to change and reliant on flexibility.
A good leader can communicate effectively, delegate wisely and facilitate the achievement of common goals.  A good leader empowers people to be the best version of them, both professionally and personally, and encourages people to take risks, be confident in their work and their decision-making, and back themselves 100%. 

Leadership requires action.

Marzano, Waters and McNulty (2005) introduced me to a variety of leadership theories that I had seen in action, but perhaps was unable to name.  As a relief teacher, I have seen a variety of leadership styles in action and have seen some of the ways the TL can utilize their leadership skills to encourage and empower staff and students and positively influence the wider school community. 

The leadership of a school is a complex role, not necessarily adhering to one specific leadership theory, but moving fluidly between theories to achieve leadership goals.  Some Principals are agents for change and the Transformational Leadership style produces results beyond expectations with workers being encouraged, empowered and valued within the organization.

Some Principals are situational leaders where their leadership is dependent on the capabilities and willingness of staff.  In this climate of leadership, the Principal moves through delegating, telling, participating and selling styles of leadership.  This could sound more like a “putting out spot fires” leadership style although for some is effective. (Marzano, 2005)

Marzano, Waters and McNulty (2005) include Instructional Leadership as being the most popular leadership style for many educational leaders.  The roles of an Instructional Leader include resource provider, instructional resource, communicator, and visible presence.  The role of the school principal in this style of leadership is,
·      To ensure the school is well resourced through effective budgeting and resource purchasing,
·      To be actively involved in the planning and programming of activities at school, be involved in professional development opportunities,
·      To clearly communicate the goals and visions of the school to faculty and staff, and
·      To be a visible presence within the school and be easily available to faculty, staff and students when required.

This list is not definitive, but certainly an achievable set of roles and responsibilities that would ensure high levels of success. 

As with many things, leadership styles are open to a certain degree of interpretation, dependent on personal choices, interests and values. 
While I am not in a leadership position, but now a keen observer of leadership styles, there is a lot to be said for patience, persistence and common sense


  •  Marzano, R. J., Waters, T., & McNulty, B. A. (2005). Some theories and theorists on   leadership. In  School leadership that works: from research to results (pp. 13-27). Alexandria, Virginia, United States: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
  • Retrieved 20 March, 2013.

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