Module 2.2 Leadership theories
Having completed no study on the theory of leadership or even leadership itself, I have found this module incredibly interesting. After considering each of them, there were actually three stand out leadership styles that resonated with me.
Transactional leadership didn’t sit well with me at all. It reminded me of a past principal that I worked for who was more concerned with maintaining operations and pushing staff to meet targets, without any real concern or care for the well-being of the staff. He was very much performance based, but this didn’t really align with our educational outcomes and that of our key business, our students. He lacked future vision – for teaching and learning at least – and was more concerned with the building, infrastructure and ‘face’ of the school. His focus was very much on the ‘here and now’. As teachers, this should never be how we lead our students. Students need to have a vision, a goal, an insight into where they’re heading in their learning. If they can’t see outcomes, what the purpose will be, then the learning isn’t meaningful.
Transformational leadership resonated with me on a deep level. Its focus is on team-building and motivation and collaboration. It is future conscious and dynamic and the focus is on engaging and motivating staff. The transformational leader has vision and values, and leads by example. They build strong relationships with staff and inspire the team to achieve a common goal.
I also liked Servant leadership, because this is how I see myself in my current role. I certainly do have my students and staff’s best interests at heart and my core business has been about developing trust, collaboration, empathy and ethics (Burkus, 2010). I strive to create long term goals that will benefit staff and students. This future focus has looked at developing digital literacy skills, skills in evaluating and analysing information and navigating the digital landscape. These are skills I offer to share with staff and students, in the hope that I can develop strong, trusting relationships, and collaborate and role-model good practice. I share the importance of embracing new knowledge at both an individual and team level, and hope this influence will demonstrate environments that create results (Agile at Barclayland).
And then I learned about Instructional leadership and saw so many facets of this type of leadership in my principal. His goals are long-term and he includes other staff and the school community in the decision-making processes of the school. Teachers are invited to contribute to discussion about curriculum delivery, resourcing, assessment. The sharing of anecdotal experience is valued, and this is something I also do within the classroom setting. Our principal consistently provides opportunities for staff to develop professionally, but our students are also given opportunities for leadership too. This style of leadership is visionary, sharing this vision with the learning and parent community, and puts the needs of the students first (Spencekao, 2013). This style of leadership empowers others, creates a culture of ideas that are shared to create change and embrace the ever-changing landscape of technology, leading 21st century learners (Spencekao, 2013).
Agile at Barclaycard. (2016, October 14). What is servant leadership? [Video]. YouTube. https://youtu.be/aKkOAaaaaFqtU
Burkus, D. (2010, April 1). Servant leadership theory. David Burkus. https://davidburkus.com/2010/04/servant-leadership-theory/Spencekao, 2013
Spencekao. (2013, April 6). Instructional leadership. [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=efzXDk1–4w