In the course of my career, I have been fortunate to have met a number of effective school leaders with whom I have maintained an on-going relationship. Often, conversation gravitates towards some basic philosophical issues regarding leadership. I am a private/independent school administrator. Naturally, my conversations tend to lean more towards the private school side of leadership. Never the less, I believe that sound leadership is transferable to most any environment.
I remember one such conversation with an experienced independent school headmaster in which he offered some insight into his own leadership style and philosophy. The basic premise was founded in two ideas:
- You can (and often should) delegate authority, but if you are in charge you cannot delegate your responsibility.
- (from a note he has taped to his desk) - “You lead it or it will lead you.”
In coming posts, I will offer a few examples of each of those ideas. Feel free to offer your own examples or comments.