Monday, April 4, 2011

Evidence of your leadership effectiveness

effective When I think about leadership effectiveness in schools, I am usually persuaded to reflect on context, situation, and the orientation of how leaders think.  I have a more pragmatic side also.  That part of me simply says that leadership effectiveness is determined by how much further a leader moves her school along its chosen path.  That path is most often defined by mission statements, strategic plans, and the like.  Measurements of these items usually takes the form of tests scores, attendance records, benchmarks, and other descriptive data used to compare where a school is currently compared to a pre-determined time in the past.

For the sake of simplicity, let’s set aside a discussion of the actual research concerning leadership effectiveness, the differences between espoused and actual leadership effectiveness, and the various markers used to measure school leadership effectiveness.  I can (and plan to) write about these concepts in later posts.

If we agree to do the above, then we can take a look at some practical signs that your leadership is, most likely, more effective than not.  If you notice some of these in your school, then you are on the right track.

Evidence of effectiveness


1.  Teachers seek your counsel, ask questions, and propose new ideas. If you were not being effective, teachers would be avoiding you or waiting to just do as they are told.
2.  Students are smiling and happy. Ineffective leadership is felt throughout the school.  Eventually the discontent pools up among the student body.
3.  Parents identify teachers as professional educators, not glorified babysitters. We have a saying in South Louisiana (where I was born and raised), “A fish stinks from its head.”  Bad leadership will be the source of poor opinions of those on the team.
4.  Former teachers are now administrators or are established in formal leadership roles. Effective leadership inspires others to lead.  Building leadership density is a good sign that you are effective.
5.  At the end of the day, your default descriptions are “accomplished and satisfied.”  As an effective leader, you probably hold yourself to a very high standard.  If you are ending each day feeling proud of your work and generally satisfied with your efforts, then you are meeting your own personal criteria for effectiveness.


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