Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Are You Worthy of Followers?

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Are you worthy of followers?

After all, you can't lead if you have no followers.  Therefore, it is perfectly reasonable to ask if you believe you are worthy of having any followers.  This applies to newly minted leaders and well seasoned veterans.  If you hold a formal leadership role, are you worthy of having followers?

Strange question?  Maybe, but a good one to use for reflection.

Most of you earned your position through, among other things; hard work, focus, attention to detail, respecting others, a willingness to accept responsibility, and a need to inspire others to be their best.

Are the traits that helped you earn your role still an obvious part of your leadership practice?  What qualities are evident in people who deserve followers?

Worthy educational leaders...
  • have a vision of excellence, articulate that vision in a way that invites and inspires others to share it, and provide the support necessary for others to work towards that vision.
  • understand that change is an unavoidable result of leadership.
  • work to structure the school to operate efficiently and effectively.
  • care about their followers' needs and work to align those needs with the goals of the school.
  • accept that resources are finite and often scarce, thus accepting the responsibility of making tough decisions.
  • actively seek to develop new leaders (create a leadership density).
  • are open minded and approachable, yet able to make choices and maintain a strategic focus.
  • encourage innovative thinking.
  • are trustworthy.
  • are visible.
  • seek opportunities to offer praise.
  • may not know all the answers, but is willing to ask good questions and find them out.
  • are valuable resources for instructional leadership.
  • infuse energy, enthusiasm, and optimism into their schools.
Your position gives you a platform to provide leadership.  It's up to you to actually lead.
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