What does it take to be a great leader? The team at the Institute strives to be leaders in educational reform. We work toward providing excellent learning environments for every child by supporting teachers and leaders in their quest to improve their practice. As you know, school leaders face many challenges. Now more than ever schools need strong, dynamic leadership that demands the best from every member of the school community. When we looked for guidance to answer the question, “What does it take to be a great leader?” we found some guidelines in the book, The Leadership Challenge, by Kouzes and Posner.
According to Kouzes and Posner great leaders consistently demonstrate five practices. Great leaders…
- Model the way.
- Inspire a shared vision.
- Challenge the process.
- Enable others to act.
- Encourage the heart.
This is a pretty tall order for anyone to fill and yet these five practices are the very things that have drawn many of us to the field of education. It is these five practices that we hope to enact in our classrooms and schools.
As you strive to improve your practice and work toward becoming a great leader, ask yourself the questions: How do you implement these five practices every day? What have you done lately that models the way? What is the shared vision you are hoping to inspire? How have you encouraged the heart? If we all focused on these five practices every day we could impact the field of education in significant ways.
This month we have included articles demonstrating these five practices in action. Read about Mumord High where Dr. Davis and his staff are challenging the process and modeling the way. Learn about Institute Coaches and how they encourage the heart. Finally, enjoy the Teacher Tip article to see how teacher leaders can challenge the process through distributed leadership.
I sincerely hope that this month you commit to these five practices and strive to become a great leader.
Institute for Excellence in Education