Here you have my thoughts about leadership. Leadership is leadership. Yes, of course, a leader must have a vision — and must be able to get things done. A leader must have great follow through and, in my opinion, must be able to work well with others. The skill set is basically the same whether you are a teacher leader in your building, a principal leader of your school — or the U.S. Secretary of Education — or the Prez himself. Help me brainstorm. Leave your own ideas about leadership. As I read your comments, I will add the ones I think useful for Arne and (don’t we wish!) President Obama to see — the skills that perhaps they aren’t taking advantage of as they lead the Great American School Reform Movement.
Have you ever watched “Undercover Boss” on CBS Sunday night? What a humbling experience for a CEO, who finds that his employees “in the trenches” know much more than he does about the inner workings of his company.
As a principal, I found this rule to be the most important of all:
1.Stop talking. Close your lips. Listen. Those you are leading know more than you do.They will save you many hours of frustration and keep you from making many mistakes. Arne, the word getting around recently is that you are willing to hold forums and conversations with teachers — but when they attempt to offer their comments, you do most of the talking. Not good, Arne. Leadership Rule # 1: Listen.
Follow up November 12, 2010 from a blog found on edweek.org
The writer is Chris Hitch, an administrator. The post is called “When the Boss Says, ‘I Think’ the Thinking Stops.” Below is a quote from his post. Read it. Notice who gave him this good advice.
Leadership Rule # 2:“The best leaders put a great deal of effort into defining the issue/challenge/opportunity and the parameters. They focus on the “what”, “when”, and “why” but have their team focus on the “how” within the parameters that were set.”