The above video does not exemplify distributed leadership. The manager in the video is delegating tasks. Delegating responsibilities is very different from distributing leadership. Distributed leadership is a powerful conceptual framework for thinking about and studying school leadership. The leader acts like more of a facilitator in this process. This parallels the shift in the teacher’s role in the classroom.
It is only a powerful framework when leadership is distributed the right way. Here are some ideas that I have used as both a school leader and now in my work with principals:
- Always start with WHY? WHY should the focus be on this initiative?
- WHO should this initiative be distributed to. Try to connect people to areas/projects that they are passionate about.
- HOW will the people/groups work on the distributed initiatives?
- WHAT structures will people/groups use to monitor, determine progress, and provide feedback.
These ideas should help you reduce the delegating that many leaders disguise as distributed leadership. The true measure of a leader is that he/she can leave the organization and success is still sustained. The only way to accomplish this is to develop a comprehensive distributed leadership framework.