The Connection Between Leadership and Learning

I read this very short post yesterday, yet it resonated with me all day.

“Developing leaders is our #1 priority.”
“Leader Development is in everything we do.” 
“The heart of this unit is its leaders.”
“Good leadership is our most important asset.”

Sound about right?

But when was the last time you participated in a unit leader development event that was focused on the practice of leadership? Not doctrine, not staff processes, not command supply discipline…leadership! It’s probably been a while…

This is a very crucial point.  When I look at a lack of growth or resistance to change in schools, the more I realize this is more of a leadership problem than anything.  Yet, as the post states, how often do we focus on leadership development, rather than initiatives, new learning, or whatever is thrown on the plate in front of us?

When I prepare for working with leadership teams, there are always two areas on my mind.  Learning what I share, and how to help others move forward in this same area.  Too often, it is one without the other.  Administrators often learn about new initiatives and what they look like, or else they hear about how to help others, without understanding what they are “pushing”. The most important aspect for any new initiative to move forward, is to be able to lead by example.  It is easy to say “go do this’, but much more powerful when we are able to say, “Let’s do this together.”  Both elements are necessary if schools are to move forward.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

5 Comments

  1. Rudy Terpstra said:

    This is why our monthly admin. Meetings start off with learning. This year we have been learning together from the book Creating Thinking Classrooms. Not only is leading and learning essential, we also need to learn deeply together. This has translated back to my school who are now going to spend next year learning together from the same book.

    April 25, 2016
    • AY said:

      As a staff, we are also using a book that everyone is reading for discussion in our monthly staff meeting. Information sharing are communicated through email and staff meeting is used for mini PDs. It is important that we are all on the same page when it comes to where the school is moving forward in terms of the school improvement plan and as administrator, we need to delegate leadership to teachers so that they see the importance of their role within the growth of the school. This will build cohesiveness and unity among staff.

      June 27, 2016
  2. “Administrators often learn about new initiatives and what they look like, or else they hear about how to help others, without understanding what they are “pushing”. The most important aspect for any new initiative to move forward, is to be able to lead by example,”

    Administrators, but also teachers, must show educational leadership.

    May 6, 2016
  3. AM Toltl said:

    Recently, our PQP class engaged in reading an article from Patrick Duignan — Building Leadership Capacity in Catholic school Communities: Is Distributed leadership the Answer? The discussion around what distributive leadership really looks like became quite heated! When does distributive leadership become delegating? While most of us agree that true leadership is about grooming the leaders of tomorrow, about supporting others in developing their gifts and about collaborative learning, we did see a value in sharing tasks. Interestingly, Pope Francis’ has also written about the importance of delegating in order to build leadership capacity. The key it seems, is ensuring the engagement and investment that will bring about the changes and growth we seek.

    May 24, 2016
  4. Luciano Lopez said:

    As an aspiring formal leader, I must post in contrast. My journey along the formal leadership path began (abet recently) with what our board calls the “Foundations” series. This series of gatherings is aimed solely at discerning, or at least beginning to discern, if the path of formal leadership is right for us. Over the course of 9 sessions, participants looked at the province’s leadership framework as a way to ground our discussions, but the focus was squarely on leadership, the demands placed on leaders, and engaging in a reflective practice about what leadership means and developing leadership skills. This discernment course is mandatory (but free) for all aspiring leader in our board.

    July 14, 2016

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