I came across this article late last school year. Read it; it's worth your time.
The idea of transformational leadership was not new to me. Being a connoisseur of ideas and the words we use to make sense of them -- as well as a hopeless Pollyanna -- I've spent a significant amount of time and energy reading, writing, and reflecting on the actions and core values of transformational leaders. Unfortunately, it's another thing to be filed under "what we've known for nearly 40 years, but have yet to successfully apply in education."
However, at that moment, the article struck me in a way that I knew I needed to give the ideas a little time to steep. Like I do with all complexities I want to sit with, I scrawled the core ideas on the whiteboard in my office. I share this for those of you who appreciate a good old fashioned graphic organizer.
Transformational leaders ignite a synergistic combination of empowerment, support, and challenge among their followers that spurs rapid growth and development. As a new year creeps upon us and many of us are putting significant energy into systems of teacher leadership, I thought it was a timely share.
Whether you're a veteran leader, one wearing the formal title for the first time this year, or one who leads with neither title nor position, think about the four things transformational leaders do:
1. They inspire people to work together toward a common, worthy vision. What's your vision? How will you engage all the pieces of your system to collectively and decisively move from vision to action?
2. They make strong, individualized connections with each group and each individual. How will you engage with every person and every team to find the intersection of their passion, their interests, and your vision?
3. They challenge others to create and innovate. Innovation thrives within purposeful boundaries. How do you define the boundaries in your system? Where will you leave room for and encourage innovation?
4. They walk the talk. Will you commit to getting out of your office or classroom, rolling up your sleeves, and getting into the real work of developing kids who are healthy, safe, engaged, and challenged? What calculated risks are you personally willing to take this school year?