Leadership that Connects the Heart and the Mind
EDU 687 Building a Learning-Centered Culture
In my past career in the US Army, we had a definition of leadership. Leadership is influencing people by providing purpose, direction, and motivation . A leader must find a way to connect to as many people in their charge as possible with a goal of everyone. In today’s environment, this is also done by connecting to the hearts and minds of people. A leader must possess the skills required to communicate and understand their employees. It is also essential to have a leader who can touch their employees through their behavior, displayed resiliency, effective communication, willingness to learn and develop others, and finally, leaders who can build a positive culture and climate. These dimensions will help a leader in maneuvering the needs of the situation and their employees.
A leader’s behavior can have a tremendously positive effect or adverse effect on the employees of a school. Leaders must be able to approach every situation in a biased way. This is best done when a leader considers the consequence of his or her actions, anticipates possible responses or reactions, and accurately adjusts behavior accordingly . A leader is always being watched by the employees and the stakeholders to see what is being done within the school. Leaders must show a strong commitment to the core values and have the ability to understand all the different ideas people have.
A principal in today’s education system must be resilient to situations that will present itself. Being resilient is a skill build over time with the understanding there must be methods in place to cope with pain and disappointment. Resilience is about getting through pain and frustration without letting them crush your spirit . Leaders must learn to make every situation into an experience people will learn from. Building coping skills across the staff will help the overall culture of the school and benefit all students and staff.
In an effort to ensure the school keeps a positive atmosphere, the leaders in the school must be able to communicate. The communication needs to be honest and direct to solve problems or send a message to support the goals of the school. To build a reliable staff and have the trust and confidence from the employee’s leaders must ensure there is clear communication to the employees and have the ability to hear responses with a clear mind.
I have always felt I am a lifelong learner, whether it is in school or just in life, so as a leader, it is essential to help the employees in the school to learn. To give people knowledge is to empower them to succeed in all they do. A lifelong learner, I believe that there must be an atmosphere of learning in the school for all personal. A s a leader; I must also continue to embrace the idea of learning all the time.
A leader of a school must not be afraid to give knowledge to their employees and send them the specialized courses to provide them with the insight to do their job to the best of there ability. This includes training such as restorative justice and or love and logic training to help teachers become resilient in sending the teachers to get training and understanding what the teachers face in the classroom. Leaders must try to put themselves in the learner’s shoes and develop a curriculum plan conducive to the school’s goals and vision.
The development of a leader is best done through experiencing situations to work through. As a leader it is important to prepare others to assume roles that I become available. In doing so, there would be a better support system in place just in case something was to happen to someone else. But in finding the right people to develop into leaders is essential to ensuring the leadership teams are strong and have the necessary tools to execute the tasks.
I genuinely believe in the next person up, saying that a leader should develop their replacement and the leaders needed for that time. Sometimes it’s not that a leader isn’t the right leader; it’s more about needing the right leader at the right time. The work that needs to be put into finding and developing a leader is one of the most important concepts for an organization.
Climate and Culture
Climate and culture are two district ideas but are also entwined together since one supports the other. As a leader, it is important to understand the climate feeds the culture in a way that if the climate is not right, it will start to build a culture that is not right or aligned with the school’s vision. The leader must address activities that address a positive school climate to support a positive culture in the school. Culture will trump the climate when a leader does not try to adjust the culture through the climate when new teachers and staff arrive. It is much easier to change an organization’s attitude (climate) than it is to change its personality .”
The impact the Leadership dimensions qualities
The leadership dimensions discussed is a compass to help leaders develop and ensure the culture of a school’s students, teachers, and staff are all focused on the vision of the school. By showing professional behavior in every situation, the leader displays a standard in conduct for others to follow. A leader who can show their resiliency to situations will help others in their quest to deal with the pain and discomfort felt by the students and teachers in the school. This resiliency is a fundamental of life in today’s world, and learning to control your fears is a start to assisting others to work through theirs.
With all of the situations happening in school, it is essential to ensure the communication is clear and understood both up and down the chain. The interaction will influence all aspects of the daily working of the school. The leader must be willing to listen to the employees to effectively correspond to all issues.
Ensuring the atmosphere of the school is one of learning a leader must be able to accept the mistakes people make and be willing to give time for the learning and correction of the error. At the same time, a leader must be looking to develop their subordinates and find the right leader at the right time. It’s also about finding the people who can facilitate the small groups. These people are essential to help build the culture of the school. That their efforts in their area can effectively improve the climate in a school, which will then help adjust the culture as time goes by. The hardest thing to do is to change a school’s culture in that sometimes-old teachers are set in their ways, and through effective communication and help, teachers find their way in the new environment. Then the desired outcome supports the culture of the school through the vision, mission statement.