Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Curl Up With a Clear Vision (Day 9)

Day 9 of my month of blog-a-day (Spilling Ink continues with the final part of my answer to the following job application question: Describe the knowledge, skills, and qualities one should embody to be an effective educational leader.

... Possessing and communicating a clear vision is possibly the most important quality of an educational leader. Jim Collins wrote in Good to Great (2001) about the hedgehog effect. As the hedgehog curls up into a ball with the singular purpose of escape, the effective educational leader must establish a clear vision and curl up with the singular purpose of making that vision the reality. As the position of principal covers so many domains, I have created a clear vision that covers leadership, community, and learning. Of course, there is great overlap in these three areas. My vision of leadership is: 1. “We do what is best for children,” 2. “It’s all about relationships,” 3. “Process and participation matters in decision making.” My vision of community is based on three words: “Safety, Respect, and Learning.” My vision of learning is straightforward: “All children can learn and be successful.” Each of these vision statements is chock full of ideas and action plans, research and implementation, and trends and traditions. When a principal combines a clear vision with other qualities such as being organized, flexible, calm, outgoing, and fun that leader, can be an effective educational leader. ...

I know that I possess some of these skills, knowledge, and qualities. I learn again every day that I have much left to learn, though. In fact, I am constantly learning. That is why I am taking the blogging challenge; that is why I am on twitter following dozens of other educators. Each month that goes by in the principalship is another month to learn, learn, learn.

I would love your comments about this. Or, tell me what skills, knowledge, or qualities of an effective leader have I missed. If you work with me, please pile on the advice. I know that I have lots left to learn.

Now that I have published this whole essay, I ask you all: what do you think are the most important knowledge, skills, or qualities for a principal?


9 down, 21 to go.

Coming next will be a series on how I stay organized, my summer reading plans, and more.