I am a classic transformational leader. By transformational leader I mean to say that the reason I am a leader is because I seek to transform myself, and the world around me, for the purpose of improving the human condition. This means that I work with others to identify when change is needed, we create a shared vision, and then we work together to implement the actions needed to achieve our goal. I like to say that we are on a yellow brick road just like Dorothy and her colleagues. We know the purpose of our journey; however, we do not always know the exact path we will take along our road, which means that together we will be responsive to necessary changes and to being informed of new possibilities to make the best choices possible to achieve our end goal. Along the journey, just like in the Wizard of Oz, each person will need to be willing to contribute his or her unique contribution in order for the goal to be achieved. To be an effective transformational leader, one must posses a certain charisma that inspires others to see the vision and commit to working together to achieve the goal, which is always focused on our students.
An important skill needed for transformational leaders is the ability to be a talent scout. I am constantly looking and listening for ways that individuals want to contribute to the whole, and then I create opportunities for them to do so. The word I like to use is teacherpreneur. I want my teachers to be empowered to be entrepreneurs, so as to help us move forward in achieving our goal through creative and meaningful ways. Of course, the key element here is that we all are clear about the common shared vision we are hoping to achieve.
Everyone’s voice matters in the process, and that includes school district staff, school board members, families and students, community leaders, and our partners. The administrative team plays a key role in helping to guide us on our journey not only in being responsive to needs of schools and departments but also in inspiring continued action along our yellow brick road. Transformational leaders cannot be effective if they think they will be the only captain steering the ship. Rather, transformational leaders know the critical value of ensuring that everyone is empowered to contribute to help to chart the course of action. The saying, Every Voice Matters, has to be lived for transformational leadership to be effective.
Other key tenants of my leadership philosophy include social learning constructs and the foundational ability to foster partnerships with organizations that have a shared vision and can help us achieve our goal. We all exist because of our students. If they don’t know that, then there is no point to what we do.
I love being a transformational leader because it is a growth journey for me, too.