Good leadership… does it boil down to 5 traits?

Thank you, Bill Oldread (Assistant Director-EARCOS)! Bill maintains the EARCOS E-Connect Blog and recently highlighted a Marshall Memo review of a Robert Weintraub article on leadership.

Convoluted connections? Sure, but that’s how the good word gets out… that’s Bloggin’!

What can we learn from Weintraub’s extensive leadership experience?

  1. Promote common goals and ‘voice’ for adults involved in supporting kids – gives the kids a clear message with clear expectations. Consistent communicator/Active.
  2. Get in the habit of setting aside a daily time to respond to email and phone calls – prompt responses, even if it’s just to say you will get back to someone, indicate their messages (and they) are important. Caring.
  3. The old leadership adage… LBWA (Leading By Walking Around) – visibility and interaction are important to show that you care more about the school community than your office. Caring/Connected.
  4. Get back into the classroom AS A TEACHER – what better way to keep your fingers on the pulse of what’s going on with teachers and students? Connected.
  5. “Be happy” – your mood affects others… how would you like others to feel? Caring.
  6. Youth are energetic… mirror that energy – you fit in better and help others stay energized. Connected/Active.
  7. Notice the kids – if students feel they’re anonymous to you guess how you will be to them? Caring/Connected.
  8. Give your full attention when interacting with others – if you let interruptions distract you, how valued does the one asking for your attention feel? Caring.
  9. Leadership requires unambiguous communication – we all want to know ‘what’ and ‘why’. Consistent communicator.
  10. Be a model of what you expect re: work – everyone respects hard workers! Active.
  11. (To borrow a phrase from Jim Collins) Get the right people on the bus – in a school, everyone should love kids and support learning. Consistent communicator/Active.
  12. Support intellectual pursuit – inspire others think, reflect, ponder. Consistent communicator/Reflective.
  13. Take risks… when you need to – guide change carefully and thoughtfully. Active/Reflective.
  14. No one is perfect – remember that about yourself and others. Caring/Reflective.
  15. We’re all part of the same family – nurture others beyond ‘the job’. Caring/Connected.

Ok! So… I put my own spin on these ‘lessons on leadership’. For me, those points boil down to the qualities of a good leader. I know I didn’t hit all the traits of a good leader but if we regularly ask ourselves if we are being: consistent communicators; active; caring; connected; and, reflective (and we strive to be those 5 things) we’re well on our way to good leadership.

What other qualities do you feel are important for good leaders to have?

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