Sunday, 23 November 2014

What is good leadership?

I have been reflecting on the question, what is good leadership?  As a teacher librarian, I believe we need to take on leadership roles within the school, especially around instructional leadership.  However, this isn't something that is taught or really even talked about in the teacher librarian world.  Indeed, I don't think leadership happens until a teacher librarian fully knows and understands both the collection and the curriculum first.

To be a successful leader, I think an individual ideally has the following:

1. Vision
I have come to realize that a good leader not only does the day to day events well but also sees how those daily events fit into the larger picture.  A leader has a clear vision or goal of what needs to be accomplished and how going about that is best done.

2. Communication
Communication is key to success but is often a major stumbling block. It's important to realize that communication is all about when, where and how.  When: communicate often.  Where: communicate through various means ranging from email to meetings.  Don't rely on one means of communication. How: communicate clearly and consistently.

3. Confidence
A confident leader is not an arrogant leader.  Confidence means that the leader is more than comfortable in giving leadership roles to others.  Indeed, handing over power to others usually means that more leaders are created and when others are given leadership opportunities they tend to go above and beyond.

4. Trust
And all this is built on trust.  Trust is a nuance that has been built through all the little actions and thus it is a hard one to repair if it's broken.  Those in leadership roles need to trust those around them.  In addition to trusting others, it is imperative that leaders have much more than their own best interests in mind.