Educational Leadership for the prospective Principal of a school.

Understanding leadership

This module invites you to think critically about the nature of leadership and its role in schools. It gives you the chance to engage with the various theories of leadership and how these have developed over time. It introduces the notion that leadership is a very personal matter, and that we will all bring our individual characteristics to bear in our leadership roles.

The module also looks specifically at different kinds of leadership strategies and styles that you may observe others using and may consciously adopt and develop for yourself.

There is a focus in the module on the ways schools are changing as organisations, and the different structural models of leadership and management that have emerged in recent years. You will be able to apply these models to your own setting, and consider how they may develop further in the future.

Finally, the module also encourages you to think about your own leadership strategies and skills, to review them and plan for further professional learning. This involves working in a reflective and critical manner to consider your own circumstances, your developing role and professional values and skills.

 

The module comprises four units: Unit 1: What is a leader? Unit 2: Organisational leadership. Unit 3: Leading and following. Unit 4: Developing as a professional and a leader.

Unit 1: What is a Leader?

Unit 1 We look at what leadership is by examining management and leadership, including educational leadership. It also explores the characteristics of leaders. It covers:

  • Management and leadership in education
  • Qualities and traits of leadership
  • Leadership styles
  • Educational leadership
  • The leadership role of the SBM

Unit 1 uses discussion, examples and diagnostics to encourage you to think about and understand your own leadership styles and the skills and competencies you may need to develop further.

                                    What is a leader?

                                                                                        

Leadership is a complex concept, and understanding what makes a leader is still being explored and debated. This unit begins with a discussion of leadership by examining the concepts of management and leadership, exploring educational leadership, and considering leadership characteristics. We also consider the future of educational leadership. The preface to a National College learning resource 'The Future of Leadership' asks whether it is worth paying attention to leadership theory?

Yes, and here's why. First of all, leadership theory reflects real world leadership practice and influences how future leaders behave. And secondly, it might make you a better leader.

(NCSL 2008b, 4)


Management and leadership in education

                                                            

Education leadership is a relatively new concept that emerged during the 1990s. As it was an emerging discipline, there was much debate over what leadership was and how it was distinctive from management. In particular, there were disagreements over whether leadership was a separate discipline from management or whether it was an element or subset of management, since management was already an established discipline.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

Previous research from the business sector was used to inform the debate. The distinctions made between leadership and management are compared in the table below.      

Management

Maintaining a low level of emotional involvement



Building and maintaining an organisational structure



Doing things right


Manager maintains and relies on control


Preoccupation with the present and goal attainment


Path-following


Taught by the organisation


Designing and carrying out plans, getting things done, working effectively with people



Leadership

Empathising with other people and paying attention to what events and actions mean


Building and maintaining an organisational culture



Doing the right things


Leader develops and inspires trust


Focused on the creation of a vision about a desired future

Path-finding


Learning from the organisation


Establishing a mission and giving a sense of direction

No difference between the two:

We can see that there is a clear difference between the leader, who develops the organisational vision and culture, and the manager, who interprets these into systems and processes. In reality, the distinction is not so clear-cut.

Most leaders become involved in developing systems, processes, people and effective managers. They aim to inspire trust in their teams as well as providing a sense of direction. As an example, it is useful to look at some of the descriptors of the school business management role.

How do we decide who  does the task?

How do we decide whether these are management, leadership or even administrative tasks?

  • Manage the administrative, clerical and other support functions of the school.
  • Manage information and communication systems.
  • Provide information for the school development plan.
  • Manage support staff to promote the school positively to all stakeholders.                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Maximise income through lettings and additional activities.
  • Monitor and reduce the environmental impact of the school's energy consumption.
  • Ensure the maximum level of security, consonant with the ethos of the school.

The use of the word 'manage' does not necessarily imply that it is a management task. For any one of these descriptors, once you read the whole description, you can begin a debate over the level of activity and the skills that are needed.

Multiple choice statements are provided for you to think- what areas would it belong to (Management, Leadership or Administrative).There are no right or wrong answers, but rather it is food for thought to decide & build upon your educational leadership.


"You manage the administrative, clerical and other support functions of the school". Choose the task this responsibility belongs to from your experience.

  • Management Task
  • Leadership Task
  • Administrative Task

"You manage information and communication systems". Choose the task this responsibility belongs to from your experience.

  • Management Task
  • Leadership task
  • Administrative Task

" You provide information for the school development plan". Choose the task this responsibility belongs to from your experience.

  • Management Task
  • Leadership Task
  • Administrative Task

"You manage support staff to promote the school positively to all stakeholders". Choose the task this responsibility belongs to from your experience.

  • Management Task
  • Leadership Task
  • Administrative Task

"You maximise income through lettings and additional activities". Choose the task this responsibility belongs to from your experience.

  • Management Task
  • Leadership Task
  • Administrative Task

"You monitor and reduce the environmental impact of the school's energy consumption". Choose the task this responsibility belongs to from your experience.

  • Management Task
  • Leadership Task
  • Administrative Task

"Ensure the maximum level of security, consonant with the ethos of the school". Choose the task this responsibility belongs to from your experience.

  • Management Task
  • Leadership Task
  • Administrative Task

Choose any two scenario & Justify your arguments by stating whether it is predominantly leadership, management or a balance of both.

Understand Leadership & Management

                                    Management, leadership and brain research

                                                                                        

Perhaps further insight into the differences between management and leadership can be achieved by exploring research into how the brain functions. Experiments carried out by researchers in the second half of the 20th century provided evidence that the brain was specialised and that there were differences of specialisation in each half of the brain. These are described in the table below.

Right & left brain has its predominant functions. Have a look to think over.

Left hemisphere (right side of body)

speech/verbal, logical/mathematical

linear/detailed, sequential

controlled, intellectual

dominant, worldly

active, analytical

Right hemisphere (left side of the body)

spatial/musical, holistic

artistic/symbolicsimultaneous

emotionalintuitive/creative

minor (quiet)spiritual

receptive, synthetic/gestalt (a set of things, such as a person's thoughts and experiences considered as a whole and regarded as amounting to more than the sum of its parts)

facial recognition, simultaneous comprehension

perception of abstract patterns, recognition of complex figures

Left Hand Side:

The logical, left-hand side contains many of the specialisations that you would associate with administrative and management activities. There is no skill that you would immediately identify as supporting the interpersonal or futuring activities associated with leadership. 

The Right Hand Side:

The intuitive, right-hand side, on the other hand, contains many of the aspects that are associated with leadership, for example taking a holistic view, being creative and emotional intelligence.

There is an evident correlation between the left- and right-hand columns of the table above on brain activities and the leadership and management table in the Introduction topic.

So are administration and management left-brain activities while leadership is a right-brained activity? Well, maybe not. Ned Herrmann (1996) suggests that:

"The world, it seems, has had a long love affair with dichotomies. Right/wrong, good/bad, sweet/sour, up/down, and left/right. Separating anything into just two categories is a simple, easy and apparently satisfying approach to categorizing differences. The problem is, most often the simple dichotomy falls short of accurately describing the differences involved".                    Herrmann, 1996, p12

Understanding leadership using the four selves model

                                                            

Hermann discusses the contribution of the older part of the brain, the limbic system, to add two further quadrants to the left and right hemispheres. He proposes a model with four quadrants exhibiting rational, safe-keeping, feeling and experimental characteristics.

You can look at the characteristics of each quadrant in the table and see alignment with administration, management and leadership activity. So for example, you could say that the rational aspects in quadrant A describe a financial manager operating the way school business managers used to work before their role expanded to include the management of support staff teams. Quadrant B, by contrast, describes an administrative role.

 

A. Rational quadrant

Authoritative, directive, all-business. Focuses on the task in hand, comfortable with concrete, technical information. Energies focused on thinking, processing and analysing.

B. Safekeeping quadrant

Traditional, conservative, risk-avoiding. Strives for safety and stability and resists change. Excels at structure, following procedures and taking detail into account to meet deadlines. Likes clear lines of authority.

C. Feeling quadrant

Personable, interactive, intuitive. Highly participative and oriented to teams and communities. Sees the human resource as the primary asset. Concerned with organisational climate, policies and programmes that affect employee relations. Advocates employee development, on-site training and design and safety characteristics of working facilities.

D. Experimental self quadrant

Holistic, risk-oriented, adventurous, entrepreneurial. Involves conceptual, holistic, imaginative and integrative mental models. Often in direct opposition to the prevailing culture.

Source: Herrmann 1996, p21

So where is the leader in this model? 

Quadrant D (experimental self quadrant) might describe an entrepreneurial leader, but not all leaders. 

Quadrant C (feeling quadrant) includes leadership, human resource management and mentoring characteristics.

This approach is too complex to be reducible to a simplistic answer. 

It is rare to find someone who displays all of the characteristics of one quadrant and none of the others: the model can help us make sense of what we observe, whilst respecting the complexity of the issue.

 

Activity

Self-review using the four selves model

                                                                                                                                                                           

Look at all the characteristics listed in Hermann's four selves model shown in the table above.

List all those that you feel represent you and your role in the school. It is unlikely that you will tick descriptors in only one quadrant. 

                            

When you have identified the descriptors which you believe match your role, reflect on the balance that you see.

  • Would you ideally like to see a different mix of descriptors?
  • If so, why?

Leadership styles: Have you ever thought- what is your leadership style? Have you done any self reflection upon it? Have you taken any feedback from your colleagues about your leadership style? This chapter would make you think & develop understanding.

So far, we have considered some characteristics that might distinguish a leader from a manager, though it is not a simple case of being either one or the other. This focus on characteristics and traits follows the early research into leadership that was based on the study of people considered great leaders, often heroic leaders such as Wellington, Eisenhower or Churchill.

Such leaders are described as both charismatic and narcissistic. Charismatic leadership reflects the 'great man' theory in that these leaders:

"are thought to differ from mere mortal leaders by their ability to formulate and articulate an inspirational vision, as well as actions that foster the impression that they are extraordinary people".                     Raelin, 2003, p48


They are described as being able to draw the bigger picture and charm the masses, but they are also described as distrustful and grandiose, portraying themselves as saviours of the organisation.

Narcissistic leaders appear to have similar traits: they tend to keep themselves emotionally distant from others and do not tolerate dissent. They are also poor listeners and can be brutally exploitative. Their excessive promotion of themselves and lack of concern for others can become destructive to their organisations. 'Narcissists have vision but that is not enough. People in mental hospitals also have visions' (Maccoby, 2000). However, productive, narcissistic leaders are risk-takers and charmers who can convert the masses with their rhetoric.                                                                                                                                                               

In an environment as complex as 21st-century education, the great leader is likely to fail. School leaders no longer need dependent subordinates who wait for orders from the top. They want colleagues who can act on their own initiative, but who are also members of a well-oiled community. So, as people began to develop awareness of the complexity of organisations, questions have been asked about the characteristics of effective leaders.

Many of the replies came from experts who based their advice on inference, experience and instinct. Hay McBer, however, carried out research based on a random sample of 3,871 executives, drawn from a database of 20,000. They identified six distinct leadership styles, and these are described in the table below.

Let us look at it in detail to ponder over each of the traits.

Leadership styles — what works when?

                                                            

The research suggested that two of the styles, coercive and pacesetting, could have a negative impact on the school.

The coercive style is the least effective in most organisational situations because flexibility is hardest hit along with people's sense of responsibility. People therefore lack motivation and think 'How does any of this matter?' This style should be used with extreme caution in situations such as turning around a school or department.

Pacesetting leaders set high performance standards and exemplify these standards themselves, but this approach should also be used sparingly. The high expectations of pacesetting leaders and lack of feedback destroy organisational climate by overwhelming staff, reducing commitment, promoting dependency and reducing morale. However, this approach gets work done on time, especially when all staff are self-motivated, highly competent and need little direction or co-ordination.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

The affiliative style is a good all-round approach that should be employed when trying to build team harmony or mend broken trust. It revolves around people, with the leader valuing people and their emotions more than tasks and goals. The leader builds strong emotional bonds, increases loyalty and improves communication. This is the antithesis of the coercive leader because flexibility, trust and responsibility become part of the culture. Because this approach focuses on praise, employees might believe that mediocrity is tolerated, so combining the affiliative style with the coercive style provides a balance.

Democratic leaders build trust, respect and commitment by getting people to share their ideas and buy into the organisation's strategy. Staff in democratic schools tend to be very realistic about what can and cannot be accomplished. This approach works best when the leader is uncertain about the best direction to take and needs guidance from able employees. A drawback of this style is endless meetings because consensus remains elusive and people feel confused and leaderless. At its worst, this approach can escalate conflicts.

Coaching is an appropriate style for schools because it models learning by encouraging staff to establish long-term development goals and to find ways of attaining them. Coaching leaders give plenty of instruction and feedback. They also excel at delegation. This style is used least often, particularly because it is a time-consuming approach. However, when successfully applied, it has a positive effect on climate and performance. This approach works best when employees are already aware of their weaknesses and want to improve, but fails when leaders are inept coaches or staff are resistant to learning.                                                                                                                                                                           

Hay McBer suggests that the most effective style is authoritative leadership because this approach would drive up every aspect of a school's climate. The visionary approach and clarity of communication motivate people and help them see how they contribute to the organisation. This approach is particularly useful when an organisation is adrift because the leader charts a new course. It fails, however, if the leader is working with a team of more experienced experts or peers.

This study of leadership demonstrated that leaders could adopt more than one style and that:

"Leaders who have mastered four or more - especially the authoritative, democratic, affiliative and coaching styles - have the very best climate and performance. The most effective leaders are also able to switch flexibly among the leadership styles as needed".

Goleman, 2000, p87

                                    Activity

Reflecting on leadership styles

                                                                                                                                                                           

The Hay McBer research provides a typology of different leadership styles that be used to think systematically about other people's (and one's own) leadership behaviours. This builds on the approach that you used in phase 2 of the programme to research your professional competency and leadership skills by using frameworks for analysis.

Task

Consider some of the leaders that you have worked with. Identify one leader who displayed effective leadership, and one who was less effective. Evaluate the behaviours and leadership style that each was exhibiting.

  • How appropriate were their behaviours for the context?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

                             

Personal reflection

In phase 2, you also reflected on your own professional competency. Personal reflection is a key element to professional learning and is fundamental to developing leadership qualities and potential. This involves thoughtful appraisal of ourselves in relation to our actions, behaviours, beliefs and values.

Now use the Hay McBer typology of leadership styles to consider your own context and identify the leadership approach most likely to achieve your current goals.

  • How might you need to change your current approach?


                                    Activity

Determining your approach to authentic leadership

                                                                                                                                                                           

Choose one option from each column in Table above and explain why you chose it. If you respond to the challenges suggested by your choices, how would it affect your understanding of yourself as an authentic leader?                    


Leadership in times of change

More recent research has explored authentic leadership (Goffee and Jones, 2005). It has been suggested that this approach developed in response to the change that leaders face as their organisations adapt to issues such as globalisation, multiculturalism and environmental challenge.

Followers also have increased expectations of their leaders to not only provide vision but also to display passion and build productive relationships. They expect their leaders to earn their trust through integrity and credibility.

The more recent factors of economic recession and emerging school models have intensified the pressure on leaders to develop clear, personal leadership. To deal with the resulting dilemmas, leaders need to develop resilience and the ability to maintain sound judgement in the face of constant pressure.

You will only cope if you really know who you are, what you stand for, what you want to achieve and where you are going. Authentic leadership has been designed to meet this need. It explores your own attitudes, beliefs and values to help you know how you can become the really significant leader that you could be. There is no right or wrong way to establish and manage your authenticity, but there are conscious efforts you can make to help others perceive you as an authentic leader.                                                                                                                                                                        

Deloitte (2010, p9) argue that self-belief and self-awareness are perhaps the most important emotionally intelligent aspects that public-sector leaders need to demonstrate. In doing so they should be able to successfully develop complementary team roles and provide the necessary support in leading teams and individuals through difficult times of change. The menu below describes steps that entail building knowledge about your true self and learning more about others.

Get to know yourself and your origins better

  • Explore your autobiography: Familiarise yourself with your identity anchors: the people, places and events that shaped you. Share these discoveries with others who have had similar experiences.
  • Return to your roots: Take a holiday with old friends. Spend time away from the normal trappings of the office.
  • Avoid comfort zones: Step out of your routines, seek new adventures and take some risks.
  • Get honest feedback: Ask for 360-degree feedback from close colleagues, friends and family.


Get to know others better

  • Build a rich picture of your environment: Do not view others as one-dimensional. Find out about people's backgrounds, families obsessions etc.
  • Remove barriers between yourself and others: Selectively show a weakness or vulnerability that reveals your approachability to those who directly report to you.
  • Empathise passionately with your people: Care deeply about the work your people do.
  • Let others know what's unique and authentic about them: Give people feedback that acknowledges and validates their origins.


Connect better with the school's context

  • Get the distance right: Be wary of creating the wrong first impressions. Use both your sense of self and your understanding of your origins to connect with, or separate yourself, from others.
  • Sharpen your social antennae: Seek out foreign assignments and other experiences to help you detect the subtle social clues that may spell the difference between your success and failure in attracting followers.
  • Honour deeply held values and social mores: You are unlikely to make connections by riding roughshod over a culture's strongly held beliefs.
  • Develop your resilience: You will inevitably experience setbacks when you expose yourself to new contexts and cultures. Prepare yourself by learning about and understanding your own values.

Source: Goffee and Jones, 2005, p89

Differences in leadership

                                    Educational leadership

                                                                                        

Much of the last section applied research into business leaders to the context of schools because where there has been discussion about leadership and management in schools, most of it has focused on teacher-leaders and leadership for learning (instructional leadership). Thus instructional leaders focus on the core activities of the school or college such as curriculum, learning and teaching, and monitoring learning. As Aspinwall and Pedlar suggest (1997), such leaders are committed to:

  • life-long learning for all
  • collaborative learning that uses conflict and difference creatively and positively
  • developing an understanding of the whole school
  • developing strong external and community relationships

                    

John Novak (2002, p4) suggests that:

educational leadership is inherently an ethical activity because its vision and articulation, and process for enrolling others in that vision, seek to make an improvement in individual and collective learning experiences.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

Novak goes on to extend the discussion to include invitational educational leadership, which focuses on the messages that are sent by the five Ps (that is, people, places, policies, programmes and processes) with the aim of making schools the most educationally inviting place in town.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

The five Ps

People

Every person in the school is an emissary for the school; therefore invitational educational leadership depends on creating, sustaining and enjoying positive interpersonal relationships. There is a sense that everybody is doing the right things in the right way for the right reasons.

Places to care

Powerful messages can be sent by the environment of the school. Facilities that are not cared for send out messages that no one cares and no one is in charge. Information signs that give orders can be perceived as uninviting and perhaps even suggest that people are not welcome in the school.

Principled policies

An inviting school invites people to participate in its vision, strategy and codes of practice. A fair, inclusive, democratic and respectful policy development process will result in an inviting educational community.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Programmes

Both curricular and extra-curricular programmes should encourage active and meaningful engagement with others and with knowledge.

Processes

Productive processes are about the way in which the previous four Ps are operationalised. In other words, the tone, feel and flavour of the school are important. Just think about a recent change made in your school. Was it inclusive and democratic? Was there a feeling that everyone was taking part in something that was done for the right reasons? Did everyone talk about the change in a positive way when communicating with other school stakeholders? If the answer to any of these questions is 'no', just think how much more enjoyable the whole process could have been if a different approach had been taken.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

A continuum of leadership                                                        

Dimmock and Walker (2005) agree that leadership, management and decision-making processes are at the heart of school leadership and suggest that there are four elements in schooling:

  • organisational structures
  • leadership, management and decision-making processes
  • curriculum
  • teaching and learning                                                                                                                                                                             

These four elements clearly include activities, areas of responsibility and considerations that directly affect the role of the school business manager.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Differences in leadership

                                                            

Dimmock and Walker's discussion of these four elements also explores the nature of principalship in schools, suggesting that role, position and power differ between schools and between systems. For example, some principals are little more than managers who act on behalf of the system or government, while others are powerful chief executives of autonomous units. This view of the school leader as government agent is also echoed by West-Burnham et al (2007) in their discussion of social capital in schools.                                                                                                                   In reality, there is a continuum of management and leadership based on autonomy of decision-making that echoes a continuum of leadership and group behaviour developed by Tannenbaum and Schmidt (1973).                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

New leadership qualities needed for the 21st century.

Maccoby (2004) claims that 'personality intelligence', which builds on emotional intelligence, and 'strategic intelligence', which focuses on systems thinking and practical intelligence, are the new leadership qualities needed for the 21st century. Most leaders exhibit a preference for one of these qualities, but both are important to strategy and visioning and to improving relationships, selecting talent and motivating and partnering other agencies effectively.

Strategies for improving personality and strategic intelligence include the following:

  • Developing the heart: This involves developing awareness of whether you protect your heart to avoid feeling vulnerable or being misled by your emotions. You may be aware that you detach yourself so that you are emotionally independent, or that you harden your heart in the pursuit of power, revenge or ideology. To move forward, the heart needs exercising. You would need to be willing to experience strong and painful feelings, and for example, not ignore the guilt you feel when making unpopular decisions, nor ignore the anger of those who are hurt.
  • Clearing the mind: This involves avoiding fantasy and escapism and not repressing uncomfortable feelings and perceptions. It may be difficult to admit to feeling uncomfortable, but discussions arising from such an admission are often the most productive because they bring out the deep issues that people normally try to bury.
  • Deep listening: This involves experiencing what you would feel and think if you weren't defending yourself from unpleasant thoughts and feelings. For example, there are times when we have instant negative reactions to people. Instead of exploring and dealing with them, we repress those feelings. This does not improve a bad relationship and we do not see the people for what they really are.
  • Listening and responding to others: This entails moving away from thinking about what others think about you towards making an effort to understand how others view things through their own lenses and responding accordingly.                                                
  • Systems thinking: This involves becoming sensitive to and understanding the links between global forces and local pressures, macro-policy and micro-implementation, social character and individual personality. This web of thinking enables a coherence of vision that cannot be achieved by making lists and trying to understand cause and effect.
  • Developing collaborative cultures: This involves building shared values and principles into all processes and measures so that they reinforce the purpose of the school. For example, it is easy to say that the child is at the centre of the school's purpose and then to focus on standards in response to school league tables or to allocate resources according to pressure groups within the school. This approach also requires team members to work together as equals, developing systems and processes that are responsive and productive and that are not based on formal rules and the power of the leader.                                                                     
  • Keep learning: New technologies, competition and political or environmental imperatives are never-ending. It is no longer possible for schools to remain stable and smooth running. Wishing for the world to stop and give us time for a breather is just not going to happen. Not only do we have to become comfortable with constant change, we have to learn and adapt to keep pace and preferably anticipate it. For most of us, a change in mindset is needed.

 Activity

Reviewing your personality intelligence and strategic intelligence

                                                                                                                                                                           

  • Look at the description of the strategies for improving personality and strategic intelligences in the bullet points above. Think about what this means for you as a leader and manager of the school's resources.
  • Then do some research to identify what is happening at the international and national level that you need to be aware of.
  • Complete the task by identifying five key policy initiatives from the last 18–24 months and considering what the impact of those initiatives will be on your organisation and on your thinking about your own role. The Guidance on the task is given below in the form of questions to think over:

What are your Policy initiative?

How does this affect you at school level? 

What would your systems thinking look like, and what does this mean for your own learning?


Unit 2: Organisational leadership

                                    Transformational leadership

                                                                                        

The concept of transformational leadership was developed by Bass and Avolio in 1994 from an idea proposed by Burns (1978). It is seen as the style most likely to:

offer a comprehensive approach to leadership that will help those in, and served by, current and future schools to respond productively to the significant challenges facing them

Leithwood et al, 1999, p21

As the name suggests, transformational leadership is a style that might be adopted when supporting and enabling change across the school.

Bass and Avolio (1994) suggested that four Is characterise transformational leadership. 


Idealised influence 

The needs of others are considered above the leader's own personal gain. High ethical standards and moral conduct are demonstrated. The leaders are regarded as role models who are emulated by their followers.

Inspirational motivation

Rich pictures are painted of the vision of the future, providing meaning that inspires followers.

Intellectual stimulation

The status quo is challenged, encouraging innovation and creativity. New ideas and approaches are encouraged, not criticised, even if they are different from those of the leader.

Individualised consideration:

The needs of each individual are considered, and mentoring and coaching are features of staff development in these schools.

Followership is the focus of this style of leadership, particularly because the school must embody the characteristics of a learning organisation. Such an approach is evidenced by a supportive climate in which individual differences are recognised and valued. Two-way communication is encouraged and interaction with followers is personalised such that the leader remembers previous conversations. In these schools, tasks are delegated but mentoring or coaching is offered if required. Professional learning communities would also be a feature of these schools.                     

There have been debates over this leadership approach that raise criticisms, or at the very least suggest that as a concept it is problematic. For example, the four Is are not distinct and they overlap (Tracey and Hinkin, 1998). We have already discussed in Unit 1 how you cannot simply put concepts into boxes. Life is complex, and categories are likely to overlap: we use theoretical models to help us to find a way of understanding and giving shape to the complexity but we also need to respect it.

Transformational leadership also seems to include elements of other leadership traits such as those of the charismatic leader (see Unit 1). Northouse (2001) argues, however, that transformational leadership is not a trait, it is a leadership behaviour and as such would include the use of a range of leadership traits as different approaches are used by the leader over time.

Perhaps the strongest criticism of transformational leadership is that it is elitist and not as democratic as might be assumed from the four Is (Avolio, 1999). Because the leader creates change, she or he is the one who is establishing direction. It is possible to create change using both participative and autocratic approaches, so once again there are likely to be different traits exhibited over time.

The previous two criticisms highlight the fact that transformational leadership can, potentially, be abused.

Transformational leadership is concerned with changing people's values and moving them to a new vision. But who is to determine if the new directions are good and more affirming? Who decides that a new vision is a better vision? If the values to which the leader is moving his or her followers are not better, and if the set of human values is not more redeeming, then the leadership must be challenged... transformational leadership puts the burden on individuals and organizations to be aware of how they are being influenced and in what direction they are being asked to go. (Northouse, 2001, p148)

The idealised view is, therefore, the development of a learning community that builds its own future based on the rich pictures developed and described by the leader.

Activity:

Consideration of transformational leadership 

Reread the four Is of transformational leadership, plus the information on the qualities and traits of leadership. 

Use these traits to consider how, when and where they might be used by the transformational leader.

Describe how your considerations inform your thinking about your own transformational leadership approach.

Moral Leadership

                                    Moral (or servant) leadership

                                                                                        

Moral or servant leaders believe that they must care for the institution. They see the school as a community that reflects core educational and moral values. School life publicly celebrates values that are clearly articulated by leaders who are likely to be concerned, first and foremost, with students, staff and the community and not their own high profile.

The term 'servant leadership' was reintroduced into leadership thinking by Greenleaf (1970). He suggested that this form of leadership begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve. Care is taken to see that other people's highest priority needs are met and the measure of success is that those who are served grow, and become healthier, wiser, freer and more autonomous. His approach resonates strongly with school business managers who often talk about giving their services to the school.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

It has been suggested that the most difficult aspects of servant leadership are:

  • consistency
  • living it and living it now
  • trust
  • sacrifice and patience
  • persuasion
  • helping yourself and others to grow
  • teaching others that it is a privilege and an honour to serve

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

This alternative leadership perspective has been discussed by Professor Ron Everett of Northern Illinois University, who suggests that school business management is one of those professions that, like servant leadership, should be invisible if it is carried out expertly, like the oil that keeps machinery running smoothly (Everett et al, 1996).

Staff working in schools led by servant leaders will feel very comfortable if they espouse the same values. They feel committed because they are backed by someone who thinks as they do. If you work in such a school it is likely to:

  • be tightly focused
  • have high self-esteem
  • produce good academic results
  • generate social capital that binds individuals and communities together

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

However, there are downsides. In particular, the focus on values and community can exclude people with different values who might otherwise have contributed strongly to the school. There is also a strong possibility that local considerations will compete with national ones, resulting in conflict between national priorities and perceived school-based needs. The school leader might then see the community's needs as paramount. Problems you might expect to encounter include:

  • not being clear whether what the community wants is what the community needs
  • facing issues when what the community wants is not ethical
  • dealing with conflicting priorities between the school and its community and government policy

Activity:

Now reflect on the aspects of servant leadership. How does it resonate with your own leadership style? Describe how your considerations inform your thinking about your own leadership approach.

Managerial, participative and contingent leadership

                                    Managerial (or transactional) leadership

                                                                                        

There are some overlaps in each of the other leadership styles we have discussed, but managerial or transactional leadership is the only style that stands apart. The approach emphasises the technical and functional aspects of leadership. If you work in a school that is led in this way, you are likely to find that it is very bureaucratic and hierarchical, with the belief that social systems work best with a clear chain of command. Structures and procedures are important. Managerial leaders run schools by rules and targets and as such are easily aligned with the government's standards and accountability approach (Dimmock and Walker, 2005; West-Burnham et al, 2007).

Managerial leaders reduce the professionalism of staff. If you adopt this approach, be aware that you negotiate an exchange of service; a negotiation of one thing for another (Handy, 1987). When staff have agreed to do a job, part of the deal is that they cede all authority to you as their manager. You also assume that people are motivated by reward and punishment. The table below lists some of the characteristics of the managerial leadership approach.

Examples of managerial leadership and exchange 

Beauchamp College in Oadby, a suburb of Leicester, is a high-performing upper school and community college that has developed extended services by working with a wide range of partners. It works closely with primary schools, and agencies such as social services, local businesses and voluntary groups. The college encourages its students to take an active role in voluntary work and in deciding how the college is run. Students are also involved in the college's leadership team and play a part in appointing staff.

Value exchange

Exchange is a game of balance. I help you then you help me then I help you, and so on.

What we exchange is not so much distinct things as perceived value. If I have something that I do not value very highly but you do, then it is a useful thing for exchange.

Exchanges are not necessarily financial or physical in nature. Emotional exchanges, which we use a great deal of the time, can be of surprising value: a simple thanks is all many want for much of their hard work on behalf of others.

Trust = delayed exchange

A simple definition of 'trust' is 'delayed exchange'. I will do something for you today without asking for something in return. I trust that you will repay the favour at some time in the future.

Social pressure

Breaking the exchange principle in a group can be a heinous crime, punishable by ostracising or even expulsion. The fear of such penalties is more than enough to keep many people on the straight and narrow.

The bank account

Exchange is like a bank account. Sometimes I put things in, sometimes I take things out. I can thus invest in helping others today so I know I can call on them in my hour of need.Social capital

The idea of social capital is that when there is a high level of trust within a social group, then we will help people we do not know, in the confident knowledge that others whom we do not know will also help us. It is as if we all have one big joint bank account where we can all make deposits and withdrawals.

The golden rule

The golden rule is 'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you'.

Upsetting the balance

Exchange rules are based on long-term relationships, where the balance of exchange evens out over time. However, we are programmed by these rules to the point where we will obey them even in short-term and low-trust exchanges.

Give and take

If I give you something, there is a social rule that says I can ask you for pretty much anything in exchange.

Number versus quantity

If I do three things for you and you do something of equivalent value all in one go, does that make us even? Unfortunately not. The equations of exchange are not that linear. We often confuse quantity of occurrences with quantity of time or quality of activity.

Effects of managerial leadership

If you were to use a managerial leadership approach, you would negotiate a contract in the early stages that would give staff a salary and other benefits in exchange for granting the school (and by implication the leader) authority over them. When the managerial leader allocates work to a staff member, the staff member is considered to be fully responsible for it, whether or not he or she has the resources or capability to carry it out.

When things go wrong, the staff member is considered to be personally at fault, and is punished for his or her failure (just as they are rewarded for succeeding). In this approach, according to Wells (1997), the following principles apply.                                                                          

  • People begin to feel they are interchangeable with machinery.
  • People feel that all decisions are based on the work with little or no concern for their welfare.
  • Work becomes stressful and employee dissatisfaction and turnover increases.
  • Little or no attention is given to the development of individuals.
  • Insufficient thought is aimed at long-term strategic planning.
  • Work becomes increasingly habitual as there is insufficient emphasis on maintaining flexibility to meet the changing needs of pupils and stakeholders or changing capability of competitors.
  • Movement of the school guided by core values toward a vision is lost

The managerial leader also often uses management by exception, working on the principle that if something is operating to a defined (and hence expected) performance, then it does not need attention. Performance above expectation is praised and rewarded, while some kind of corrective action is applied for performance below expectation. In contrast with transformational leadership, which adopts a selling style, managerial leadership, once the contract is in place, is characterised by a telling style. Hence, the prime purpose of a member of staff is to do what the manager tells him or her to do, and staffing structures are composed of five groups, organised hierarchically, which is a structure familiar in many schools:                   

  • Strategic apex: headteacher and leadership team.
  • Middle line: middle teaching managers who control the operating core.
  • Operating core: those that teach.
  • Technostructure: support staff not in the main work flow, for example those who plan or evaluate.
  • Support staff: those providing vital but indirect support.

Managerial leadership was a recognised approach when organisations were stable, but in the current complex and changing environment, it is increasingly seen as an inadequate model. Generating commitment to change has become an essential function of leadership, where the leader works with followers to provide a vision and the means of achieving it. You will have noticed that managerial leadership does not touch the deeper levels of staff motivation, bound up with beliefs and culture that are found in transformational and moral leadership. However, as with the coercive or pacesetting approaches described in Unit 1, managerial leadership has a place when time is at a premium.

Participative leadership         

Participative, delegated, shared or distributed leadership is not a new idea (Elmore, 2000). It essentially shares leadership across the organisation. It is the antithesis of the lone leader described in Tannenbaum and Schmidt's (1973) continuum (as shown in the image below). Participative leadership exemplifies the right-hand side of the image, where followers have the freedom and authority to make informed decisions. The continuum could be criticised for being oversimplified, but it does provide a framework for discussing where decision-making authority lies.

The emergence of distributed leadership

During recent decades, a particular form of participative leadership has achieved widespread acceptance in education. This is known as 'distributed leadership' and it brings together a number of ideas about how schools should be led. These ideas represent a shift along the continuum above towards the right, and they concern new structures, cultures and ways of being. Bennett et al's (2003) review of distributed leadership outlines a number of approaches to the notion of spreading leadership outwards from the headteacher.                                                                               

These approaches were:

  • new formal positional leaders – such as advanced skills teachers, higher level teaching assistants and school business managers
  • recognition of more informal, bottom-up approaches – such as fluid leadership, ad hoc interest groups and working parties
  • recognition that leadership emerges in an organised human system such as a school and that there is a need to embrace conflict resolution as well as team-building approaches during the negotiation of leadership roles                                                                       

Although there were, and are, some who question the worth of distributed leadership (Harris, 2004; Gunter 2005), there is a growing body of evidence in support of this leadership approach (Spillane, 2006; Harris 2008). Bell, Bolam and Cubillo (2002, 4) argue that

distributed forms of leadership among the school staff [are] likely to have a more significant impact on the positive achievement of student/pupil outcomes than that which is exclusively top down.                                                                                                                                                      

Coles and Southworth (2005, 162) suggest that the case for distributed leadership is that it builds capacity and is based on:

  • a belief in leadership teams; the power of one gives way to the power of many
  • a requirement for leaders to respond to the complexity of schools by developing leadership capacity in others
  • the need to grow tomorrow’s leaders through the creation of a pool of talented leaders

                                                                                                     

Contingent leadership

Contingent leadership relates to the situation in which leaders find themselves. The best-known theory of how leaders operate according to context is Hersey and Blanchard's (1988) situational leadership that described leadership behaviour in response to the capability of staff. Further contingent factors might be motivation, the relationship between followers and the leader, or even the particular situation the organisation finds itself in.                                                  

As Mayo and Nohria (2005) suggest:

A leader's long-term success isn't derived from sheer force of personality or breadth and depth of skill. Without an ability to read and adapt to changing business conditions, personality and skill are but temporal strengths.

Mayo and Nohria, 2005, p45                                                                             

If your situational awareness is limited, your perception of your staff or the school's situation will affect what you do rather than the truth of the situation. Your perception of yourself and other factors such as stress and mood will also modify your behaviour. Yukl (1989) identified six variables that affect the organisation's performance and that leaders should be aware of.

These are as follows:

  • The more motivated your staff are, the greater the effort they will expend.
  • Performance will improve if followers know what to do and how to do it, so clarify your expectations and put a development programme in place.
  • Consider the optimum structure of the work and utilisation of resources to improve performance – a historical structure may no longer be viable under modern conditions.
  • Collaboration and teamwork provide focus and improve the culture in the school.
  • Have clarity about the availability of resources and support in terms of tools, materials, people and so on.
  • Encourage collaboration with other groups within and outside the school.

There are many contextual influences that affect the performance of a school and its leader. For example:

  • changes in government policy
  • the shifting role of the local authority
  • the community within which your school is set
  • the phase and type of your school
  • the quality of the school(s) into or from which your pupils feed                                     

Therefore, to address contextual considerations, we often need to balance competing demands. The greatest impact on schools and on your own role can be achieved when the particular needs of your own organisation are recognised over external pressure at the local or national level.

      

 Activity:


11: Your school's context             

Consider the context in which your school is operating.                       

  • How is leadership manifested in the school?
  • Which styles do your school leaders exhibit?
  • How appropriate are they are to your school's situation?
  • How might you change your own leadership style to respond more effectively to the changing educational landscape?

    

New approaches to leadership

The report on leadership by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC, 2007) describes five approaches to leadership in schools that the authors found in their research.

These approaches echo the styles we have just been thinking about. They progress from historic leadership styles that look inward to the school, to approaches that are responding to the complexity of the educational environment.

Take some time to read through the image below, considering each of the statements.


All the 4 points in the diagram have been dealt with in detail:

Traditional leadership                                

Traditional models of leadership as defined in the PwC study are those in which the leadership team includes only qualified teachers, usually the headteacher supported by deputy and/or assistant heads. This model is common in the primary sector, but is also found still in secondary and special schools.

Some benefits of this model are:

  • a clear structure
  • a focus on teaching and learning
  • distinct lines of accountability
  • reassurance for parents and the wider community

Most headteachers operate within this model. However, they may have a poor work life balance, feel pressurised by extreme levels of accountability and have less time for strategic planning because they are mired in the operational.

It is unlikely, given the current workload levels reported by headteachers, that this model will be sustainable in the future.

 Managed leadership

                                                                                        

In managed models, leadership has been adapted to include senior support staff or to introduce more innovative working practices (Figure 9). This is an approach found more often in the secondary sector. Co-headship is a subset of this managed model, either as a job share or a joint headship arrangement.

The managed leadership approach includes elements of participative leadership, as leadership is distributed to a greater extent, leading to improvements in staff motivation, greater capacity in the senior leadership team and more opportunities for succession planning. Constraints include the problems of existing contractual arrangements for senior support staff, a lack of resources in some schools to expand the leadership team, and, in some cases, the existing school culture.

Multi-agency leadership

                                                                                        

The multi-agency approach is a variation of the managed model. There is greater diversity in the senior leadership team in response to multi-agency work, and a more diverse workforce on the school site. There are many ways in which the leadership team can be structured within this model, particularly if there is a co-located children's centre.

Chief executives working with other lead practitioners are found in multi-agency models. Some benefits are:

  • greater access to a range of support services for families
  • improved pupil wellbeing
  • motivation
  • smoother transitions between home and school for young people

Some possible constraints are:

  • uncertainty about who is accountable
  • problems relating to working with a more diverse workforce on the school site
  • sustainability of some initiatives in terms of funding
  • concerns regarding building and premises management


The federated Approach:

The federated approach to leadership is characterised by collaboration among schools and sometimes among schools and other providers. In 2006, almost one-tenth of headteachers reported some sort of formal federation arrangement (PwC, 2006). Most schools reported informal collaborations with other schools, but a significant minority of primary schools are not involved in any form of collaboration.

Formal federations can be organised in a number of ways. Schools may:

  • adopt a whole-town approach by creating an overarching strategic governing body
  • establish an executive head or chief executive posts to oversee several schools
  • share middle leaders and consultant teachers
  • federate with colleges of further education or work-based learning providers 


Activity:

How would these 4 approaches help you to develop your leadership? 


Successful Leadership

The review of literature into effective school leadership by Leithwood et al (2006) suggests that seven claims can be made about successful school leadership.

  1. School leadership is second only to classroom teaching as an influence on pupil learning.
  2. Almost all successful leaders draw on the same basic repertoire of leadership practices:
  • building vision and setting direction
  • understanding and developing people
  • redesigning the organisation
  • managing the teaching and learning programme

3. The ways in which leaders apply these basic leadership practices, not the practices themselves, demonstrate responsiveness to the contexts in which they work.

4. School leaders improve teaching and learning indirectly through their influence on staff motivation, commitment and working conditions.                                                                  

5. School leadership has a greater influence on schools and students when it is widely distributed.

6. Some patterns of distribution are more effective than others.

7. A small handful of personal traits explain a high proportion of the variation in leadership effectiveness. These traits are:

  • open-mindedness and readiness to learn from others
  • flexibility rather than dogmatism in thinking within a system of core values
  • persistency – for example in pursuit of high expectations of staff motivation, commitment, learning and achievement for all
  • resilience
  • optimism

These seven claims go some way towards informing the debate about leadership in schools but they should also be considered in the context of systems leadership, which Hopkins (2007) has suggested is the key to every school becoming a great school.

Personalised learning

The school's aim is that each child should reach her or his potential and that achievement be articulated in terms of both standards and learning capability. This approach should raise standards and reduce the range of performance and so narrow the gap between the lowest and highest performers. Consider the work you did in the module on enabling learning, is this still relevant in your educational setting?

Professional teaching

To enable children to reach their potential, there should be four components in place:

  • a repertoire of teaching and learning strategies
  • appropriate organisation of the curriculum content
  • the management of learning behaviour
  • appropriate assessment for learning

Networks and collaboration

Strategies to achieve the components of professional teaching include:

  • collaborative planning that focuses on student learning outcomes
  • staff development that improves classroom practice
  • consistent use of data, enquiry and reflection
  • the involvement of students in their learning

Intelligent accountability

What are the key policy initiatives that the current government agendas are focusing upon and how do these affect your learning organisation? Intelligent accountability is a mix of internal and external accountability measures.

The suggestion is that the best schools might be responding to government policy, but that they always address changes by starting with the child or young person at the centre and the impact on her or his learning.                                                                                                                  

These schools:

  • adapt external change for internal purpose
  • use external standards to clarify and raise their own standards
  • benefit from models of best practice
  • focus on teaching and learning when adapting and integrating government policy


Activity

Managing change                                                                                                                    

Identify a policy change that your school will soon be working towards. Using the four areas identified by Hopkins (2007) as contributing to school improvement to inform your thinking. Consider how you can play a part in:

  • building vision and setting direction
  • understanding and developing people
  • redesigning the organisation
  • managing the teaching and learning programme

Unit 3: Leading & Following

In Units 1 and 2, we discussed different approaches to thinking about leadership and explored how leadership attributes and skills are evolving in response to the changing educational landscape. We also mentioned other staff in schools and systems and explored your own role in supporting headteachers. Unit 3 now continues the discussion of the relationship between leaders and their staff by considering the role of staff as followers. In particular it explores:

  • the leader-follower dance
  • types of following (we can call this 'followership')
  • dealing with difficult people
  • conflict management

Leading and following as a dance

                                                            

In Unit 1, we discussed the difference between leaders and managers and suggested that although the leader usually develops the school's vision and culture and the manager interprets these into systems and processes, in reality, the distinction is not so clear-cut. An aspect we have not explored is how staff might respond to a leadership or management approach.

The term 'manager' implies having subordinates who expect you to set targets and detail how these targets will be met (as discussed in Unit 2). At its most extreme, the relationship is similar to that of a parent and child where the parent (manager) uses knowledge and skills to support the development of the child (staff member) to ensure that tasks are completed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

This approach is probably best summarised in this quotation from a curriculum manager discussing the hierarchical approach taken in her school:

Management does seem to dominate and formally my job is to work with staff to make sure that they are doing what they are supposed to be doing in terms of hours and paperwork.

(Aiello et al, 2008, 7)

Leaders, on the other hand, must, by definition, have followers. If you are a leader you need to be aware that following is a voluntary position. Therefore, leadership motivation is very different from management motivation, as followers may choose to cease following at any time. Leadership requires paying close attention to those who follow you to ensure that they are committed to working with you. Once their buy-in decreases, it is difficult to get people motivated again.

Activity:

What insights do these reflections provide for your own approach as a leader?

Leading and following as a closed system

Leading and following are complex interactions where smooth movement on the surface may conceal an underlying and perhaps unconscious effort to share understanding and develop awareness of position within the school. Most of the time there would be small shifts in the leader-follower relationship as it develops and deepens, but this complex interaction can become more turbulent when a change is introduced to the school.

Look at the figure in the following section:


Figure shows how the leader-follower relationship evolves and adjusts in the face of change. For example, if you as leader implement a change such as reorganising the office in response to a new policy initiative (Point 1 in Figure 12), your behaviour will prompt a response from your followers who will be concerned about how this change will affect them (Point 2).

They will voice their concerns to one another so that they can explore the issues affecting them and ascertain whether others feel as they do. It might be some time before they let you, as their leader, know that they are concerned. You might not be aware that there is a problem if you are not sensitive to your followers' signals to each other or do not notice that they are anxious. If you do not hear the rumours, then you should most definitely notice changes in behaviour. If you do not respond, or pre-empt this behaviour, your followers will leave you. It is important, therefore, to notice the reactions of your followers to change (Point 3).                                                                                                                                                                            

Are your followers concerned because of:

  • What you are saying: has your message changed and they do not know why?
  • What you are doing: perhaps what you say does not equate to what you do.
  • External change you are imposing on your school's or department's values and culture.

When you know where there might be a problem and understand why it is happening, you can do something about it. As a leader, you need to have conversations with your followers to understand the problem (Point 4), then adjust your behaviour according to what they are saying and doing (Point 5). If done effectively, this will bring them back on board (Point 6). And so it goes on, when you introduce the next change. This virtuous circle is called a closed system, with followers responding to leaders, who themselves adjust in response to this.

So why do we call it a dance?

Leading and following can be described as an ongoing dance because there is dynamic interplay between leaders and followers as they closely monitor each other's behaviour and respond accordingly, a bit like starlings flocking on a summer's evening.         

It is not a set piece and, at times, it may be unclear who is actually leading or how give and take, or influence and motivation, are balanced. There is, therefore, an emphasis on professional interaction where strategic and practical goals are achieved through negotiation rather than direction.

Activity:

Having read the chapter, how do feel when you reflect upon your own leadership experience in context of leading & following?

Reasons for following:

Perhaps if we can understand why people follow leaders, we can understand the environment that is needed for effective leading and following. We know that people do not just follow anyone. They have to be persuaded that it will be in their interest. So, if you are seeking to lead people, it is helpful to understand why they will follow you.

The five most common reasons are listed in the table opposite. Note how they start off as negative and become more positive.

Reason

If I do not follow, I might lose my job.

We must do something. I hope this works.

What a great person; if anyone knows the answer, he/she does.

What a good idea. That makes real sense.

What a brilliant idea. I don't care who thought of it.

Motivator

Fear

Fear and hope

Inspiration


Logic

Vision

Let us look at the analysis of the key motivators

"If I do not follow, I might lose my job," = Following out of fear is not so much following as being pulled along. The leader in such cases is using coercive (push) methods that work only as long as the follower sees no other choice.

Fear is not the tool of effective leaders (and certainly not ethical leaders). At best, fear-based approaches gain weak commitment and need constant attention lest the follower freezes or flees (see Unit 1, Table 4).

"We must do something. I hope this works." = In this case, the follower is desperate for a solution and the leader is offering either the only option they can see, or the best of a weak set of choices. The follower is thus not so much following out of agreement but from a lack of alternatives. Leaders should watch out for hopeful followers, who are likely to be disappointed and disillusioned if a less than perfect outcome ensues, or will transfer loyalty to others who give them more hope.

"What a great person. If anyone knows the answer, he (or she) does."

In this situation, the follower is blind to the solution but is following because they have faith in the leader providing the answer. Once again, hope is the motivator but there is also an element of inspiration.

The leader might disappoint, but at least there is more commitment, and failure is more likely to lead to followers accepting situational explanations rather than pointing out inadequacies in the leader's capabilities. So for example, failure might be blamed on a lack of resources rather than poor deployment of those resources by the leader.

"What a good idea. That makes real sense." = Here, the follower understands the logic of the argument that the leader is putting forward and hence is following the rationale rather than the leader as a person, whom they may respect but are not blindly following.

This level of following is typical of people who need to understand the reasons why things happen. They may also have emotional commitment, but this typically comes only after the person has accepted the idea based on the reasoning behind it.

"What a brilliant idea. I don't care who thought of it." = 

When people buy into a vision, they are not following the leader but are emotionally closing on a view of the future that is appealing to them in some way. The logic of how they will get to the vision is something they are happy to put off until a later date.

Vision has been a common feature of most of the leadership styles discussed in Unit 2, so it is not surprising that it is a remarkably effective motivator. But vision is only effective as a motivator if it can be sustained over time. It is one thing to have a vision and quite another to keep going during the difficult days that are typical of the journey to reach it.

Activity

Feelings about following:                                                                                                                                                                          

There are many reasons to follow. Think about some of the leaders you have followed and decide why you chose to do so. You may well find that you had a different reason each time.

Why continue to follow the leader?

Why continue to follow the leader?

                                                            

Now we are beginning to understand the reasons why people choose to follow their leaders. But why do they continue to follow after making that choice? Research by Kouzes and Posner (2007) investigated the leadership attributes that followers valued. Kouzes and Posner developed the leadership practices inventory, which was used to ask 75,000 people over 20 years, which, from a list of seven characteristics of leaders, were the things that they would look for, admire and willingly follow. The results of the study are itemised, in order, in the table opposite.

You can see that attributes that promote trust and engagement are most important. From this, we can extrapolate five overarching characteristics that together embody the 20 characteristics. They are:

  • trust
  • ideas
  • respect
  • liking
  • support

Followers' preferred characteristics for their leaders

1. Honest                          2. Supportive                3. Courageous                      4. Forward looking     

5. Straightforward        6. Caring                         7. Competent                        8. Dependable     

9. Mature                         10. Inspiring                  11. Co-operative                   12. Loya

l3. Intelligent                 14. Determined              15. Self-controlled              16. Fair-minded     

17. Imaginative              18. Independent             19. Broad-minded               20. Ambitious


 Activity

Evaluating characteristics of leaders

Before we go on to explore these overarching characteristics in more detail, consider the followers' preferred characteristics and identify the seven that you value most (you might find it easier to cross out those you value least until seven remain).                         

Then put these characteristics in order of priority from one to seven, and think about your own attributes:

  • Do you display the attributes you value most?
  • How might you need to change your behaviour?

Think about a leader you are or were not willing to support fully.

  • Does this understanding of attributes help you understand your relationship with them?
  • If so, explain why.

Followers and trust

We all have a basic need for safety, which we can get either by taking control ourselves, or, as followers do, by ceding this to our leaders. In doing so, we trust our leaders to take reasonable care of our needs. Therefore trust is the principal prerequisite for followers. People will always follow leaders they trust, and conversely, where there is no trust, there will be no true followers. Trust is a fundamental basis for leadership. If there is one simple rule you should stick to as a leader, it is: 'Do what you say. Keep your promises'.

This means that you must be very careful when making promises. It can be convenient to promise something in the short-term to gain commitment, but if you break that promise you will find that the commitment will not be forthcoming the next time. So, for example, if you promise your staff a training day in response to a new initiative and then tell them that the pressure of work has prevented you from organising it, they may support you this time, but next time they will not believe you and you will find it harder to get them to commit to the change you are trying to effect.

 There can be problems with honesty that you should be aware of too, particularly in the short-term.

Telling the truth can be painful. It might even demonstrate, in the first instance, that you are less competent than you want to appear. However, if you always tell the truth, and give bad news that others might hide, then followers know that when you say something, they have the complete story.

Effective leaders are truthful, and do not shy away from giving bad news.

Followers and ideas

You can see from the list of preferred characteristics that people will follow ideas. Someone who is forward-looking and inspiring can usually take their staff with them. However, ideas should not be confused with objectives, especially those that are presented as fixed instructions that tell people what to do and how to do it in so much detail that it leaves little to the imagination. People will meet the objective, but will not want to follow you because you are preventing them from thinking independently. Remember that your objective is to motivate your followers, not put them in a situation that might lead to reserved compliance or outright rebellion.     

Even when not so tightly constrained, objectives are a management tool rather than something that leaders rely on as a primary source of motivation. However, there are still ways in which objectives can be used to motivate. Leaders can make effective use of formal systems of objective-setting to challenge, stimulate and motivate people not only to do the work but also to follow them. The most effective approach is to make the objectives broad enough and with enough scope to allow your staff to feel a sense of excitement and challenge. If they are faced with a challenging objective and given just enough resources to do the job, they will be motivated to accept the challenge and will feel a strong sense of achievement when it is completed.

 Activity

Building motivation to meet objectives      

Think about a time when you or your staff had problems with or resisted meeting an objective.     

Consider the causes of the problems or the reasons underlying the resistance.

  • Do you think that a different leadership approach might have facilitated the change?
  • If so, which one?
  • How would it have helped?


Followers and support

Where the personal goals of followers are aligned with the direction that the leader is pointing to, then it seems like a good idea to follow the leader, especially if it looks as if he or she will be able to help followers to get where they want to be. If you all seem to be heading in the same direction and want roughly the same thing, then it makes sense to work together. Leaders should, therefore, take time to understand the personal goals of their followers and find a way of gently shifting or reframing their own and the followers' goals so that they align.

If goals are already aligned, it makes sense for leaders to support followers. It can also be a good idea to provide support for other goals that both demonstrate care and set up an exchange: if you give me support, I will, in return, support you.

Leaders may actively or passively demonstrate care for their followers. In the passive mode, choices are avoided that might harm followers so that trust in you is built. You should constantly be aware of how your actions affect people and at the very least seek to 'do no harm'. If you take an active approach to care, you take deliberate action to look after and care for your followers. Leaders who demonstrate active concern for the people around them trigger reciprocal concern: if you look after me, I will look after you.

The path-goal theory of leadership (House and Mitchell, 1974) was developed to describe the way that leaders can encourage and support their followers in achieving the goals they have been set by making the path that they should take clear and easy. Leaders provide support by:

  • clarifying the path so that subordinates know which way to go
  • removing roadblocks that are stopping them getting there
  • increasing the rewards along the route

As a leader, you can take a strong or limited approach to these ways of offering support. In clarifying the path, you may be directive or give vague hints. In removing roadblocks, you may clear the path or help the follower move the bigger blockages. In increasing rewards, you may give occasional encouragement or pave the way with gold.                                                                                                                                                                    

This variation in approach is dependent on the situation, the follower's capability and motivation, and the difficulty of the job. Hence, the more difficult the route, the more the leader will need to clear the path and point the way forward.

Considering the needs of the follower, showing concern for their welfare and creating a friendly working environment are all ways of providing support and increasing the follower's self-esteem.

This approach is particularly effective when the work is stressful, boring or hazardous.

Followers and liking

There is a link between following and liking:

"If I do not like you, then I will not follow you. But if I like you (or at least respect you) then I will pay attention to you."

However, there are different characteristics that followers will assess when judging whether they like their leader.

Select the likeability characteristics to learn about them.

Values

People with similar values share the same social rules and judge each other according to those values. At the same time, similar values encourage people to feel that they are in the same social group. They say "I am like you" and hence "I like you".

Effective leaders understand the values of their followers and, at the very least, avoid breaking them wherever possible.

Similarity

We use external similarity as a short-cut to determine whether a person is like us on the inside. So, if you seem to be like me, from the clothes you wear or the way you speak, to the common experiences we have shared, then I will like you and trust you.

Most effective leaders have the common touch that lets them speak to others in their own language, as an equal.

Vulnerability

Leaders who appear perfect do not seem to be like us, and so we will distance ourselves from them. Consequently, those who demonstrate vulnerability show themselves to be human, just like us, so we will follow them.

The exception is when vulnerability is in an area that may threaten us or appears to prevent the leader from leading effectively.

Activity

Leaders and likeability     

The analysis above suggests that we are more ready to follow leaders who are ‘likeable’. It links this to three characteristics defining our relationship as followers to the leader: common values, common styles and perceived vulnerability.

                        

Think of a leader you have strong liking for, or one you strongly dislike. Consider each of the three likeability characteristics.

  • What it is about each aspect that has produced your reaction?

Then think about the link between likeability and effectiveness as a leader.

  • Can you only follow those you like?
  • What are the dangers of basing followship on likeability?

Followers and respect

When a leader is respected, they are, at the very least trusted and probably, but not always, liked as well. This enables them to make proposals that followers will take seriously. Followers, however, will not follow blindly. They will evaluate the situation and decide whether to collaborate. During this process, they judge both the leader and the solution the leader is proposing.

This evaluative process is described in the table opposite, where weak, neutral and strong respect for the leader is aligned with weak, neutral and strong respect for the solution.


Respect for the solution

If respect for the leader is strong, then followers are likely to accept the solution blindly, even if they are not wholly convinced by the arguments that the leader is putting forward. When the solution is respected, then respect for the leader is not as important, although followers may doubt the ability of the leader to make the right choices along the way.

Blind hope occurs when followers believe in the solution but feel they need to cross their fingers and hope that the leader will not make mistakes. If the leader and the solution are not respected, then people will follow only if they see no other viable choice. Otherwise they will oppose the leader outright or leave.

As one school business manager was quoted in Wood et al, 2007:

Respect for the individual comes from the head. What would force me to leave the school? A head who does not respect me.

(School business manager cited in Wood et al, 2007, 83)

The best outcome, of course, is that both the leader and the solution are respected, as is the case when powerful buy-in is achieved.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          


Power play in leading and following

Abraham Zaleznik (1965) described an early follower model based on the two dimensions of:

  • submission and control
  • activity and passivity

Controlling followers want to control their superiors, while submissive followers want to be told what to do. Active followers initiate and intrude, while passive ones sit back and let things happen.

Both these relationship approaches imply a preoccupation with power and influence, although Handy (1993) suggests that power is only effective if the relationship between leader and follower is mutually understood. Influence, on the other hand, is more subtle, particularly in education where persuasion is viewed as the most effective route for professional cultures to exchange ideas and practices.

Handy describes power and influence as the interplay between the overt and the unseen, and suggests that understanding the sources of power and influence can help in playing the organisational power game. The table opposite describes methods of influence and sources of power.

We can see that these approaches do not consider the engagement and motivation of the follower and so are generally managerial in approach. It is no surprise, therefore, that a combination of Zaleznik's (1965) suggested behaviours and Law and Glover's (2000) results in followers who are:

  • impulsive
  • compulsive
  • masochistic
  • withdrawn

Methods of influence

Overt, open strategies

Force and/or coercion

Rules and procedures



Exchange and bargaining


Persuasion


Unseen, hidden strategies

Organisational ecology/environment

Source of power


Derives from physical or resource power.

Derives largely from position power: playing politics. This is an efficient way of getting results but could be damaging to relationships and trust.

Derives from any power source. Goes from friendship to negotiation to cajoling.

Derives from personal or expert power. This is the least value-laden and often the preferred approach.


This approach uses personal and expert power. It is open to abuse.



Following conceptualised as a style

                                    Five further follower styles

                                                                                        

In alternative to Zaleznik's approach we looked at in the previous topic is suggested by Robert Kelley (1992), who identified five different follower styles that progress from those who resist following to those who buy into following completely. Kelley's five styles are

  • alienated
  • passive
  • conformist
  • pragmatic
  • exemplary

Alienated followers are deep and independent thinkers who do not willingly commit to any leader.

Passive followers do as they are told but do not think critically and are not particularly active participants.

Conformists are more participative than passive followers, but do not provide particular challenge.

Pragmatic followers are middling in their independence, engagement and general contribution.

Exemplary followers are ideal in almost all ways, excelling at all tasks, engaging strongly with the group and providing intelligent yet sensitive support and challenge to the leader.

You may have noticed that Zaleznik's approach explores behaviours, while Kelley's focuses on the way followers think and how this affects the type of follower they are.     

Activity

On becoming a better follower                                                                                             

Zaleznik's typology identifies four extreme and unhelpful types of follower behaviour but it may be interesting to consider how, at times of stress, these behaviours might occur in a mild form in any of us.

Think of a leader you have found stressful to work with.

  • Have you resorted to any mild forms of Zaleznik's behaviours?   

Kelley's (1992) follower styles identify the exemplary style as an ideal.

  • How does your style of following match up to the exemplary style?
  • Which of Kelley's styles do you participate in, and when and why?
  • Are there particular situations where you and your organisation would benefit if you modified your follower style? If so, how would you modify it? What do you think the effect of that might be?                                •                                                                                                                                        


You might want to view 'Personal styles and effective performance' by Merrill and Reid (1981).                                                            

Analytical

Perfectionist

  • Prepare your case in advance.
  • Take your time but be persistent. Support their principles.
  • Cover all bases and do not leave things to chance. Draw up an action plan.
  • Be clear.
  • Avoid emotional arguments.
  • Follow through – do not break your word.

   

Amiable

People-people

  • Show respect, and do not patronise. Listen and be responsive. Be non-threatening.
  • Ask questions starting with 'how' to draw out their opinions.
  • Define what you want them to contribute to.

Expressive

Visionaries

  • Meet social needs while talking shop.
  • Talk about goals.
  • Take time.
  • Ask for their opinions and ideas.
  • Keep your eye on the big picture.
  • Support your point with examples involving people they know and respect.
  • Do not talk down to them. Show honest respect.

   

Driver

Action-oriented

  • Be brief and to the point.
  • Be prepared, know the requirements and the task. Present facts clearly and logically.
  • Ask specific questions.
  • Disagree with facts, not the person. Be courteous.
  • Persuade by citing objectives and results.

Becoming a good leader

You should now be aware that good leaders may appear to draw their followers effortlessly with them, but it is clear that it takes work both in understanding the context and in demonstrating sensitivity and empathy to the followers. Research is finding that followers are as responsible for organisational success as leaders, if not more so. Successful leaders depend on their followers to transform their vision into practice, while followers expect support and ideas from their leaders. The interaction is complex, and sensitivity and empathy are paramount.

Followers take their cue from their leader and will work to achieve goals as long as the leader follows four general principles.


Four general principles for good leaders

Model the way

This means leading from the front and living the behaviours you want others to adopt. People will believe not what they hear leaders say, but what they see leaders consistently do.

Inspire a shared vision

People are motivated most not by fear or reward, but by ideas that capture their imagination. Note that this is not so much about having a vision, but communicating it so effectively that others adopt it as their own.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

Enable others to act

Encouragement and exhortation are not enough. People must feel able to act and then must have the ability to put their ideas into action.

Encourage the heart

People act best of all when they are passionate about what they are doing. Leaders can unleash the enthusiasm of their followers with stories and passions of their own.

Unit 4: Developing as a professional and a leader

In Units 1–3, we learned about leadership, working with followers and other leaders, and some of the management skills that effective leaders have in their repertoire.

We also learned about the complexity of the school business manager's leadership role and how it will need to evolve in response to changing educational policy. The complexity of the role is compounded by school business management being a profession in the early stages of its evolution. This results in limited awareness of the role and its responsibilities, accountabilities and relationships and therefore affects the amount of support that is available. In particular, there is limited support from outside the profession.

It follows that school business managers will need to develop the skills to grow the profession from within and to supplement formal, off-the-job training from the National College and academic programmes.                  

Consequently, Unit 4 explores further skills for developing yourself and the profession. Unit 4 covers three main areas:

  • professional learning communities
  • consultancy as an alternative approach to professional competency
  • coaching and mentoring


Working in community

School business management is an evolving profession and as such dialogue between school business managers is an important element in establishing understanding of the role.

During a study into school business management, one participant asked: "Are there problems around financial management? Schools bury their heads. How are bursars creating the opportunity to network and get the information they need?" (quoted in Wood et al, 2007, 74). The same study also showed that SBM membership of professional associations is not as widespread as it could be.                                                                                                                                    

Despite the importance of professional dialogue, 61% of the school business managers who responded to a national questionnaire in 2006 indicated that they 'never' or 'seldom' contacted other bursars (ie, SBMs).

Nevertheless, they did recognise the need to communicate more often, since only 28% said they thought that 'working with other bursars' was not important or was only moderately important. Encouragingly, 34% thought that it was 'very important'.


                                    Professional learning communities

                                                                                        

According to Stoll, 1996, the term 'professional learning community' suggests "a group of people sharing and critically interrogating their practice in an ongoing, reflective, collaborative, inclusive, learning-oriented, growth-promoting way, and operating as a collective enterprise".

Once again, we can see that there is a benefit in engaging in professional dialogue that challenges the status quo and so enables development. Evidence also shows that being part of a professional learning community can have a positive impact on your work life, your learning and improvement in practice, as well as contributing to improvements in the school as an organisation.

You should always be aware, however, that professional learning communities are a means to an end. The ultimate outcome should be experienced by pupils, staff and school stakeholders.

Learning community

                                    Building a professional learning community

                                                                                        

A professional community will not normally build itself and there are processes to go through that will help ensure that the community is long lived.

The first consideration would be to develop a covenant based on a two-stage dialogue.


The two-stage dialogue

                                                            

Stage 1

Use your resources to make a considerable contribution towards developing a professional learning community. Some of these resources are often within the control of the community's members, even if that may initially not seem to be the case.

The human side of bringing about any change or development is also extremely important. Engaging in learning can be risky. It is not easy to open yourself up to participate in activities such as mutual enquiry, observation and feedback, mentoring partnerships and discussion about issues of school business management and innovation unless you are confident it is safe to do this.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

Trust is therefore a key condition and has been found in one study to be the strongest facilitator of professional communities, along with respect, mutual support, celebration of success and willingness to take risks. The first questions to ask are:

  • What will build the community?
  • What will tear it down?
  • What will support learning?
  • What will get in the way of learning?

Stage 2

Answering the questions in stage 1 will help to develop a set of values that contribute to establishing supportive conditions, particularly as the community will not be maintained without agreeing and enabling basic processes for decision-making, wellbeing and problem-solving. If these considerations are not addressed in the covenant, there is a strong chance the community will fail.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

The second set of questions to ask is:

  • How do you think members should behave towards each other to support individual and group learning?
  • What kinds of things should we agree we will not do inside or outside the circle?
  • What is essential to each person's sense of human belonging, support and growth as a person and as a professional?
  • How often should we review our learning covenant? Once the list of values has been developed, each item can be discussed and a consensus reached.

Learning community                  

                                    Building a professional learning community

A professional community will not normally build itself and there are processes to go through that will help ensure that the community is long lived.

The first consideration would be to develop a covenant based on a two-stage dialogue.

The two-stage dialogue

Stage 1

Use your resources to make a considerable contribution towards developing a professional learning community. Some of these resources are often within the control of the community's members, even if that may initially not seem to be the case.

The human side of bringing about any change or development is also extremely important. Engaging in learning can be risky. It is not easy to open yourself up to participate in activities such as mutual enquiry, observation and feedback, mentoring partnerships and discussion about issues of school business management and innovation unless you are confident it is safe to do this.                                                                                                                                     

Trust is therefore a key condition and has been found in one study to be the strongest facilitator of professional communities, along with respect, mutual support, celebration of success and willingness to take risks. The first questions to ask are:

  • What will build the community?
  • What will tear it down?
  • What will support learning?
  • What will get in the way of learning?                                                   

Stage 2

Answering the questions in stage 1 will help to develop a set of values that contribute to establishing supportive conditions, particularly as the community will not be maintained without agreeing and enabling basic processes for decision-making, wellbeing and problem-solving. If these considerations are not addressed in the covenant, there is a strong chance the community will fail.                                                                                                                                       

The second set of questions to ask is:

  • How do you think members should behave towards each other to support individual and group learning?
  • What kinds of things should we agree we will not do inside or outside the circle?
  • What is essential to each person's sense of human belonging, support and growth as a person and as a professional?
  • How often should we review our learning covenant? Once the list of values has been developed, each item can be discussed and a consensus reached.

If a professional learning community is properly set up, being part of it leads to a better understanding of others and the way others see you. Networking with colleagues in other schools provides crucial access to new ideas and everything should be considered an opportunity to learn. Approaches can include learning to question, self-evaluation and informing your practice by collecting evidence rather than just operating on gut feeling. There should also be a focus on embedding all the new knowledge created and acquired through these learning opportunities so that they become a regular and comfortable part of your everyday approach to school business management.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

Consequently, school business manager learning communities can be summed up as having the following characteristics:

  • sharing values and vision that focus on improving the support of learning and teaching
  • taking collective responsibility, as a profession, for supporting the learning of all pupils
  • engaging in reflective professional enquiry to deepen practice
  • co-operating through collaboration
  • using group and collective learning, as well as individual learning


This gives you a reference point to explore yourself as a school business manager and as a professional. It helps you to think about your own values and the skills and the competencies that you need.

Just thinking for yourself helps you to become more confident and to acquire greater independence. Also, it helps you to understand other staff in schools as well as other school business managers, what their concerns might be and how you can help them.           

The key technique for such collaborative professional learning across different schools is generally now known as ‘joint practice development’. This approach emphasises new ways of working across schools through mutual engagement and collaborative enquiry. It does not rely on simplistic models of ‘knowledge transfer’ through which one school adopts strategies developed by another, but rather involves groups of people from different settings working together over time to research and trial new and better ways of doing things. Two recent reports by the National College have explored joint practice development in teaching school alliances (NCSL, 2012; Harris, and Jones, 2012).


Activity

Values of the professional learning community                                              

Consider the characteristics of a professional learning community for school business management. 

  • What values would you promote?

Next, identify one skill and one competency you could share that might inform the development of others. Explain your choices.

Coaching and mentoring

                                    Coaching and mentoring in transformational consultancy

                                                                                        

So far, we have talked about two types of professional development interventions.

Professional learning communities work together to share understanding and develop a common language and common understanding of best and evolving practice.

In contrast, resource/expert and process/facilitator consultancy involve an expert sharing of knowledge to facilitate organisational improvement within a specified timeframe and then terminating the relationship.

Transformational consultancy, by contrast, can take on the role of one of two further approaches: coaching and mentoring. There can be confusion about the difference between coaching and mentoring, particularly as there is some overlap in the two approaches. The table below summarises the key differences.

Coaching

1.The relationship usually has a set period, often negotiated beforehand. The period of the relationship is usually short and often time bound. unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book.


2. The approach is more structured in nature and regular meetings are scheduled.


3. The coaching focuses on specific development areas, issues and skills.

4. Coaching is not generally performed on the basis that the coach needs to have direct experience of their client's formal occupational role unless the coaching is specific to the role and skills focused.


5. The agenda is focused on achieving specific, immediate goals.


6. The focus is generally on development and issues at work.

Mentoring

1. The relationship can be ongoing and last for a long period of time.Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book.

2. The approach is more informal and meetings can take place as and when the mentee needs advice, guidance and support.

3. Mentoring takes a broader view of the person.

4. The mentor is usually more experienced and qualified than the mentee. She or he is often a senior person in the school or profession who can pass on knowledge and experience and open doors to opportunities that might otherwise be out of reach.


5. The agenda is set by the mentee, with the mentor providing support and guidance to prepare him or her for a future role.

6. The focus is on developing the mentee professionally.

About Coaching:

Coaching usually relates to improving performance in a specific skills area and is often short-term. The goals are set with or at the suggestion of the coach, but the coachee has primary ownership of the goals. The coach, however, has primary ownership of the process. In most cases, the coach reports to the coachee what she or he has observed.

Mentoring usually involves indentifying and nurturing the potential of the whole person. The relationship can be long term, so the goals can change many times. Goals are always set by the mentee who owns both them and the process. The mentor helps the mentee to develop insight and understanding by encouraging awareness of their experiences (Clutterbuck and Megginson, 2005).

Hawkins and Smith (2006) suggest that the experience and approach of the coach can have a significant effect on the level of professional development and learning of the coachee. They align the coach as expert, achiever, individualist and strategist (Torbert, 2004) with learning at the level of skills, performance, development and transformation.                                         

You can see that there is a clear relationship between the leadership behaviour of the coach and the level of learning. A restricted focus results in skills learning, while the greater the interaction of the coach with the coachee, the organisation and learning, the greater the transformation in the coachee.

It is not possible to teach a coachee to understand the developmental levels that he or she has not yet reached. The shift occurs when a challenge is given that is recognised as important or intriguing and cannot be completed using current skills or levels of competency.

Tranformational Coaching:

In contrast to the linear consultancy approach, transformational coaching follows an action feedback/development cycle as shown in the diagram.

It entails following a process of listening to the client and the system, making sense of the situation together, generating new options, creating a difference, reflecting on the shift that has occurred and working out how to embed it and then starting the process all over again. Each time there will be an improvement in performance.

 Activity

Coaching approaches

                                                                                                                                                                           

Consider a time when you acted as coach to a member of staff.

                              

Describe which level of development you wanted to help them to achieve. Then identify your coaching approach.

  • Was it appropriate to the desired outcomes?
  • How might your coaching style be developed to take your coachee to the next level?

About Mentoring:

Mentoring and coaching for executives has become very big business, especially in the US but increasingly so in the UK (Clutterbuck and Megginson, 1999). The use of these techniques in educational contexts has also grown in relation to the training and induction of educational leaders. Ofsted (2006) has observed that 'continuous professional development is most effective when senior managers fully understand its potential for raising standards', and states that mentoring or one-to-one executive coaching can make a significant contribution to the overall strategies of support available to individuals working in education.

The impact that any individual has on our lives cannot easily be measured. But the benefits of having a mentor... someone who has given freely of his or her own time, can last a lifetime.

(Lewis, 2002)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

Research evidence relating to mentoring programmes for headteachers has concluded that mentoring was effective. For example, a large-scale evaluation of the Headteacher Mentoring Pilot Scheme in England and Wales found that 66% of the new headteachers and 73% of mentors rated the mentoring process as successful or very successful (Bolam et al, 1993).

In the US, 80% of new principals involved in a similar scheme stated that the mentoring programme had been 'helpful' or 'very/extremely helpful' (Grover, 1994). Hansford et al (2002) describe why a mentoring programme can be successful for both mentors and mentees.

 Activity

Mentoring approaches                                                                                                                                                                      

Mentors can come in many forms. For example, a mentor may have taken an interest in you when you were facing a development challenge. They may have been a role model. They may have challenged and supported you in working towards a new vision and direction or helped you resolve a difficult situation. They may have uncovered a hidden ability in you. 

Think of someone who has helped you in one of these ways.

Describe the circumstances.

  • How did you benefit from the relationship?
  • How might your mentor also have benefited?

You have now completed this module.