I am extremely excited to be teaching two classes for Masters' and Doctoral students at an online university this semester. One of the courses in called Collaborative Communication and we have been talking this week about leadership styles. We watched a video depicting a Superintendent who is conducting a meeting with several school leaders and my students then had to choose a point of view from which to comment about the video. To whose leadership style do you most relate? It made me think about my own biases and particularly about how I want to be treated by "my boss".
Just take a moment and think about all the people for whom you have worked over your lifetime (some of us have shorter lists than others, depending up our wrinkles---I mean, depending upon our experience). Do you prefer direct and to-the-point or do you prefer someone who just leaves you alone completely and lets you do your own thing? Do you prefer someone with a sense of humor or do you believe bosses should be seen and heard from only when completely necessary?
I have had the privilege of having some really great employers in my lifetime---an assistant superintendent who was willing to say "I'm sorry---I think I could have handled that better" and then did handle something better the next time I needed him. I also worked for a principal once who never darkened the door to my classroom. He always said, "You know what you are doing with those kids who have behavior disorders. You don't need me to interfere." What I'm not sure he knew is that I craved feedback. I wouldn't have considered it interference in any way. One other employer for whom I once worked had some really great knowledge and skills but was socially inept in many ways, making it very difficult to know where I stood at any given time.
Which do you consider more important? A leader's character or their competence? This was one of the questions I asked teachers when I research teacher trust in principals in my doctoral studies. What I found out was that they seem to be pretty evenly valued---we want someone with integrity but we also value our leaders' wisdom and skills.
I'd love to hear from you --- what leadership qualities do you value the most?
Please take a moment to share those with me in the Comments section of my blog.
Just for today, take a moment to be thankful for all the great leaders you have had in your life and say a prayer of thanks if you no longer are working for any of those leaders you might find lacking the best qualities.