Thursday, February 9, 2012

Leadership Requirements for School Leaders

Recently in an excellent Harvard Business Review article by Susan Peters entitled How GE is Retaining, Recruiting and Developing Global Talent, it was made made clear that the way we educate students for tomorrow's opportunities is crucial for us to consider.

"The generation entering the workforce today is uniquely connected digitally and socially attuned to the forces of change and common purpose. But what's the best way to unleash their potential? Anticipating their needs is one of the great tasks of leadership development and an area of sustained inquiry at GE. At Crotonville, our corporate university, we're addressing this challenge through an evolutionary leadership curriculum, breakthrough learning experiences, and a transformational environment. We're essentially reimagining a vision for the global nexus of ideas. And we're always looking to broaden the dialogue."

Are we, as educators, and especially those politicos making education policy working on "expanding the dialogue" ? 

Are we, as educators, and especially those politicos making education policy anticipating the needs of the future and making changes to the established curriculum to prepare students for the future?

Chances are, very few school leaders are, in fact, engaging their staffs with this discussion, because they don't have the time, and they are busy managing the mandates and demands of politicos overly involved in 19th century education needs. 

In the Peters article she outlined the kind of leaders this new global workforce would need to transform the world of work.

1.  Tomorrow's global leaders possess an exemplary external focus — they collaborate not only with customers but with a wide range of stakeholders including governments, regulators, NGOs, and community groups.
2. Leaders are adaptive and agile, clear thinkers who are not only decisive but able to connect strategy to purpose in a way that fosters commitment.
3.  Leaders possess both the imagination to innovate and the courage to implement — they're willing to take risks to champion ideas.
4.  Leaders are inclusive — it's the only way to build great teams.
5. Leaders constantly seek to deepen their expertise and motivate others to do the same.

In the world of schools the same kind of leaders will be needed. School Leaders that know how to collaborate with many different kinds of stakeholders. Leaders that understand strategy and are clear thinking despite the frustrations of running poor budgets and overly mandated situations. 

Schools need leaders that are imaginative and willing to risk a few things to make innovations occur. They need to build cohesive faculty teams that can brainstorm the future, and they need to be able to motivate others.

I think it is possible to push into this new paradigm. I hope you will also.