Leadership can make or break an organisation.
It filters into the very fibre of the organisation. It affects the morale, the efficacy and the overall success of a business.
So it’s critical to get it right. But what is right, exactly?
Leadership is more than just recruiting and managing a team, setting goals and delegating. It’s a blend of innate characteristics and learned skills.
Let’s take a look at some of the qualities of great leadership.
They Imagine The Future
Effective leaders need vision. They know where they are now, and where they’re going. And that requires significant knowledge of your profession because you need to be able to read the landscape.
It’s like a great driver needs to know more than just how to operate the car, and work within the road rules. They need to be able to see ahead, judge the environment and predict the unpredictable.
Effective leadership in an educational setting requires a vision for educational change. That’s not easy.
To do that well you need to understand both the purpose of leadership and the role of educational change. And then you need to understand the deep and transformative connection between the two.
They Manage Change
Great leaders understand that change is inevitable, and resistance to it is futile. Instead, they anticipate the changes that are coming and make plans to address them before they arrive.
They promote a positive organisational culture and encourage an environment of professional enquiry. This can be difficult when some of the team are resistant to change.
So great leaders also need great people skills. They need to be able to support, guide, influence, challenge and inspire the people in their team.
They need strong communication skills so they can guide their team through change – even if there’s resistance.
They Create Positive Culture
Effective leaders know how to create a positive workplace culture. They understand that people spend about one-third of their lives at work and that our work environment should be a pleasant place.
Unhappy workplaces are also unproductive workplaces. When people aren’t happy at work there’s increased staff turnover, higher rates of unplanned leave, they’re less productive and their work quality suffers.
A 2011 Harvard Business Review article stated that the level of happiness has a profound impact on workers’ creativity, productivity, commitment and collegiality.
Part of creating a positive culture is to recognise employee effort using strategies that cost little or no money, are easy to implement, and take only a few minutes to accomplish. Because recognising employees’ achievements results in improved morale, performance, and loyalty.
They Collaborate Successfully
Collaboration is a powerful tool when used well, but many people fail to get it right. It’s critical to understand the structure and processes involved and to know that some structures are better suited to achieving certain outcomes.
It’s important to know the pitfalls of collaboration, and not to use it as a façade for a predetermined outcome. It’s also critical not to ‘stack the deck’ with homogenous voices rather than the diverse opinions of all those impacted.
It’s not something that should be done because it seems like a good idea, and it’s not a quick fix. It’s a process that requires sufficient time and resources to get it right.
It’s also critical that leaders take their people on the collaborative journey because, without their support and enthusiasm, the collaboration will not succeed.
If you want to cultivate your leadership skills further, join us for a professional development day just for Early Childhood Educators.
The Day With The Best 2016 brought together Australia’s leading experts. The event is set to become Australia’s foremost Professional Development Event for Early Childhood Educators.
Reserve your interest in the Day With The Best 2017 by leaving a comment below.
Here’s what some people had to say about the 2016 event:
A Fantastic opportunity to engage in PD to inspire and reignite passion in an early childhood educator. Ran very smoothly. Panel was a great idea to allow presentors to show perspectives – T Abbott Le Smileys
Gained confidence and knowledge on how I can improve my practices. – J Bae Upper Coomera ELC
I’m so glad I was lucky enough to come. I can’t wait to implement it at work – A. Barnes Kool Kids Nerang
Thanks for an inspiring, thought provoking day. I enjoyed every moment.” – T Eichmann TCS