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Transformational Leadership In School Learning Environments

1672 words - 7 pages

According to noted American writer and scholar Peter Drucker “management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things” (Flagello 2009, p.127). There in lies the difference, management is about implementation and leadership is about deciding which course of action to take. Leadership is about the ability to influence, motivate, and stimulate those you lead while considering their input and the objective (Bass 1985). However, just as it is with management, leadership is affected by both the situation and resources presented. The ability to lead is the culmination of a set of skills and abilities, which are acquired and developed over time through experience as long as there is sufficient motivation and desire (Kouzes and Posner, 2008). Two other critical factors are necessary in leadership; they are role models and coaching. Through these two factors, it is clear that a student of leadership can be melded by their observational and practical experiences of other leaders who serve as their mentors. Management is seen as a set of skills and abilities that are learnt, while leadership is seen as a set of innate personal characteristics (Kouzes and Posner, 2008). These personal characteristics of leadership are a reflection of the situations the leader finds themselves in and forms the basis of their own self-awareness and effort to become leaders (Kouzes and Posner, 2008). The leader must be willing to be adaptable to the situations and willing to undertake the responsibility to lead.
As a leader it is necessary to have a multitude of skills, none are exclusive but in particular the ability to communicate and collaborate are two of the key requirements for effective educational administration ( Harris 2009, p.8). It has been said that leadership to be successful must stay focused and stay the course, and with education the primary target is achievement and results (Harris 2009, p.9). There may be course corrections along the way but a good leader will recognise the need for redirection and make the necessary changes based upon feedback from employees and community members. Leaders must be able to assess the organisational culture and be willing to undertake the risk to redesign the organisation if necessary (Harris 2009, p. 16).

In these situations, the leader is the orchestrator for excellence in creating an understanding of shared values (Hitt 1995, p.18). The leader is a facilitator of and coach to those who have a vested interest in the outcome; they are required to gather input form everyone, which creates a non-hierarchical structure (Hitt 1995, p.18). The structure is in deed flat, made up of cross-functional teams and the collective participants are encouraged to learn regardless of mistakes and measurement is achieved across both financial and non-financial measures (Hitt 1995, p.18). This is what Hitt (1995) refers to as a learning organisation; one that embraces changes and creates achievement from their planned...

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