Great leaders come in different forms and every one of them has different qualities that make them great; lead by example, accountability, visionary….the list could go on and on. This week I, along with Keith Allshouse, are leading a session for aspiring administrators and we are looking at different items that new administrators need to understand but it brings me back to what is effective leadership? I believe in keeping it simple and I believe these are traits that great leaders have:
A- Accountability and Authentic: Great leaders are accountable for not only themselves but the entire school. When something does not go as planned or is wrong, leaders are accountable and accept the blame. They learn from these mishaps to make sure it does not happen again. They also are the first to give praise to others; they share the spotlight and give credit where it is due. Great leaders are also authentic; people are quick to realize when you are not genuine or you are trying to be something you are not. You can learn from great leaders, even emulate them but you have to be true to yourself and your beliefs. If you try to be someone you are not, you are working with a recipe for failure.
B- Believe and Bold: Great leaders believe in themselves and they believe in their staff. This does not mean they are not willing to adapt or change, but their belief in their own ability never wavers. Effective leaders are also bold- they try new things, take risks, and do not want to just manage. They want to take people to a better tomorrow and believe that just managing the status quo is not good enough. They want to move from good to great.
C- Communication and Collaborative: Communication is one of the most important aspects of great leadership. Communication is not just talking at people. Brian Tracy says effective communication “is about more than just talking: it’s about listening, ensuring others get your point, and persuading others to take action on what you’re saying.” Collaborative leaders know when to ask for input; they communicate with other leaders as well as their staff. Collaborative does not mean you need others to make a decision for you, but rather you value input from others and use this to make the best decision possible.
There are many traits and qualities that make leaders great. I would love to hear what you feel makes a leader an effective leader.