Educational Leadership and Management in High School Level
Leadership Skills and Managerial Styles in the Ever Evolving Trends and Dilemmas in Educational Setting
According to Peter Drucker, management is doing things right while leadership is doing the right things. Notice how few vocabulary adjustments made two distinct statements? The same applies in the type of leadership and management you have chosen to implement. More or less, the status of your organization along with the performance of your subordinates clearly reflects who you are as a leader. There are numerous situations that tested my leadership and managerial strategies upon holding the position of Head of the Mathematics Department in the largest high school in our province not so many years ago. Bottom line is countless leadership and managerial theories are useless if you do not have the initiative and instinct to apply it into practice.
Evolution of Leadership and Managerial Strategies
My first experience as a leader can be traced back 40 years ago. Both my parents were employed leaving the 10 year-old version of me in charge of the household from the moment they left for work in the morning. I came to realization that there were endless tasks and I cannot efficiently do it on my own. It’s where I became aware of the importance of sharing and delegating responsibilities to the appropriate sibling. At first, I taught them of feasible tasks such as dish washing, sweeping the floor, and folding the clothes. It’s important that I supervise them all throughout in order to promptly correct any mishaps. Therefore, it is safe to say that I am a leader who knows the way, shows the way, and lead the way (John C. Maxwell).
Being a teacher is also an eye opening experience. You have to develop various styles of educational leadership depending on the age of your students. Every educator must come into an awareness that they are not only a medium in delivering learning to their students, but holistically, they influence the student’s level of responsibility, emotional intellect, and character preference.
Leading and managing the household was easy given the circumstances that I was the eldest and if any of my siblings won’t follow my authority, they would receive a spanking from my parents. Handling a classroom is also a walk in the park since gaining students’ cooperation is not tough for they fear that any misbehavior might lead to a failing mark. Everything changes in the professional world particularly in my case wherein I am supervising educators who some have more years of teaching experience than me. Instilling fear through grave consequences is certainly not an option especially when leading a team with great aspirations and full of potential.
I would like to point-out that self-assessment is the key to determine your effectiveness as a leader. Don’t focus on just highlighting your strength. An effective leader who conceals or unaware of his weaknesses have little or no chance of improving it. Next is understanding how people really perceive you, you can gauge this by observing if your colleagues and team members are relaxed around you or when the conversation obviously stopped when you entered the room.
Leadership is all about solving problems, whereas, conflict is always a part of a healthy organization. It’s pertinent to always have an ears ready to listen, an open mind that is not judging, and an unbiased heart in making decisions. You should be always welcoming to your members who always share their problems and await for your feedback. The moment they stopped reporting to you is the evidence that you fell short in being a credible or competent leader according to Collin Powell.
Overcoming Inherent Leadership and Managerial Challenges
“Honor bespeaks worth. Confidence begets trust. Service brings satisfaction. Cooperation provides the quality of leadership.” -James Cash Penney
Separating personal life from professional obligations can be quite challenging especially if you are in the top managerial positions. You need to learn the talent of balancing both worlds. The distinction of personal beliefs and values can also interfere in any organization. Truthfully, you cannot convince anyone to favor your personality but you must be innovative enough to inspire everyone in achieving the goals of the institution or completing the task at hand.
Finally, set high expectations and meet them. Neglecting to create goals is similar to permanently losing your drive to bring your members above the standards. Acknowledging the achievement of your team, no matter how small it is, makes a great difference. With courage, confidence, and creativity, leaders can genuinely make a change.