We have just launched a new teacher leadership series in West Vancouver. Building on some of the fine work that has come out of other districts, over the next several months, we are bringing teachers and administrators together to explore the attributes and opportunities of leading learning.
To support the conversations, all participants are reading the latest book from James Kouzes and Barry Posner, The Truth About Leadership. Kouzes and Posner have been powerful forces in the discussion about leadership for the last 30 years, and this new book is a reaffirming roadmap.
as much as the context of leadership has changed (in the last three decades), the content of leadership has not changed much at all. The fundamental behaviours, actions, and practices of leaders have remained essentially the same since we first started researching and writing about leadership
There are many lists on leadership — but I do like the lists of “truths” that Kouzes and Posner share:
1. You make a difference
2. Credibility is the foundation of leadership
3. Values drive commitment
4. Focusing on the future sets leaders apart
5. You can’t do it alone
6. Trust rules
7. Challenge is the crucible for greatness
8. You either lead by example or you don’t lead at all
9. The best leaders are the best learners
10. Leadership is an affair of the heart
Given the title of my blog, this quote from their book also resonates with me regarding leadership:
You have to say yes to begin things. You have to say yes to your beliefs, you have to say yes to big dreams, you have to say yes to difficult challenges, you have to say yes to collaboration, you have to say yes to trust, you have to say yes to learning, you have to say yes to setting the examples, and you have to say yes to your heart.
Our commitment to investing in “leading learning”, — bringing together interested teachers and administrators on a regular basis, is not breaking new ground — there are excellent models in almost all districts. It is, however, exciting as we build our program and structures within the West Vancouver context; particularly, given the current, global conversations about what teaching, learning and schooling should look like in the future.
Our first session was well-received — and the commitment here is that this series is not a one-off — this work is too important and it will be part of what we do moving forward; I left with confidence in new strategies to try as I work with staff, students and leading learning in West Vancouver.
For those interested in a greater sense of the work we are doing, the full slide deck from the opening session Leading Learning – Building Understanding for Leaders is embedded below:
Thanks to our facilitators: Sue Elliott, Audrey Hobbs-Johnson and Nancy Hinds.