In most organizations, leaders might say they do training, and some of them do, but not in the area of leadership skill building. In K12 systems, few leaders receive training on how to build an engaged workforce, hold effective meetings, engage in process-improvement strategies, recognize and provide feedback on individual performance, and communicate using key messaging strategies.
By adding more focused time and much more commitment to developing skills in leaders, we are doing something new to increase the efficiency, effectiveness, consistency, and reliability of educational systems. This connects to the values of the organizational leaders; a story from Dr. Janet Pilcher:
After a leadership development session with one of our partners, I and one of our colleagues, Robin, received a note from an aspiring leader. the note said, “Thank you for your knowledge and expertise and the great session. I’ve learned more about being a good leader in four hours than I did in two years of graduate school.”
Now, Janet and Robin will tell you, that they did not do anything especially new or innovative that day. But what they did do was focus on the values of the leaders. They looked at how leaders engage with teachers and staff to give them every opportunity to reach their highest potential. It just seemed to make more sense to the aspiring leaders in the session that day when the content connected back to tactics they could use to create a better place for teachers and staff to work.