Thursday, July 14, 2011

Being Extraordinary

This week I am attending a conference about Curriculum Leadership. So far it has been a fantastic course and the opportunity to learn and discuss various elements of both curriculum and leadership has been extremely valuable.

One of the readings we've discussed today is concerned with leadership at the systems level. System leadership fosters leadership as a function of the system rather than coming from one individual. This type of leadership allows for a more sustainable approach because it doesn't rely on one person. If someone leaves the system then there are others who can carry on the process.

Leadership in this way involves managing the fine balance of allowing members of the system to network with each other and lead things in their own way yet also interrupt when required (when something is clearly failing, for example) and not to state the way things 'should be done'.

This sort of leadership requires someone to step away from the possibility of being the 'Great Ruler' who has all the answers to all of the questions. There are some people who are destined to be this type of extraordinary person and sometimes it can be difficult to turn away from this ideal. Sometimes we want to have all the answers. Sometimes we want to be the person that everyone turns to. It can be a kind of validation of our own hard work and knowledge acquisition. But we also need to think about the future and how best to serve 'the system' in the most positive way possible. Which will create the most positive influence?

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