Category: My leadership project and reflective space for COBIS middle management project…

Assignments…

Assignments…

Assignment 1:

‘Middle Leaders will decide on their own leadership style; some will appear charismatic, others less so. This is unimportant. Each individual’s qualities will be identified according to their ability to get the job done.’  Sonia Blandford, Middle Leadership, Harmonising Leadership and Learning.

To what exetent do you agree with this statement?

On the face of it, my initial response to Blandford’s statement would be that I whole heartedly agree with the notion that the ability to “get the job done” is the best indicator of any professional’s skills and qualities within the working environment. Certainly, as a middle leader of several subjects and of many diverse individuals needs and wants within a growing faculty; and after identifying in October that I am significantly target orientated, with my primary focus of always just wanting to get tasks completed, this notion from Blandford that ultimately completing the task is the best way to identify the qualities that any leader obtains  sits firmly at the core of my values and beliefs. Indeed, I feel its right to suggest this as the experiences I have been part during my middle leader segment of my career have simply warranted this kind of industrialized and robust cognitive pattern of thinking -. and simply without it, from my experience, you wouldn’t find yourself in a viable position with students, management or indeed parents.

Unequivocally, the experiences I refer to represent the typical scenarios that any middle leader within an educational institute gets subjected to on a regular basis – namely assessment of student work; report writing; curriculum planning; appraisal deadlines and meeting budget deadlines to name but a few. Ultimately, these examples, and there are many others within education, present very different requirements of skill and qualities in order to complete them within deadlines set by management. As a result, I think that it is fair to state that as a middle leader, being able to meet the completion of these diverse and intricate tasks within set deadlines facilitates excellent reflection of the skills and qualities that a middle leader obtains – namely pragmatism, pro-activeness, organization and problem solving to name but a few, which will all facilitate to to reflect what kind of a leader a person is in my opinion.

There is no doubt, working in a private institute brings high expectations from both management and parents – which considering the finances involved sits fine with my own expectations of myself and my staff members. In my opinion, striving for continued progression on an annual basis is a fair expectation and goal for any school or organization. This said, and this is where I believe my opinion has evolved somewhat over the years due to my experiences – although I have clearly stated that I believe “getting the job done” is the best indicator of a middle leaders qualities, there are indeed ways and means of how jobs should be completed, both on a social and professional level.

Indeed, after a decade of teaching experience, with four of those years being in middle management, I have significantly come to realize that there is an ethics involved into the achieving goals and targets that also contribute to reflecting what kind of leader and practitioner you are and thus play an equally integral role in defining your qualities as a leader; especially when working with humans inside the complex environment that we have growing around us both institutionally and socially. These ways and means I speak of may include the person’s ability to interpersonally interact with colleagues; personal resilience; the level of humbleness when incorrect about important decisions; and the ability to make colleagues feel appreciated, inclusive and apart of the process. These days now from my own evolving opinion, all these elements should always be considered when attempting to “get the job done”.

As a concluding point, I refer to the literature suggested by Fullan (pg. 9,2001) “The more complex society gets, the more sophisticated leadership and personal interaction must become”. Moreover, Mumford et al. (2008) take these notions one step further, postulating that whether a leader be transactional, charismatic or servant in style, they must not solely focus on the end goal without taking into account the human processes, such as interaction, leading up to the end result. Indeed, in doing this, as Mumford et al. suggest, this would lead to a less sophisticated result in the end and thus, hinder professional development.

Both these proposals, from my perspective, help to erode the Blandford statement to a certain extent, focusing heavily on the crucial factor of a person’s ability to interpersonally interact with people being just as important as the end result. Certainly, and as I believe I have illustrated within my response, these ideas from the literature are a fair reflection of my own personal view on Blandford’s original statement, that yes getting the job done is a good way to identifying leadership qualities, but its not the only way.

 

References:

Fullan. Michael, (2001), Leading in a Culture of Change, Jossey-Bass, 989 Market Street, San Francisco.

Mumford. Michael D., Antes. Alison L., Caughron. Jay J., & Freidrich. Tamara L., (2008), Charismatic, ideological, and Pragmatic Leadership: Multi-Level influences on emergence and performance, Department of Psychology, The University of Oklahoma, Published by Elsevier Inc. 2008.

 

 

 

Refelections…

Refelections…

Reflection week 1: Oct 8th – 12th

During my first week back after the first face-to-face session in Rome I felt it was integral to carryout several actions in the first couple of weeks to help start off my leadership challenge. Firstly, I decided to arrange which one of my colleagues could be be my Leadership Challenge mentor. Thankfully, a colleague of mine from the Primary Department of the school, who has experience of this course itself and who has worked with COBIS on school inspections in the past agreed to be my mentor. This was great and it gave me a sense of comfortability with the programme as I knew I now had experienced support and guidance that I could call upon if ever needed. It will be the task of next week to come up with my leadership challenge project – making sure I choose a project that not only is worth developing on a teaching and learning basis but also looks at developing my leadership style and qualities.

Reflection week 2: Oct 15th – 19th

The second key area that I then had to decide would be my Leadership Challenge its self which, in conversation with my mentor, we decided that student academic data and its level of accessibility and usage within the Humanities Faculty would be a good area of focus to help develop my

 

Reflection week 3: Oct 22nd – 26th

Reflection week 4: Nov 5th – 9th

Reflection week 5: Nov 12th – 16th

Away on Belgium/France Battlefield Tour trip commemorating 100 years since the end of WW1.

Reflection week 6: Nov 19th – 23rd

Reflection week 7: Nov 26th – 30th

Reflection week 8: Dec 3rd – Dec 7th

Away on Berlin International School Partnership Tour.

Reflection week 9: Dec 10th – 14th