SUMMARY: School Leadership: Concepts And Evidence by Bush and Glover
There is no clear definition for a leadership. However, it appears that leadership comes in very many aspects. First, leadership can be seen as the ability to influence others intentionally so that to structure the relationships and activities of the organization. Secondly, leadership can be derived from strong personal and professional values that are concerned in explaining and recommending how and what course the leadership influences should take (Bush, & Glover, 2003). Leadership, therefore, requires vision of their organization that is shared among the organization members. However, personal recognition can jeopardize this leadership component. Leadership encompasses management. Since the management is simply maintaining efficiency and effectiveness of an organization arrangement, it requires leadership skills, influencing others’ actions to achieve the projected goals of the organization. The balancing of management and leadership is important in meeting any organization’s objective.
Leadership is of different types. Instructional leadership is a type that involve teaching and learning for both the leaders and the followers. It is the most appropriate for a school setting. Transformational leadership involves building a unified common interest between the followers and the leaders. It helps the management and workers to raise each other at higher levels of dedication and commitment. Moral leadership focuses on the values and ethics of the leaders themselves (Bush, & Glover, 2003). The leadership is derived from the concepts of right and wrong and advocates for qualities such as commitment, hard work, and high expectation among others. Participative leadership emphasizes on the involvement of all parties including the followers in decision-making processes. It is a more democratic model that increases effectiveness of the organization. Managerial leadership involves leaders focusing on the functions, tasks and behaviors and how the functions of the followers facilitate the work of others in an organization. Interpersonal leadership focuses on personal intelligence, which may be derived from, sophisticated self-awareness and, therefore, facilitate operative engagement with others. Contingent leadership focuses on how one respond to different circumstances and contexts. The leader easily adapts to the situation and offers the best leadership advice to the followers.
SUMMARY: A Review Of Leadership Theory And Competency Frameworks by Bolden, Gosling, Marturano and Dennison.
The theories of leadership have evolved from the Great Man Theories; focusing on traits and behavior of successful leaders, to the recent Transformational theories focusing on the role of followers and the contextual nature of leadership. The development of management and leadership takes a traditional and individualistic approach to explore the most relevant theories. The trait approach to leadership enables us to isolate relevant leadership traits and skills which include, but not limited to adaptability, assertive, persistent, self-confident ambitious, goal oriented, intelligent, creative, and diplomatic and so on (Bolden, Gosling, Marturano and Dennison, 2003). Inability to measure the personal trait prompted the emergency of the behavioral school that comprises of McGregor’s theory X and theory Y managers and Blake and Mouton’s managerial grid.
These help managers to develop favorable leadership behaviors. However, they give little guidance to development of effective leadership in different situations and this called for the establishment of a contingency or situational school. This school theorizes that the application of leadership skills will be influenced by such factors as the situation, task, people, environment, and the organization and so on. Its major theories are Fiedler’s contingency model, the Hersey-Blanchard model of leadership, Tannenbaum and Schmidt’s leadership continuum and Adair’s action-centered leadership model.
Servant leadership theory by Robert Greenleaf emphasizes on the duties of leaders. Katzenbach and Smith talk of the following part of leading where leaders should; ask questions instead of giving answers provide opportunities for others to lead and doing real work in support of others instead of the reverse (Bolden, Gosling, Marturano and Dennison, 2003).. Meredith focused on factors separating a successful and unsuccessful team and found that their composition and the individual differences in style, role and contribution mattered. A balanced team included members who would complement each other and performed better. According to Belbin’s team leadership theory, success is attainable through the acceptance of one’s weakness and the complements by other team members.
James MacGregor put transactional and transformational leadership forward in his book ‘Leadership’. According to him, transforming leadership ‘is a relationship of mutual stimulation and elevation that converts followers into leaders and may convert leaders into moral agents. (Bolden, Gosling, Marturano and Dennison, 2003).Dispersed leadership is a social concept where the leadership position is acknowledged to be influenced by situation and accepts that there is no single ideal leader in an organization, but rather the leadership role is dissociated from the organizational hierarchy. It is also called informal or emergent leadership.
President Obama’s speech
President Obama’s skills in communication are his strength rather than his leadership skills. In a speech to students, the president uses all styles of literature to capture his audience taking the audience at high points and then low sympathetic notes. He uses examples of successful people who endured difficulties such as Jazmin Perez, Shantel Steve to J.K. Rowling and Michael Jordan to show the students that the path to success is rough and dreary. However, his speech does not reflect leadership models extensively. He reveals his advance use of language and communication skills to encourage and motivate with little to do with any or a combination of leadership models. For leaders, it is important to demonstrate several of the models that show one’s ability to lead, listen, motivate and provide opportunities for others to grow.
The president’s speech is moving but lacking in large extent the revelation of his leadership capability. His communication strength is, however, evident throughout the speech. His ability to give hope and make promises and making the student feel responsible for their action and outcome in every circumstance undermines the leadership responsibility of providing a favorable environment for growth. He relies solely on individual input and forsakes the importance of teamwork, which is a great source of success according to Belbin. Student’s success depends on the collaboration and teamwork within the education stakeholders and individual effort yields little success. However, there are positive leadership skills from the president’s speech that overshadow his communication strength. The president’s ability to promise; the government will contribute towards a better studying environment by providing education inputs, and give motivating and encouraging examples lays a foundation of determination in achieving such success among students.
Bolden, Gosling, Marturano and Dennison (2003). A Review of Leadership Theory and Competency Frameworks. Dunsford Hill, Crossmead: Barley Lane. UK: Center for Leadership Studies.
Tony Bush, & Derek Glover (2003). School Leadership: Concepts and Evidence.