The leaders of today currently work in an environment that requires them to be collaborative. This is especially the case in the education sector where leaders are expected to show extreme collaboration in order to achieve the goals and objectives of education. Collaboration means co-labor in order to achieve common goals and often involves working across personal boundaries and exhibiting reciprocities of value. Collaboration requires the crossing of boundaries and establishing trust between different members of a given education setting. It involves joining the assets and resources of different stakeholders of the education setting and using them to achieve goals and objectives. Normally collaboration leads to the achievement of better education outcomes including better performance.
Unfortunately, collaboration is not a reality in every education setting. There are some education settings that have been observed to be lacking collaboration. According to Harris et al (2013), the leaders in an education setting play great role in enhancing the virtue of collaboration at their workplace setting. A leader who is charged with overseeing the collaboration process and in fact, collaboration starts with the leader. Some leaders tend to have collaborative tendencies while others lead aristocratically and bureaucratically and by doing this, their members of staff have no option, but to follow suit
The beliefs, values and attitudes of leaders usually influence their collaborative nature. A leader who is a believer in the achievement of organization goals through active collaboration with all stakeholders is likely to be at the forefront of the collaboration process (O'Leary, Bingham & Choi, 2010). A leader who believes that people can genuinely come together and can be motivated by self-drive to achieve organization goals is likely to foster collaboration. In addition, a leader who is personal believer in team work who has a positive attitude towards it is the kind of leader who usually facilitates the act of collaboration in his or her school environment (O'Leary, Bingham & Choi, 2010). On the other hand, there are some of those leaders who believe that organization goals can only be achieved if all stakeholders are assigned duties strictly and if an aristocratic leadership style is used to ensure that the act abides by their roles and duties (Harris et al., 2013). These leaders are not likely to facilitate the collaboration process (Harris et al., 2013). In addition, leaders who believe that employees give their optimum input when they work individually are also likely to facilitate and encourage collaboration (O'Leary, Bingham & Choi, 2010). They are some of those leaders who have a general negative attitude towards aspects of teamwork.
These leaders for instance, believe that when employees or staff members engage in teamwork, it simply leads to time wastage as members may be prompted to socialize rather than work. In addition, a leaders’ experiences can also play a significant part in determining whether he or she is going to encourage and promote collaboration in the education An education leader who has been a participant in a collaboration process, either as a student or a staff member and who has witnessed the benefits and fruits of collaboration is likely to be motivated by this and therefore foster a collaborative work environment On the other hand, leader who has not witnessed a collaboration process in action and who has taken part in a collaboration process that did not result in benefits is not likely to have any motivation to promote or enhance the collaborative virtue in his or her education workplace (Harris et al., 2013)
The values, beliefs and experiences of a leader play great role in influencing the relationships with learner, teachers and the support staff. Concisely, for the achievement of high-quality education goals and outcomes, there needs to be effective and good, working relationships between the working parties (Wagner et al., 2010). However, as mentioned earlier, it is the leader who plays the biggest role in determining the kind of relationships between learners, their parents and the support staff. The relationship between these parties is rooted in the leader’s beliefs about what each party offers, contributes or brings to the table. In addition, the school culture is hugely responsible for shaping the relationships between the leaders and different stakeholders that include teachers, learners and parents. According to W
agner et al., (2010), some school culture fosters good relationships between all its stakeholders while others foster detached relationships between leaders and stakeholders. Ultimately, the school culture is hugely dependent on the values, beliefs and experiences of a leader. According to Harris et al., (2013), Good leaders study on the aspect of good cultures and then uncover and articulate the core values that would foster effective relationships between stakeholders. They then communicate these core values to the stakeholders. In addition, good leaders celebrate the accomplishments of each of these stakeholders and usually organizes interactive sessions between them. Through this, good relationships are fostered. The important thing to remember is that the values, beliefs and experiences of the leader leads to the creation of an ethical framework in the leader that guides his or her actions. Leaders are naturally expected follow and express shared values to followers. Depending on the values, beliefs and experiences of this leader, either good or bad relationships are created between the leader and the staff, teachers, and learners. Ultimately, a leader with values , attitudes and experiences that point towards the achievement of education goals and objectives through good relational interactions with learners, parents and support staff is likely to be at the forefront of ensuring such relationships are achieved.
The only way through which high-quality goals and objective in an education setting can be achieved is through active collaboration and shared leadership. Leaders who think that they can achieve high-quality education outcomes through autocratic styles of leadership are obviously misguided (Vogel, 2010). This is because the input of all stakeholders including teachers, learners, and support staff is needed. Therefore, every leader should aspire to express shared leadership values and beliefs. The leader should express the great benefits of stakeholder involvement. One of the ways through which this can be done is through collaborative decision making (Vogel, 2010). As much as leaders are at helm of the decision making process in the particular education institution or center, the input of all concerned parties is important. A leader should not, for example, enact a certain education policy without gathering the opinion of all parties. A leader who make decisions and policies and implements them without first seeking the opinions of those who are going to be affected by this decision is essentially an autocratic leader and such leaders do not last long (Vogel, 2010). With time, the staff, learners, and parents are going to become increasingly frustrated with the leader are going to call for change. Therefore, shared leadership should be enacted in any school setting by aspects such as collective decision making when it comes to policies and rules that affect all the parties that encompass school environment or setting.
O'Leary, R., Bingham, L. B., & Choi, Y. (2010). Teaching collaborative leadership: Ideas and lessons for the field. Journal of Public Affairs Education, 565-592.
Wagner, T., Kegan, R., Lahey, L. L., Lemons, R. W., Garnier, J., Helsing, D & Rasmussen, H. T. (2010). Change leadership: A practical guide to transforming our schools. John Wiley & Sons.
Vogel, L. R. (2012). Values and Ethics in Educational Administration.
Harris, A., Day, C., Hopkins, D., Hadfield, M., Hargreaves, A., & Chapman, C. (2013). Effective leadership for school improvement. Routledge.