To help you keep a handle on what you are responsible for, a group of committed IPA members and staff created The Principal’s Calendar (available for IPA Members). The calendar is broken down by month. At the end of every month we will be sharing out the reflection you should be considering for the upcoming month. The reflections will center around attributes outlined in the School Leader Paradigm. The Principal's Calendar is sponsored by Stifel.
This month's featured attribute is:
Visionary: Builds a group vision as a guide for making all decisions.
Mission, Vision, and Strategic Planning: Defines the mission as the intent of the school; fosters a vision of what the school will look like at its peak performance; strategically determines the procedural path to intentionally achieve the vision.
Systems Intelligence: Individual understanding of the inter-workings and leadership of complex systems within an organization.
For Your Reflection
In their book Primal Leadership, Goleman, Boyatzis, and McKee (2002) share, “The invisible threads of a compelling vision weave a tapestry that binds people together more powerfully than any strategic plan. And people, not the plan alone, determine the outcome. Success depends on what an organization’s people care about, what they do, and how they work together” (209). High performing schools are equipped with visionary leaders who combine their own personal dreams for the organizations they lead along with hopes of their teachers, students, and community members. The benefits of visionary leaders collaborating with those they lead to create a captivating vision include:
- The vision provides focus for what those in the organization collectively hope to become (Hirsh, 1995). According to John Maxwell (1999) in his book The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader, “The more challenging the vision, the harder the participants fight to achieve it” (p. 151)
- The vision provides clarity for work to be done and acts as a “force for creative, continuous improvement (Robbins & Alvey, 2009, p. 71).
- The vision brings commitment from all learning community members for their school (Robbins, et. al., 2009), “builds organizational harmony and people’s capacity to act collectively” (Goleman, et. al., 2002, p. 209), and “rallies finances and other resources” (Maxwell, 1999, p. 151).
To Keep You Thinking
- What are you doing to become a visionary leader?
- What are your hopes and dreams for the organization you lead? What excites you? What concerns you? Have you written this information down?
- Do you intentionally give yourself time and space to reflect on your vision?
- Do you know the hopes and dreams of those you lead?
- Do you intentionally set aside time and space to work with your learning community to dream together and create vision that unites and excites you?
- How do you leverage the various communication channels at your disposal to keep the vision in front of your learning community?
- Have you built systems to work toward and monitor your progress toward your vision?