Leadership solid understanding of the concepts and framework of leadership are essential for anyone in a position of leadership who hopes to develop as an effective and successful leader. In this paper, I will thoroughly investigate the concepts of leadership from a number of sources, including Terry Pearce's book, Leading Out Loud: The Authentic Speaker, the Credible Leader. Based on my understanding of these concepts, I will create a personal leadership communication platform for my position as an assistant principal.
Terry Pearce describes a framework for developing an effective platform for communication in leadership in Leading Out Loud: The Authentic Speaker, the Credible Leader. This platform includes five main components that Pearce feels are essential for success. These components are: 1) establishing competence, 2) building trust, 3) creating shared context, 4) declaring and describing a compelling future, and 5) committing.
First in the process of a framework for effective leadership is establishing competence. This can be profoundly difficult in a world that is entirely cynical about managers and effective leadership. Today's employees are often informed and educated world citizens whose respect must be earned by leaders. As such, Pearce argues that establishing competence as a leader is a crucial first step in gaining this respect. As such, an effective leader is careful to show his or her effective leadership skills, as well as his or her expertise in a given area. To achieve credibility, a leader must be consistent in their words and actions.
Further, Pearce notes that building trust is also an important part of effective leadership. Once competence is established, it is important to develop trust with employees. Pearce notes that today's world is one of sound bites and cynical opinions that often impede the development of trust and effective communication. As such, a manager must be more than competent and respected; he or she must also be trusted in order to become an effective leader.
Once competence and trust are established, an effective leader must create a shared context, argues Pearce. Here, he notes that an effective leader must develop a frame of reference with his or her employees. The leader must be able to share some of the thoughts and ideas of employees for this to be an effective process.
Further, once competence, trust, and a shared context are created, Pearce notes that declaring and describing a compelling future is the next step in successful leadership. In order to fulfill this role, a leader must be able to personally engage him or her in their vision of the future. Notes Pearce, it is hypocritical to ask people to see a future that the leader does not envision.
Pearce argues that the best way to get true commitment is to speak from the heart. This differs from achieving compliance, where employees simply follow directives, but with little or no passion or commitment about their work. Achieving commitment comes from inspiring people to make the vision that you have outlined their own. Pearce focuses on describing the speeches of Ross Perot and Hillary Rodham Clinton (among others) to provide examples of such leadership. Above all, Pearce notes that the leader must be committed to the ideas and vision that he or she is espousing to others. Without this commitment, Pearce notes that any message will be unauthentic and unconvincing. Pearce argues that leaders who are honest and authentic will in turn inspire loyalty.
All of Pearce's five important steps in creating a framework involve a disciplined process. He argues for an organized process of reflection, writing and speaking that reveals an honest and truthful approach to leadership. Above all, Pearce argues that leaders must learn to find their authentic voice and speak with confidence and conviction in order to win over their audiences.
Leadership as an assistant principal can be difficult. Often teachers, administrators, school boards, parents and students have different agendas, and the assistant principal plays a key role in maintaining continuity and peace. Further, the assistant principal must wear a number of other hats, including creating a safe teaching environment, maintaining school records, developing curriculum, monitoring student progress, and maintaining school discipline (Simpson). As such, developing a leadership platform is an important step in managing the challenges of leadership in such a challenging career.
Each of Pearce's five components plays an important role in creating my personal leadership platform as an assistant principal. Establishing competence is the first step to effective leadership. In creating the Orange County Literacy Project, Christmas carefully made observations, asked questions, offered interpretations, and took action. In this process, he established his competence. Further, he implemented staff development programs that helped develop the competence of staff involved in the project.
As an assistant principal, I can establish competence in much the same way as Christmas. I will be careful to make observations and ask questions of those around me. Further, I will offer interpretations, and take deliberate and careful actions based on this information. Further, I will be diligent in listening to what people have to say, an important component in effective communication (Baldoni, It's the Real Thing). Taking these steps will help establish my competence.
After establishing competence, building trust is an important step in effective leadership. Christmas built trust by establishing his competence, and then taking actions that were rooted in this competent appraisal of the situation.
Trust also came through Chrismas' careful planning and implementation of the program (Henslee, Article Three).
Trust is a difficult commodity to establish in a time of corporate scandals like Enron, and a general climate of mistrust in the business place. One way to establish trust is to create authenticity, which is simply saying what you believe, and delivering on your promises (Baldoni, It's the Real Thing).
Establishing trust as an assistant principal will, in part, consist of overcoming cynical opinions of school administrators. I will use my unique and authentic voice and view of school issues to establish trust with teachers, other educators, students, and parents.
Creating shared context is crucial in effective leadership.
Communicating personal values is a crucial part in facilitating the cultural values of a school. As such, leaders that demonstrate the value of life-long learning and achievement create an environment that shows students, parents, and the larger community that learning is a valued, and shared achievement (Henslee, Article Two). Disturbingly, Bandoni notes that most employees rate their managers are poor communicators (Baldoni, Let Your People Know). As such, these managers are not effectively fulfilling their roles in "unleashing the talents and skills of your people in order to enable them to do the work" (Baldoni, Let Your People Know).
Given the importance of creating shared context, I will endeavor to personally demonstrate the value of learning in my position as an assistant principal. This will include making teachers, students, parents, and the community aware of my personal learning experiences, including seminars, personal reading, and teacher's conferences.
Failing to declare and describe compelling future through creating a compelling vision can be disastrous for a leader. David Hornbeck's reforms of the Philadelphia School district failed largely because of his failure to communicate his vision, and inspire his school district to provide program funding. Ultimately, Hornbeck failed to inspire those that he was leading, although his organizational structure was solid. Hornbeck failed to understand that he could not facilitate change without the help of others (Henslee, Article One).
Importantly, I will be careful to involve teachers, parents, students and the community in my vision in order to create a compelling vision. As noted by Pearce, and seen in the example of Hornbeck, the failure to describe a compelling future, can be one of the most critical areas of effective leadership.
Not having a commitment from all players can have devastating results, as noted in the David Hornbeck's failed Philadelphia school…