Developing Personal Leadership Capability

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Development Goal-setting Worksheet and Rationale. "There's a difference between interest and commitment. When you're interested in doing something, you do it only when circumstance permit. When you're committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results." - Unknown

Leading staff through Change by managing the Transition

Leadership Development & Specific Development Area:

The change isn't so much the difficulty, change is situational and external, all about the new vision of the department; new links for the schools to EQ's strategic plan, new policies to adopt; new roles for the school management and teaching team members. It's the transition that creates the difficulties; the psychological process of ending, of leaving the old processes behind; the resistance of the transition, subjective loss that staff go through to come to terms with the new conditions of employment.

Leadership Practice Focus

Enabling others to act

Leadership Behaviour Focus

Empowering and delegating, while strengthening others

Leadership Development Strategies - How will I measure my success:

I'll know that I will have reached my improvement goal for the next four weeks when:

I have clearly presented and described the policy changes and the expected outcomes so that individuals are able to translate those changes into something meaningful for them and meet priorities

As a team, I will guide my staff to develop a plan of action, set a timetable and objectives that can measure our achieved progress daily. They will take control or know where they stand with the changes

That the team recognise and support those other staff willing to take temporary authority, becoming responsible for taking the rhythm of the group, guiding and helping identify positive and negative possibilities

The willingness of the group to be flexible enough to try new things and respond to obstacles as they occur.

My communication with my team takes on many forms - meetings, emails, memos, individual updates, training sessions - incorporating good ideas, new suggestions progress reports

I receive and give daily positive feedback and public recognition, checking and monitoring progress and giving and receiving praise.

Talk through with fellow managers for feedback, observations

Development Strategy

Clearly communicate the changes:

Become a confident communicator - Join a toastmasters group. Write what I want to say, be confident and believe in the information. Be aware of the non verbals. Clarity. Full attention to the audience. Practice with peers asking for honest feedback. Watch out for the umms

Learn how to get the message across…Behaviour+Feelings+effects+Needs=clear communication, believe in myself

People feel included when they receive communications. Encourage staff communication. The rule: has to be "positive"

Take the first steps by encouraging staff, express own feelings/reaction about change - self disclosure. Tell only the truth - find out as much as possible, leaders don't necessarily know all the information, but can follow up when information comes to light.

Discussions are communication…have lots of discussions…personally reassuring for everyone

Development Strategy

Develop a plan of action: make a list

Get organised and save time

Know the requirements, have a written plan for self

Be specific, know goals, know the timelines, be informed

Have resources available, know the problems, think of strategies for monitoring

Know staff and capabilities, challenge them

Development Strategy

Chapter 5 - Kouzes and Posner's The Leadership Challenge - "Enable others to Act" - Read and take on board

Read the www. Articles on change and enabling others…be informed.

Be positive

"People change and forget to tell each other" anon

Leadership Development & Specific Development Area:

Increasing team involvement, dealing with the resistance

Leadership Practice Focus

Challenge the Process

Leadership Behaviour Focus

Search for opportunities, Experiment and take risks

Leadership Development Strategies - How will I measure my success:

I'll know that I will have reached my improvement goal for the next four weeks when:

I have my team motivated and working collaboratively with high participation and commitment to the task of 'want to do it', taking the initiative…. and I haven't used tricks or bribes as I might for the students.

My staff are enthusiastic about taking advantage of opportunities presented …professional development, leadership opportunities…and return to share experiences and information

My team has an enviable reputation for delivering positive results, meeting the community expectations for our students with disabilities

Development Strategy

Risk taking

Write up the pros and cons of the risk taking in the situation

Confront own reservations and then 'bite the bullet' and sell it to staff through great communication…does the risk justify the means???

Determine in advance how far to push the boundaries … don't over step them… what's the contingency plan???

Gain and remain in control …use power and influence (self and boss) …

Talk it through with TerriAnne. She will provide honest feedback

Development Strategy

Motivating staff

Ultimately, people do what they do either out of love or out of fear. My challenge is to help staff love what they do…find and provide challenges that are commensurate to teacher's skills…Learn to like people - show genuine interest in people (hard for an introvert) get to know staff and their interests, listen to them, take time to talk to them, recognise their contribution, encourage a relaxed and trusting relationship

Participate genuinely - involve staff in decisions involving their commitment, ask and listen to staff point of view, delegate tasks to those who show particular talents…first have to know the staff…

Lead by example. I will be also involved, conveying confidence in everyones performance

Communication again, make sure that it is open and two way….practice, practice, practice and then more

Know what it is I want to win…where I want to win it and why I want to win it. The when is important cause the motivation significantly decreases when the task is completed

I will practice with TerriAnne, she is a tough nut to get motivated

Development Strategy

Read, Read, Read….


By using Critical Self-Reflection along with Current Literature and Experience I asked myself two main questions

To lead and manage this staff now and in the future, what am I currently NOT doing that I need to start? This is probably not where I would want to be as learning a new skill or behaviour takes time and practice.

So I will not dwell on what I do not have, as attaining this will be too time constraining and not efficient. "Many leaders believe that the path to greatness lies in finding their least effective traits or skills and then bringing these up to an acceptable level. This is a misconception." "People can only be successful at change if they focus their effort in a few areas." (Zenger 2004) pg 21 - 24

As said by John Ruskin "Do not think of your faults: look for what is good and strong and try to imitate it. Your faults will drop off like dead leaves, when the time comes."

To lead and manage staff now and in the future, what am I doing well now that I need to improve further? This is where I should start, by delving into my bag of leadership tools and bringing out the "good but rusty ones" that require polishing. The main expectation as described by (Hersey 1993) is that the new leader would have to use a leadership style that fits the situation, hence their concept of Situational Leadership.

The basics of Situational Leadership cover three main areas, the amount of guidance and direction a leader gives, the amount of depth of relationship support or behaviour a leader provides and the readiness level that followers exhibit in performing a specific task or achieving an objective. In other words no one model is correct it depends on the maturity of the follower. There are two basic leadership styles, transactional or transformational, the latter is the one I will adopt as this is the style that deals with leading change and I feel is therefore more appropriate.

From experience and reading the literature available to me, I selected the following six skills, personal qualities and competencies, which I consider most important or valuable for me to develop/enhance as a leader manager.

I must develop/enhance these Personal Qualities

Self-Belief - The conviction that you can achieve the goals set for your team based on previous successful achievements. Having the confidence to know you are capable of getting your followers to take a certain path. This would also include the ability to accept higher loads of stressors than normal and still continue to function at a higher operating level. Resilience, a part of one's self-belief. According to (Ulrich 2000) Resilient leaders keep current on ideas and innovations, network with others, shed obsolete ideas, experiment with new ideas, learn from their failures and successes and think about what's next. Resilient leaders can shift projects, work and careers as opportunities arise. They see risk as an opportunity to learn. The implications for me are to make sure all minor successes are celebrated on the way to achieving major goals. I now also keep a journal to reflect on what did or did not work.

Self and External-awareness - What we are, what we are capable of? What is our impact on others, what is the socio cultural environment that we live in? The ability to recognise strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes, when you are under pressure or stress and the use of empathy. In other words you must know your own limitations, you must understand that everything has a lifespan and requires updating, even knowledge. How do you become self-aware? From the literature one can only modify their own behaviour if you have some form of feedback whether this is 360 degree feedback or a critical friend, you have to know how others see you before you decide what and how to change. (Kouzes 2007)

Personal Integrity - Development of trust among followers is an essential part of leadership. Leaders must be trusted. To be trusted you must be respected and to be respected you must have integrity. This is a "culture" derived from a set of beliefs, values and standards that every society gives to its members. In practical terms this would have implications for me as a leader because I would be expected to be able to make the choice between right and wrong. Sometimes leaders are put in positions where they have to make decisions based solely on conscience, these are the "hard calls" usually somebody will be upset at the outcome. Using a definition from (Tozer 1997) pg 72 "Integrity embraces the virtues of honesty, sincerity, reliability, unselfishness and loyalty without which the leader cannot gain the trust and respect of those he is privileged to lead." This is also highly reflected in (Forster 2005) where he looks at Desired leadership qualities. I like Colin Powell's take on this "Why would you follow somebody around a corner? Or up a hill? Or into a dark room? The reason is trust." (Harari 2003) pg 6

I believe I must become more competent in and develop the following skills.

Facilitation - The coach / mentor / guide on the side. What is Facilitation and why is it so important that leader managers have it and use it both now and in the future?

According to the literature, the word Facilitation means "making things easy".

Within an Organisation the facilitators' role has three main functions Generalist and specialist, Co-coordinator and Neutral Observer. As a Generalist, he has General Knowledge of how organisations function and as a specialist, organisational diagrams and intervention processes. In a co-coordinator function, he becomes the "link" organising resources and expertise. As a neutral observer, the Facilitator becomes most useful, as they belong to no political Coalition within an organisation and have no stake in any outcome. The facilitator's role in this respect is a Socratic one, if you do not ask the right question; you will not get the right answer.

According to (Heron 1999) a facilitator is a "person who has the role of empowering participants to learn in an experiential group".

Looking at Coaching and Mentoring, which I included with facilitation, these are more concerned with, in the case of coaching doing the current job better and in the case of mentoring preparing the person for their next job.

Coaching involves a lot of feedback on performance in specific areas for which that person is accountable. It is important to note here that feedback is less judgmental than criticism. In other words we are concentrating on the performance not the person.

Mentors expose the subordinate to higher functional areas within the organisation; this enhances the person's promotability to greater responsibility.

But the one point to remember here is that all these skills rely on similar types of Communication. Anyone who is good at facilitation will be an adept communicator.

Negotiation and Persuasion - Social Interaction is very important and for this reason all tasks and rewards must be negotiated before any work commences. To be an excellent negotiator your Emotional Intelligence quotient must be very high. You have to get inside the other persons mind "walk in their shoes" you have to become them, to become a good negotiator. This is where your own knowledge of your self -belief and self -awareness becomes critical. You want everyone to win but you don't want to leave any money on the table. The first rule of negotiation is that it only begins once the other party say "NO". These will become very valuable skills in the future.

Inspirational / motivating - Ability to inspire/ motivate using Multiple Intelligence's (Ensuring the full range of Intelligences have been employed) When followers are drawn to your purpose you are inspiring, when they are drawn to you, you have become charismatic. To inspire people you have to be committed 100%, you have to be passionate, honest, be able to express yourself with clarity and take risks. The mood of the leader drives the moods and actions of the organisation. If this is the case then the leaders primal task should be emotional leadership. (Goleman 2001.)The implications for me in this respect would be to understand the reasons for taking a particular path and then ensuring I am committed 100% to leading my followers along the path. Leadership has to be action orientated otherwise it is pointless. (Adair 2003)

I would conclude that for me to be a successful leader, the above skills, personal qualities and competencies must be at a level where they are all habitual. I must create change, not wait for it to happen. I must continuously develop my skills through whatever means available, there is always room for improvement. I must practice, practice and practice.