Learning Pathways Cymru

Leadership for the Future

Much has been written about leadership; there are multiple theories about what leadership is; types of leadership styles, academic hypotheses on whichever style is more or less effective.

I suggest that it is actually what you as a leader do and how you connect with and relate to others rather than worrying about which “school leadership” that you belong to is what is most important. Your leadership behaviours, relationships and decisions are based on your core values and it is these that really matter for you as a leader. Fundamentally I also believe that if you are an inspirational and effective leader, whose leadership has real and genuine impact, then you care passionately about your cause, business or organisation. As a leader you care about each of the individuals for whom and with whom you have a leadership role and relationship.

The way in which you can inspire others is to engage in leadership conversations.

Therefore the essential skills and way of working as an effective and inspirational leader (and core to engaging others to buy into and help drive forward your vision or cause) are high level conversational skills together with the judgement to recognise when to use each type of conversation and communication. Together they will enable you to engage with others and get them to buy into and help drive forward your vision or cause.

As leaders it is essential that we lead the “management of the present” and deliver the goods (as it were) and be transactional leaders at our best i.e. “effective”. However it is also essential to inspire, engage and motivate others into our vision, to generate creativity and innovation and to lead the “creation of the future”. In other words it is essential to also be a transformational leader i.e. “inspirational”.

Indeed one of the most important things that “transformational leaders” do is to have conversations. Transformational leaders understand that “leadership is a conversation”. I believe that we can engage and inspire the people who we lead, work with and work for; we can all inspire and engage others in our vision that we are passionate about by having conversations – real and genuine ones.

I believe that it is important to have the right conversations at the right time with the right people in the right way; to build trusted relationships by being open and transparent, caring and respectful of others’ views and opinions; to genuinely listen to and seek the opinions of others and create the environment for intellectual creativity and innovation. As a leader having the courage to then make the appropriate decisions and follow those through is essential.

So for me, Leadership for the Future is leadership that is both transactional and transformational, so that it is “effective and inspirational” and fully engages those people that, in our leadership role(s), we work with and for so that they are able to deliver together the outlined vision and objectives.

E: barbarachidgey@learningpathways.info
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