Before taking the EDAD 6580 – Leadership in Education course with Dr. Alsbury, I knew very little about leadership theory and leadership styles, other than that which I had experienced and could discuss anecdotally. This course work and connected reflection helped highlight the importance of recognizing that who we are as individuals greatly influences our leadership style and preferences.
In this course I learned that I strongly tend towards Y Theory Management style according to the X-Y Theory Questionnaire. According to the Managerial Grid, I am strongest in the “Sound” managerial style that is characterized by examining what is right versus who is right. However, I also have tendencies toward the “Accommodating” and “Indifferent” styles. According to the Leadership Survey, I demonstrated a tendency towards a high task and high relationship style of leadership, but also with a second tendency to a high relationship and low task style of leadership. This parallels the results from the Managerial Grid and calls attention to weaknesses that can come about from too much emphasis on relationships and not enough follow through regarding high standards and consistently high expectations for everyone in the organization.
According to the Jung Typology Test I am have Introvert Sensing Feeling Perceiving strengths (ISFP), but only just. I scored only 9% introvert, meaning only a slight preference over extroversion, and only a 3% preference of sensing over intuition. However, I had moderate (38%) preference of feeling over thinking, as well as a moderate preference of perceiving over judging. I feel like this Typology test is quite accurate to how I perceive myself, and reflects changes in my adult leadership style, compared to my younger self’s tendencies. According to the Ross-Barger Philosophy Index I align strongest with Existentialist and Pragmatist philosophies.
We looked at the Washington State Leadership Standards (WSP Standards) 6 Washington State Principal Standards (WSP) and compared them to the Danielson model used in teacher evaluations. A deeper analysis of my strengths and areas for improvement in relation to the WSP Standards can be found here: Leadership Standards Reflection.
Additionally, this course challenged me to look comprehensively at the whole-school vision and culture in a way I had never done before. Much time was spent analyzing the efficacy of data and educational research in this process. My most comprehensive artifact of this work is the Visionary Leadership Analysis.
My most important takeaways were:
- Any effective leader, but especially school leaders, must have a well-articulated vision that springs from one’s values and/or spirituality. This vision must be a shared vision with the rest of school stakeholders, although leaders should have some fundamental “non-negotiables” that speak directly to the core values and vision of the school.
- Every situation/school/community is unique and requires a different leadership style. Great leaders are able to recognize this, know themselves and their community, and adapt appropriately.
Owens, R.G., & Valesky, T.C. (2015). Organizational behavior in education: Leadership and school reform (11th ed). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
Houston, P.D., Blankstein, A.M., & Cole, R.W. (2008). Spirituality in educational leadership. Thousand Oakes, CA: Corwin.