By Ranesha Lee, Guest Contributor
Leadership has been defined as a role to lead transformative change of a school. The function of effective leadership is to provide direction and exercise influence (Leithwood, K.A. & Riehl C. 2003). Providing a school direction is imperative, but integrating with the community is just as vital. The community’s culture, values and traditions are embedded into each student that crosses the corridors. Administrators have to create a vision for their school, but they need more than vision to transform a school. Leaders do not impose their own goals and visions onto others, but truly sharing the goals and creating a sense of purpose and direction (Leithwood, K.A. & Riehl C. 2003). A wise professor shared that partnership, whether outside agencies or teachers within your building, should experience a working relationship of mutuality (Murtadha, K. 2018). Mutuality is the fundamental necessity for a thriving partnership.
Effective leaders function as the pulse of as school. No one knows the exact formula for what makes an effective leader, but there are some imperative components to becoming one. Leithwood and Riehl outline them as setting direction, developing people and developing the organization.
Developing people becomes a lost art. When influential leaders fight the courageous fight and work to set a direction that benefits all and strengthens an organization’s partnerships, test scores and reputation—does that work truly leave time to develop the people that are engaged in the movement with that leader? Great leaders should empower prospective leaders. This allows the vision to evolve exponentially, but it takes more than work. It takes dedication, resilience, honesty and most importantly a level of servitude to engage and advocate for those that lack the resources or access to do it for themselves. Sharing the leadership and developing new leaders can impact the community and beyond if executed well. My parting thoughts are that great leaders are born with the innate ability to thrive under pressure and think beyond themselves—but the amount of work that it takes can make or break you. So I charge the new leaders—are you ready to work?
Ranehsa Lee is an Educational Leadership Master of Arts student in the IU School of Education at IUPUI.
Leithwood, K. & Reihl, C. (2003). What we know about successful school leadership. Philadelphia, PA: Laboratory for Student Success, Temple University.