Personal Leadership Action Plan Watching a school failis one of the worst experiences a school leader can be a part of, but with the rightcombination of leadership and staff, things can be turned around. Thereis a basic definition of leadership but not one that has been acceptedunequivocally by professionals because of the wide range of concepts andqualities that defines a leader (Northouse, 2016).
These concepts includevalues, behaviors, thoughts and ideas, practices, knowledge, education, skills,personal and professional experiences, culture, and resources. Throughout aleadership action plan there are several phases that include: assessing theprevious leadership styles, assessing the school’s climate, culture andperformance, determining the needs of the school and staff, identifying my ownleadership style, determining why my leadership style would be better than thelast, supporting my leadership style with leadership theories and applicationof my leadership style to improve the areas of need of my school. Ineffective Leadership It is important to assess the previousleadership style of my school to determine why that style was ineffective. Theassessment will provide data to determine if the previous leader made ethicaldecisions, was respected by the stakeholders, had positive or negativerelationships with stakeholders, was in compliance, made decisions that was inthe best interest of the students and the staff, utilized the school resourcesappropriately, and if practices were both effective and efficient. Ethics is a majorconcern of mine because leaders with good ethics make positive and impactfuldecisions consistently. Unfortunately, leaders make decisions that occasionallygo against their moral beliefs but for the right reasons, and this is whereleadership and ethics can become divided. “The wordethics has its roots in the Greek word ethos, which translates to “customs,””conduct,” or “character”” (Northouse, 2016, p.
330). Making decisionsbased on what is right can be misconstrued or taken out of context; what isright for one group of people may not be right for all people. Leadersare expected to be honest and transparent with everything they do, especiallydecisions and actions related to finances associated with the school ororganization. Even in collaborative relationships leaders are expected to befiscally responsible, respectful and fair, thus strengthening their individualcharacter and unifying a group based on similar values. Not having ethicalvalues, practices and behaviors were most likely detrimental to the success ofmy school, which is now, a low performing school.
This assessment willdetermine if the previous school leader had the necessary character traits tobe considered an ethical leader. An ethical leader’s character traits consistof the following: transparency, honesty, respect, responsibility, fairness,team work, motivation, and leading by example. Transparency for a school leadercan be very difficult because the results or solution to an issue can bedamaging, embarrassing, unfair, or require dishonesty to reduce negativeperceptions. Honesty for a school leader is a little different thantransparency because with transparency there is the good, the bad and allpossibilities open for discussion or ideas based on group decisions, whereashonesty is providing feelings, thoughts, and ideas of one person.
Conduct of an ethical educational leaderincludes the language that is used, their attire, their tone of voice, theirattendance, their actions and reactions, and their habits. It is important tounderstand that a school leader’s conduct is appropriate both on the job andoff of the job. A leader’s actions are used by their constituents andstakeholders to determine their character: trustworthiness, reliability,temperament, and interests. A leader that is trustworthy can build usefulrelationships for resources, political gains, increase of community andparental involvement, and act as an inspiration to others. Joseph L. Badaracco Jr.
‘ theoryis right vs. right (1992), making a right decision that is right over anotherdecision that is also right but not equally. “Ethical theory provides asystem of rules or principles that guide us in making decisions about what isright or wrong and good or bad in a particular situation” (Northouse, 2016, p.330). The previous leaderspracticed situational leadership, they did not care much about how the schoolwas run or why certain decisions were made; the focus was one situation at atime, thus unethical practices were adopted and allowed. “The situationalapproach focuses on leadership in situations.
The premise of the theory is thatdifferent situations demand different kinds of leadership. From thisperspective, to be an effective leader requires that a person adapt his or herstyle to the demands of different situations” (Northouse, 2016, p. 93).
School Culture, Climate andPerformanceOne major aspect of transforming a poorperforming school is understanding the culture, climate and the performance inevery department. An assessment of the school’s culture, climate, and performancecan provide useful information as to what areas need to be reformed oreliminated. The assessment will help me determine the involvement of parents,the interest and involvement of staff, how data is collected, how data is used,what resources are available, how resources are used. In addition, classroomand departmental policies and procedures must be questioned and welldocumented. Finding the breakdowns in each part of the larger system areessential to the transformation process.
As an administratorof a low performing school it is imperative to maintain high levels of parentalinvolvement to increase morale, classroom support, and volunteerism to benefitstudents, staff, parents and community members (Stewart-Banks, 2015). A feelingof connection and pride can be associated with supporting the school district,students or school activities. Keeping a strong connection between the communityand the school a priority is beneficial for fundraising, recruitment, andoperational stability. Communicating with stakeholders and students are alsoimportant for relationship building and maintaining trust. The school culturecan include a lack of funding which should be a major part of the schools’culture when the school is not performing well. It is also important to haveknowledge and skills of politics that will help build relationships and secureboth human resources and office resources. The state reduces funds for lowperforming schools, and many low performing schools are in low incomecommunities that do not contribute much via taxes or otherwise. Before I coulddetermine how to get the school out of a possible financial hole I need todetermine what the staff and students have already suffered through up to thatpoint.
It is possible that the school staff have experienced layoffs, pay decreases,increased class sizes and being overworked, which are already detrimental toimproving or maintaining a positive work environment. Teachers may not havereceived regular professional development, the processes used for collectingdata or administering assessments could have been insufficient and out ofcompliance. Determining how the school is spending money can help withreallocation of school funds and budgeting. Needs AssessmentTo determine what areas of improvement aschool will need there must be a comprehensive needs assessment conducted. Acomprehensive needs assessment will include information about what the schoolalready has in place for vision and mission, values, policies, procedures,programs, assessments, curriculum, certifications, resources, finances,facility strengths and weaknesses, professional development needs, what worksand what does not work and why, processes, incentives, ways of collecting dataand analyzing it, inputs and outcomes of each program within the school, groupsand teams within the school and their responsibilities, priorities, culture andflow of the school, concerns of the stakeholders, as well as determining thecauses and solutions to the concerns. This needs assessment can tell me if I need tohave more community events, more professional development activities, theaggressiveness of fundraising, increase or decrease of enrollment, haveoversight committees for programs that are losing money or being sued such asspecial education, nutrition and child care facilities within the school.
Leadership StyleMypersonal leadership style is transformational. Transformational leaders insideof a school system support the school in making the changes necessary for theschool system to become successful. Collaboration, motivation, and providing astable support system for others are important parts of a transformationalleadership. I have a proficient understanding of how to develop a school’s mission,vision, and the core values which are an essential part of the creation of aschool brand. The mission tells what goals or objectives the school willaddress. The vision tells how the goals and objectives will be addressed in anoverall, condensed method.
The core values are the character traits that theschool will focus on to help build a positive and cohesive culture andenvironment. I believe that with a team of individuals that share common goalsand values, creating a mission and vision for a school can shape the foundationof a belief system that can be used by a larger group of people. Themost important decision is to make sure that the primary concern from day today is the wellbeing of the scholars being served. I proficiently understandthat ethics is making the right decision for the right purpose. Many leadersfocus on the impact of a decision of scholars, then staff, then the communityand in doing so, in this order, it becomes difficult to make unethicaldecisions. How one conducts themselvesin public, around scholars, with other professionals, and with parents includestandard practices that are established as professional norms. Creatingprofessional norms is a way to influence how students and staff interact, howgroups of individuals collaborate, acts as encouragement to building positiveand productive relationships, and produces an expectation of appropriatebehaviors. Equityand cultural responsiveness is one of the more complex standards to understandbecause it includes equality and cultural awareness that many people have verylittle background knowledge of.
I have developed a proficient understanding ofthis standard because I have experience working with diverse communities,language barriers, inclusion and exclusion of students and staff based oncultural differences, language differences, religious differences, and learningdifferences. Ihave developed an advanced level of understanding about curriculum, instruction,and assessment. I haveseveral years of experience researching and teaching scholars in multipleenvironments. The range of teaching and learning has allowed me to becomegreatly familiar with different types of curriculum, how to present differenttypes of curriculum through instruction and have created, proctored, graded andanalyzed several types of assessments. Ihave developed an advanced level of understanding of showing the community thatI care and being supportive of students and staff. Being passionate aboutimproving the lives of students and staff is an extremely important part of mypersonal character. Ways to show students and staff that I care consists ofgreetings, giving advice, learning names and individual interests,participating in classroom, school and community activities, and spending timewith staff doing things they like to do.
Ihave developed a proficient understanding of establishing the professionalcapacity of school personnel, which includes hiring people with the skills andabilities required to run or support a program effectively. I would like forstaff members to be passionate about their positions, their duties andresponsibilities, as well as content with their duties and responsibilities, Iwould also like to ensure that staff and students have a great work/lifebalance. I have developed aproficient understanding of School Improvement.
I have worked in schools thatwere in the process of reformation. I understand that working as a team throughcollaboration, data collection, data analysis, curriculum and instructionplanning, assessment, interventions, student programs and support, establishingpolicies and procedures, community and parental involvement are all factorsinvolved with the process of school improvement. Ihave developed an advanced understanding of creating a professional communityfor teachers and staff. To increase productivity, it is essential to createprofessional learning communities that support positive and productivecollaboration (Daly, 2015). To support a professional community for teachersand staff it is important to create a schedule that makes collaborationpossible, have designated locations for meetings and planning, as well asopportunities for staff members to establish positive relationships inside andoutside of school. Ihave developed an advanced understanding of meaningful engagement of familiesand Community by participating in programs that focus on improving parentalinvolvement in schools and staff participation in the community. To establish acohesive relationship between the school and the community it is important toincrease school activities that involves students, parents, staff and membersfrom the surrounding communities.
Ihave developed a proficient understanding of operations and management of aschool organization from my time as a school secretary, special educationteacher and general elementary teacher. Running the day to day operations of aschool with or without the appropriate personnel, funds, space, policies, orprocedures in place can have either a positive or negative impact toward how theschool functions. Effective LeadershipAccording toNorthouse, leadership is a process that allows a person to influence others toachieve a common goal (2016).
In my opinion, leadership is the behavior andpractices used to actively participate and support a team to accomplish commongoals. The most important word used to describe leadership is behavior. How aleader behaves on and off the job can impact entire communities.
Leaders areexpected by employees, constituents, members, family and friends to bepositively motivating, as well as to collaborate and work well with others toaccomplish all organizational goals. Iexpect a leader to have a vision that can support or align with pre-existingorganizational goals. A leader must identify the goals of an existingorganization prior to developing new goals, collaborate with other leaders andstakeholders within the organization to get actionable input and ideas.Transformational leaders may consider building a team of people with a widerange of skills necessary to accomplish each possible task. A leader uses effective communication, suchas, consistent email, memos, weekly newsletters, blogs, and reports to developpositive relationships, and offer transparency. A leader understands the senseof urgency when tasks require deadlines and or impacts culture andorganizational function of the day to day decisions. A leader appropriatelymakes decisions based on emotions, logic, ethics, and resources, having abalanced temperament appreciated by many.
The vision and mission that a leaderbelieves should support and align with the common goals accepted by theappointed team members. I believe that a transformational leadershipstyle would be the most effective leadership style to help improve my school’sperformance. From the leadership self-assessment my highest scoresuggests that my leadership style is an ambassador, with internal qualities andbehavior practices of a(n): advocate, people mover, truth-seeker, creativebuilder, experienced guide. According to the leadership legacy assessment”ambassadors instinctively know how to handle a variety of situations withgrace. They tend to be the people diffusing nasty situations. The ones gettinginvolved in conflicts on behalf of broad constituencies, as opposed for theirown benefit. They are apt to be persistent in a gentle way — to be persuasiveand at the same time respectful”(http://www.
yourleadershiplegacy.com/assessment/assessment.php). Traits that define aleader include: being influential, using words and actions to inspire others,being respectful, being trustworthy, and providing guidance to all who need it.Leadership traits include self-confidence, taking responsibility, being aneffective listener, having a positive attitude, and being accountable (Smalley,et al.
, 2016). I have identifiedthe most appropriate and fitting leadership style to improve the school’sperformance: a transformational leader. I believe that I am a transformationalleader. I believe in encouragement, and empowerment of those around me, toensure that people are able to live better lives and are equipped to transformthe lives of others. I believe that leading by example is an extremelyimportant part of being a leader, and being a role model that others can trustand believe in. Transformationalleaders focus on both the needs and the wants of their employees or followersbecause this allows them to be inspired, motivated, encouraged, and empoweredsystematically. Transformational leaders are role models and are great at leadingby example, which allows their employees or followers to trust them more,appreciate their leadership and support them because they have a clear vision,are resourceful, charismatic, friendly and respectful.
A transformationalleader is the representative for their constituents, they work for thewell-being of those they work with, they communicate and collaborate with theiremployees or followers, and they focus on what is right, what is fair,effectiveness and efficiency. Traitsof an effective transformational leader include being confident, intelligent,selfless, respectful, loyal, courageous, compassionate, dependable and honest.Leaders may have some of these traits but not all and rely on others to filltheir void. According to Solaja (2016) other leadership traits includeopenness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. Leadership skills are actions of aleader that include motivation skills, delegation skills, organization skills,management skills, problem solving skills, being a good listener, being a goodcommunicator, competence, and being a positive role model (Smalley, 2016). Leadership behaviorsinclude communicating with others, monitoring progress, building positiverelationships, being accountable, participating, making and accomplishinggoals, being supportive, showing perseverance, showing integrity, inspiringothers through words and actions, being respectful and appreciative of theefforts of others, being considerate and being trustworthy (Yukl, 2012).
Ibelieve that I share the appropriate leadership traits, skills and behaviors tobe an effective transformational leader. Thetraits, skills, and behaviors that I believe makes me an effective educationalleader are my intelligence, alertness, insight, responsibility, initiative,persistence, self-confidence, sociability, achievement, cooperativeness,tolerance, influence, problem solving skills, task management skills,technological awareness, dependability, perseverance, honesty, and loyalty. My education andexperiences in the different roles within the education field has given me muchof the knowledge necessary for me to be an effective educational leader. Bybeing alert I can assess situations and prepare for possible outcomes. I use myinsight to develop suggestions, ideas and solutions to issues before theymanifest, I complete all necessary tasks within the allotted time frame, try tomaintain a healthy work-life balance and follow rules and laws to the best ofmy ability. I am a self-motivator; I find reasons to want to achieve more.
I ampatient and continue working at my goal until it is accomplished, thus Ipersevere and have a high level of tolerance. I am a great delegator and itcomes with easy telling others what can be done and how something can be donewhile giving them tasks that will help to complete the overall goal. Research-based LeadershipApproachesThe research-based leadership approach(es) thatfoundationally support my transformation leadership style are as follows: Stogdill,Mann, Lord, Devader and Alliger, Kirkpatrick and Locke, Zaccaro, Kemp and Bader(Northouse, 2016). There are at least 12 different styles of leadership butseveral commonalities amongst them include providing others with stability,guidance, inspiration, motivation and management.
A leadership style consists of the behaviorpattern of a person who attempts to influence others” (Northouse, 2016, p. 94).Some leadership styles and approaches can change or be influenced byenvironment, situation, constituents, employees, resources, or morality. According to Northouse (2016), Ralph Stogdillbelieved that the leadership skills and characteristics necessary for a leaderto be effective included intelligence, achievement, cooperativeness, tolerance,influence, responsibility, initiative, persistence, alertness, insight,self-confidence, and sociability. Stogdill also believed that one’s leadershipstyle was not consistent and could be ineffective based on the situation onewas put in.
Richard Mann believed that intelligence, masculinity, adjustment,dominance, extraversion, conservatism were leadership traits andcharacteristics necessary to be a great leader. Dr. Robert Lord, ChristyDeVader and Alliger believed that the skills and characteristics required to bea great leader were intelligence, masculinity, and dominance.
SidneyKirkpartrick and Alain Locke believed that leadership traits could be learnedand included drive, motivation, integrity, confidence, cognitive, ability,task, and knowledge. Finally, Stephen Zaccaro, Cary Kemp and Paige Baderbelieved that leaders were born with the following attributes of a leader andnaturally possessed cognitive abilities, extraversion, conscientiousness,emotional stability, openness, agreeableness, motivation, social intelligence,self-monitoring, emotional, intelligence, and the ability to problem solve. Ibelieve that I possess many of the above mentioned character traits, skills,and behaviors.ApplicationOne way to apply the transformational leadershipapproach as an administrator is to provide tailored professional development tomy employees. Another way to apply my transformational leadership style is tobe a role model, be transparent and make decisions based on integrity. Anotherway to apply my leadership style as an administrator is to be an activelistener and provide my employees with the support they need such as:materials, human capital, coaching, collaboration opportunities, or incentives.
One of the most important ways to apply my leadership style is to be fiscallyresponsible, be accountable, hold others accountable, as well as ensure theenvironment and culture is safe and clean. Leadership stylesconsists of directive behaviors: a leader gives directions and guidance,supportive behaviors: a leader provides resources, examples or advice,participative behavior: a leader gives their employees or followers options toparticipate in the decision making process and the achievement-orientedbehavior: encourages competition, personal or professional growth and offertraining for improvement. To effectively apply the transformational approachwithin my school is through my behaviors. Leaders of a nation,a school district, a school, a community, a business, or a family have similarexpectations: to set goals, have personal and professional behavioralpractices, have organizational skills, be accountable, be responsible, beethical, be fair and supportive (Khan, 2017). However, the differences amongeach leader are based on ones’ personal interest, position, necessity andpreferences.