Strengthening Leadership Skills in a Changing System


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Please write a brief analysis of the leadership situation in your current setting. Then, discuss how developing a menu of leadership approaches might help you make positive changes in your district. Articulate the perceived challenges and benefits of a “menu” approach to leadership in your current setting. Be sure to cite information from the course resources or other relevant scholarly resources to support your thinking.
Before writing, think about, In Week 2, you identified elements of your school’s/system’s structure and culture that may need to be altered to support curriculum change. This week, you learned about different leadership styles and the skills and competencies a leader needs in order to bring about effective change within an organization. You also heard how curriculum development leaders manage change in their districts in the media segment " Understanding Effective Leadership."
As Phillip Schlechty noted in Shaking Up the Schoolhouse, no matter what your leadership role is in your current setting and whether or not you are "in charge," you have an opportunity to make use of your leadership skills to overcome the myths of change leadership described by Douglas Reeves in Leading Change in Your School. That said, your dominant leadership style may not be enough to help you increase the commitment of others, overcome fear, build a coalition, or support meaningful collaboration. In this week’s Discussion, you will examine leadership approaches at the personal and systemic level to determine how you might deal with the challenges of leading change.
Begin by reflecting on the Learning Resources and your current setting. Then, analyze the leadership in your current setting by considering the following questions:
Reflect on the leadership styles described in the Required Resources. In your judgment, what is the dominant leadership style in your current setting?
Will the leaders in your organization commit to supporting and implementing the changes you proposed in Week 2 given the current leadership style(s) in practice? (For the purpose of this discussion, be sure to focus on leadership styles rather than on individual personalities or other factors that may determine the level of commitment to change.)
Is the current approach to leadership in your organization effective in helping stakeholders overcome fear, build coalitions, or develop meaningful collaboration?
With your answers to the above questions in mind, respond to the following:
How might developing a menu of leadership approaches help you bring about the structural and cultural changes you identified (regardless of your current leadership role)? What are the challenges and benefits of developing a menu of approaches to leadership?
Resources
Book Excerpt: Schlechty, P. (2001). Shaking up the schoolhouse: How to support and sustain educational innovation. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Schlechty, P. (2001). Shaking Up the schoolhouse. (pp. 159-207). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Reprinted by permission of John Wiley Sons, Inc., via the Copyright Clearance Center.
Chapter 9, Empowered Leaders: Questions of Style and Substance
Focus On: As you read, think about your skills and competencies as a leader in your current setting. What are you already doing well? In what areas would you like to improve? What resources do you have available to you to help you develop your leadership abilities?
Book Excerpt: Leithwood, K., Jantzi, D., & Steinbach, R. (2003). Changing leadership for changing times. Philadelphia, PA: Open University Press.
Leithwood, K., Jantzi, D., & Steinbach, R. (2003). Changing leadership for changing times. (pp. 4-20). Philadelphia, PA: Open University Press. Reprinted by permission of Open University Press via the Copyright Clearance Center.
Chapter 1, Changing Leadership: A Menu of Possibilities
Focus On: As you read, consider how you might develop a menu of approaches to leadership in order to increase the effectiveness of your leadership in your school or system. Think about the potential challenges and benefits of developing a menu of leadership approaches.

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