Leadership – Edublogs Club Wk 3

Ah ah ah ah staying alive staying alive. So this weekly blogging club actually expects you to blog every week, eh?

I’m going to cheat a bit and do a couple of posts at the same time to catch up.


Prompt: Write a post that discusses leadership, peer coaching, and/or effecting change.

I am grateful that the prompt also included sentence starters or I probably would have skipped this one.


Leaders don’t…

…change a system (rule, procedure, etc.) without understanding why it was put in place.

I am probably guilty of this quite a bit. I enjoy tinkering with systems and building new things. Whenever I am part of a new group I am the nerd that wants to write the bylaws. Seriously. In a lot of ways it is a strength to see and understand how different parts fit together. The main challenge when working with system in need of repair or update is to accept the system as it is and figure out how to achieve workable and sustainable change without just burning down the house and building a new one. Sometimes that is what is required, but usually not.




…assume that the organization chart represents the actual power centers and influence of an institution.

I still remember the first time I learned about the four frame model while in graduate school. #mindblow.

  1. Structural (Factory or machine) – rules, goals, policies
  2. Human resource (family) – needs, skills, relationships
  3. Political (jungle) – power, conflict
  4. Symbolic (cathedral) – culture, ceremony, heroes, sacred cows


Check this out for good PD reading:


Leaders always…

…ask questions and listen to responses.

…are willing to be wrong and admit to it.

…are willing to be right and criticized for it.

…communicates vision, goals and timelines.

…identify and build relationships with all stakeholders.

…know when to be democratic and when to dictate.

All of these attributes are incredibly important, but I think this last one is the “special sauce” that can really impact the effectiveness of a leader. Basically…being a good people manager. Most leaders that I have worked under are strong with one style but very weak with the other. It’s challenging because as individuals we are more naturally proficient and comfortable with one style – so switching gears takes practice and effort.

  • Too democratic (death by a thousand cuts) = s.l.o.w. decision making (e.g., focus groups, polls, ad hoc committees, etc.), everything gets bogged down in committee, multiple meetings about the same topic when no consensus decision is possible, can REALLY suffer when faced with a persistent vocal minority opinion
  • Too dictatorial (fast lane to resentment) = people feel like their voice, and their values, are not being heard and considered, decisions are made too quickly (no time to process the change)


Effecting change…

…is hard.

…takes time.

…starts small.

…is disruptive even if it is “good”.

…only happens if you get buy-in from your stakeholders.


To me, the disruptive element of change is perhaps the most under-appreciated aspect. Best case scenario – everyone is on board with the need for change, the vision for the future, the steps and timeline to enact the change, sufficient resources (including time) are available and provided as needed without any fight or fuss, and implementation proceeds smoothly without an unexpected problems. Even under those fantasyland conditions, change is still stressful and a lot of work. And of course, we live in the real world where some, many or all items on that list are missing or imperfectly addressed.

Basically, stress is stressful, no matter the cause.



Thanks for stopping by, please comment with a link to your blog!

What is your go-to or most influential leadership book, movie, quote, etc? What was one of  your leadership “aha” moments?