Sunday, September 13, 2015

18 Traits of a Great Leader

Gr8 leaders are the difference between success and failure.  They grow kids into learners and followers into leaders.  In fact, the gr8est leaders turn static organizations into thriving learning environments, but here is the question.  What does it take to be a gr8 leader?  What do the gr8 ones do that separate themselves from average leaders?

18 Tr8s of a Gr8 Leader
Great leaders focus on elevating their people as well as elevating their confidence.

Great leaders relate to all people in their school community because they understand that relationships with all people are the key to helping all kids reach excellence.

When conflicts arise, great leaders spring to action.  They resolve conflicts by attempting to mediate as a first resort because they understand that when mediation works, conflicts can end with a Win-Win result.

Great leaders love to argue and debate with people.  By being the devil's advocate in important discussions and decisions, leaders help people become more committed to their beliefs and ultimately their work.

What gets celebrated gets accelerated, and great leaders build celebration into their daily work and interactions with all people.

When things aren't working or new initiatives are falling apart, leaders realize that they must slow down the process to allow people time to learn more about the initiative or fix what is not working.  Gr8 leaders pump the brakes. 

When leaders see that processes are working, they find ways to accelerate the organization because they know that growth grows faster when we are moving faster. 

When problems arise on the campus, average leaders formulate a plan to find a solution, but great leaders formulate a system that ensures that the problem is resolved and never resurfaces for years to come.

Keeping people informed is what average leaders do, but great leaders educate their teachers, their parents, and their community on what is best for all kids and why it is best.

Average leaders never stop, but great leaders realize that they must take mental breaks. Meditation and reflection are essential for growth, and great leaders know how to shut down in order to reboot their system.

An average leader tells people what to do. A great leader shows them the way.

All leaders communicate, but great leaders overcommunicate verbally, visibly and virtually.  They communicate their message multiple times in multiple formats to ensure that the communication is not only received, but they verify that the communication is clear and coherent.  The most important communication trait of a great leader is LISTENING.

Collaboration always outperforms isolation, and great leaders model collaboration by working in a PLC with their teachers, fellow leaders and peers.  You can't expect collaboration if you never collaborate yourself.

Constantly showing appreciation for leaders, teachers, students and the community is consistently evident in a great leader's communication.

Great leaders seek out excellent practices from other leaders and teachers and emulate those behaviors in their work.

When great leaders discover excellence in teachers or programs, they find ways to replicate those practices throughout the school by empowering those exemplars of excellence to show others their success and expertise.

Great leaders only create when they can't replicate, and they enlist the expertise of others to create new and effective processes to improve the school.

Being all in is not an option for great leaders. They dedicate themselves wholeheartedly to the success of others.  Furthermore, they model their dedication for all to see, so that they can inspire others to commit as well.

Gr8 Tr8s lead to  Growth
The possibilities for systemic growth are infinite when leaders focus on having the traits of a transformational leader.  There a lot of other excellent traits that I could have mentioned, but here is the main idea. When leaders embody the actions of excellence, student success grows because teacher success grows.  Great leaders realize that they don't directly impact students, but they do directly impact teachers, and when leaders focus on developing their own skill set to make teachers more effective and more efficient at helping kids, student success automatically takes care of itself.  

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