2 Pitfalls to Avoid When Leading Change

Learner-centered leaders want to get things done. Creating the conditions in which the school system starts to focus more on the learner is incredibly rewarding. It is also complicated. Failure to realize your dreams for your school can happen if you are not careful. Avoid these two pitfalls while leading change in your school, and you will increase your chance for success.

Pitfall #1:

You do not have a well-defined, articulate vision. A vision for the future is vital for two reasons. First, it helps people see the destination. When I drive across the country to Montana to visit my daughter, the 28 hours are grueling. What keeps me motivated is what happens when I get there…I get to see her! The same holds true for your vision. Your staff and community want to know that the hardships they will face as they make changes will lead to something better. Second, a vision grounds you and helps give you resilience during tough times. Let’s be honest, there are a lot of tough times when you are making learner-centered changes in your school. Your vision strengthens your resolve during difficult times. I also believe that everyone should have a personal vision for their leadership, career, and school. Think of these three as your roadmap for success!

Pitfall #2:

You have not thought strategically about the tactics necessary to accomplish your vision. As essential as vision is, your dreams of change will get washed away if you do not consider the tactics required to make the changes. Ask yourself one important question; “What do I need to learn next to help lead change in my school?” Leading change in a school is contextual. Create a framework for change and then determine what skills you (and those around you) will need to have success. Simple.

I am recording podcast episodes for a podcast I will broadcast sometime this summer. This blog is a result of a conversation I had with Dr. Tamara Willis about her learner-centered leadership style. I can’t wait until you can hear the episode!

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About Tom Butler, Ph.D.

I believe that public education is for the public good and that education should be uncompromisingly learner-centered. The New Learning Ecosystem points us away from the old model of education that does not serve kids well. All educators regardless of where they work can help lead and contribute to the New Learning Ecosystem.
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