Leadership Can Be Learned

A Story

Is “leadership” something that you are born with or a skill that you can develop? In other words, do you just throw up your hands and say, “that’s the way I am” and not try to build your leadership skills. In the two previous posts, I laid out a way for school leaders to develop their own leadership philosophy based on ideas in my new book.

Here is an important point: Creating your own learner-centered leadership philosophy does not require you to be a philosopher. It does not require you to make a pilgrimage to the top of a mountain to talk to a sage. What is required is that you be a reader. Harry Truman quote that “Not all readers lead, but all leaders read” is vital to remember.

The Problem:

Taking the time too create your learner-centered leadership philosophy is daunting. A few hurdles that you may think about are:

  1. When do I find the time?
  2. Where do I start?
  3. Who cares?

The Solution:

Relax! Take a deep breath because I know you can create your own learner-centered leadership philosophy. Here are some tips.

Take some time during every workday to learn about leadership. If you are commuting, listen to a podcast (just Google “top leadership podcast” for a start). Listen to books on Audible while you are in your car or exercising. Take a walk and think about the intersection of your experience and your knowledge on leadership. This is where growth opportunities reside.

Start reading (or listening to) some of the “big names” in leadership: Stephen Covey, Jim Collins, Peter Drucker, Michael Hyatt, John Maxwell, etc. You can also Google “leadership authors” and you will find many more. I personally used all of these authors and many more (Chuck Schwahn & Bill Spady) to develop my own leadership philosophy. The important thing to remember is TO START!

Communicate what you have learned and how you have changed as a leader with people. Share your journey on social media. Write a blog. Create videos that your staff and other stakeholders can watch. No matter what, remember this: if you are in a position of leadership, people care!

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.
View all posts by Tom Butler, Ph.D. →

1 thought on “Leadership Can Be Learned

  1. As you read Dr. Butler’s blog, many of you are thinking – I know what my leadership philosophy is, I believe in this, and this! Your core values, beliefs, and life experiences shape your philosophy. Your philosophy of life, education, and leadership overlay each other and guide your decisions and behavior. By dissecting your philosophy, you will clarify your thoughts.

    “Watch your thoughts, they become your words; watch your words, they become your actions; watch your actions, they become your habits; watch your habits, they become your character; watch your character, it becomes your destiny.”
    ― Lao Tzu

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