September 13, 2021

I have a weekly newsletter called “The Learner-Centered Leader.” The newsletter is published every Monday morning at 7:00AM and shares leadership advice and inspiration for learner-centered leaders. You can subscribe to the newsletter here. This blog post is an example of the content in the newsletter.

“Too often, leaders attempt to change how their teams and organizations act without changing how they think. As a result, they get compliance but not commitment, involvement but not investment, progress but not lasting, sustainable high performance. Every day is a chance to rethink how we lead while capturing the minds of who we lead. Proactive thinking while defining mindsets and success is vital to understanding our why.” –George Raveling

How can you lead the thinking among your staff in your school? Start with the matrix below. If you are interested in creating lasting change, this matrix is a great place to start. Let’s break it down real quick with questions that can help guide your learning.

Leadership: Lack of leadership leads to confusion in your organization. Ask yourself these two questions to prevent confusion:
1. What do I need to learn about leadership to create lasting change?
2. What does my staff need to learn about leadership to create lasting change in my organization?

Shared Vision: Lack of a shared vision leads to sabotage. Ask yourself these two questions to prevent sabotage in your organization.
1. In what meaningful ways did your staff have input into the vision?
2. Have you connected a staff member’s own personal goals with the goals of the shared vision?

Skills: If your staff (or you) don’t have the skills to implement your changes then they will experience anxiety.  Ask yourself this question to help alleviate anxiety.
1. What are the essential skills needed to implement the changes you are trying to make? Once you answer those (with the help of your staff), create learning opportunities for your staff to gain those skills.

Resources: Without proper resources to implement the change, frustration will crop up. Similar to skills, as yourself and your staff, what resources are needed to effectively implement the changes you want to make in your organization.

Motivation: If there is not proper motivation, you will have many false starts with no prolonged, sustained, change. Ask yourself these two questions about motivation.
1. Have you taken care of the lower ends of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs for your staff?
2. Does your staff see the benefit for their learners and themselves in the changes you are creating?

Strategy: This is simple…without a strategy, there will be no change. here are three things to think about concerning strategy.
1. What is the impact you want to achieve with your changes?
2. What outcomes will lead to the impact?
3. What inputs will read to the outcomes?

The Crisis Leadership Matrix will help you lead change in your school.

About the author 

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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