I am really enjoying my Masters study so far and the courses I am doing on educational leadership. My role is one of middle leadership and I want to understand leadership better in order to improve my own leadership skills and abilities. In reflecting on what leadership means to me and what it is I created a collage of images (from images free to reuse on Google) that represent different aspects of leadership.
Leadership to me is about having a vision for success that drives the goals set and also the reflects that precede goals set and follow episodes of activities designed to assist in their achievement. Leaders need to be good listeners and critically reflective practitioners, but not solo in all of their work. Teamwork is important and a good leader can facilitate a group’s activities, collective vision, goal setting and the successful achievement of and reflection on these goals too. The leader inspires the team and leads them to be innovators in all they do. Finally, one concept that is relatively new to me has come up of late and that is mindfulness and I believe a leader needs to be mindful.
Maria Arpa (2013) defines mindfulness as “a conscious awareness of the present moment and recognition of what is really happening. This requires us to observe rather than judge events – which is easier said than done, because we are usually unaware of the lens through which we are examining the world” (p. 10). Mindfulness is a level of reflection that intrigues me and one I believe I do a lot already but I think its about adopting different lens more in the way we reflect. This prompts in my own mind questions about the lenses in which a leader thinks and reflects.
In my pursuit of professional development as a leader I have been reading a lot over the last several years, most of my career to be honest, and I have learned a lot but I still have a lifetime of learning to do. Below are some of the books I have read and continue to read in order to develop more knowledge and skills in leadership.
Arpa, M. (2013). Mindfulness at Work: Flourishing in the Workplace. Ivy Press, Lewes/Great Britain.
Covey, S. R. (2009). Great Work, Great Career. RosettaBooks.
Covey, S. R. (2013). The 8th habit: From effectiveness to greatness. Simon and Schuster.
Training, D. C. (2009). Leadership Mastery: How to Challenge Yourself and Others to Greatness. Simon and Schuster.
Training, D. C. (2009). The 5 essential people skills: how to assert yourself, listen to others, and resolve conflicts. Simon and Schuster.