Disruptive Leadership

After having reviewed the articles and read about the 5C’s leadership approach, I am reminded that  it is important to have a voice and to be disruptive at the table. I confess I have shut down at times and have just done what I am told to do.

Leadership truly does take commitment, it is also important to build trust with those that surround me. To be a trustworthy leader it is important to make true connections with my fellow colleagues and to truly having their back. To be an effective leader I do believe that there has to be consistency and even with stress of our daily job, make sure to be approachable with my colleagues. Don’t pretend to be an expert. If I don’t know something I will let them know that I don’t know but that I will find the answer to support them.

As a second blog post for this week we were asked to look at five different articles, to choose a quote from each that resonated with us and to include a brief explanation of its impact on our leadership philosophy. Below are my quotes!

Article 1 : Leadership, more or less? A processual, communication perspective on the role of agency in leadership theory.

“The view of leadership that emerges from a processual communication perspective is more inclined to see it as an unstable, continuously evolving social construction embedded in what (Gergen, 2017) has characterized as ‘turbulent streams or conversational flows’ There are no finished, static entities: rather, there is only endless process .” (P. 19)

This quote hits close to home. So many times our leadership table have a seen followers, and listeners. The processual communication perspective is not stable, constructs a social construction that is not open to other ideas. No other ideas thoughts are allowed entry. Similar to “what I say goes, end of story.” The leadership is not disruptive with randoms goals and conversation where the endless process cycles.  Others in this group are also mere contributors…only followers where there is not much opportunity to discuss and grow.

Article 2: Critical and alternative approaches to leadership, learning and development.

“This emerging critical strand of the leadership literature therefore suggests that leadership development and learning should avoid presenting leadership as a fixed identity or role, instead encouraging an awareness of multiple roles (leader, follower and both). In addition, leadership learning and development should strengthen voices of alternate models to the masculine aggressive and individualistic one. ” (P.6)

I loved this quote for the reason that it suggests that leadership should not be seen as a “fixed” role and identity. It should in fact be seen as multiple roles not just the principal in the office  that deals only with students and the teachers. The leader is transparent, is clear and building relationships with staff, students and community members. The leader should also be in and about the classroom,  teaching and working alongside fellow teaching colleagues and facilitating leadership alongside colleagues where thoughts, and opinions matter and are respected with value.

Article 3: Avoiding Repetitive Change Syndrome

“Repetitive change syndrome harms a company’s capacity to make further changes. That is, for every change initiative added, another one slows down or disappears. In extreme cases, older initiatives aren’t completed and are eventually forgotten.” (P.3 )

This reminds me of the forever saying that I hear every year that “change is good, that change will happen for the better of the school.” I am also observing that change is quite repetitive on a yearly basis where it becomes hard and stressful for colleagues. As a core leader it is always hard to implement new goals and new changes to the school from the division when staff are constantly facing new changes on a yearly basis. This year we have a new principal who is phenomenal! Though with a new principal comes new ideas and more changes. Some change have impacted the school in a positive way and some changes have overwhelmed staff members. We have new strategic goals and this year that is the same across every high school. Teachers also must share how they will meet their personal goal while following the division goals. Are these true goals that staff are stating, or are they just simply “faking it” and sabotaging the change?

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Image taken from Pixabay

Article 4: The stupidity paradox: The power and pitfalls of functional stupidity at work.

“More Self-reinforcing stupidity and reflexivity Functional stupidity can become self-reinforcing. This happens when employees stop searching questions and are rewarded with a sense of (false) certainty. It happens when they are good team players, reliable followers and well adapted organizational members who do not threaten their managers or colleagues.” (P. 17)

I am a hardworking teacher and core leader. I know I go beyond by job and I do my best to ensure my students are successful and that my fellow core members feel supported and heard. But time and time again, I have seen this above quote play out daily. With a former principal, learning council was about what this principal believed in and no questions were to be asked. And if you didn’t have questions or problems then you were a great leader and a supporter. There was no disrupting at the learning council table. I was also guilty of this where I was afraid to speak and share my true thoughts on certain matters. This was out of fear that I would threaten or upset a former principal which was clearly functional stupidity.  

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Image taken from Pixabay

Article 5: Cross-Cultural Understandings of Leadership

“Others told us that the leader was a student. It was the wisdom of the leader, accumulated through some period of learning, others learned. That learning was voluntary. It was a neverending process.” (P. 16)

I enjoyed this quote from the article because it truly made sense to me. Leaders DO NOT STOP LEARNING. Leaders are not perfect and they do not have the answers for ever question but will do their best to find the answer. Leaders learn from others and are constantly working alongside others to help support the great cause to support student success that is truly meaningful.  

I enjoyed reading these articles because it made me think critically about my own leadership I  believe that leadership will never be perfect, but a leader should always seek to work alongside and collaborate with teaching colleagues to support true student achievement.

Thanks.

Krista

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6 thoughts on “Disruptive Leadership

  1. Thanks for your insightful words Krista. I particularly enjoyed the idea of the learner as a student. We cannot see a leader as someone who has all the answers, for if we were to believe that, then we would stop learning and evolving. Great job!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. scottgardiner12 says:

    Hey Krista!

    I love that you mentioned that “the leader is transparent, is clear and building relationships with staff, students and community members. The leader should also be in and about the classroom, teaching and working alongside fellow teaching colleagues and facilitating leadership alongside colleagues where thoughts, and opinions matter and are respected with value”.

    The best administrators that I’ve worked with have been the ones that remain active in the classroom! I know that the role of VP/principal keeps getting more and more complicated and that it’s perhaps a tad “pie in the sky” to suggest that they visit a class/day or even a class/week (depending on the size of the school, of course). However, I’ve always had great respect for the administrators that can still be found in the trenches partly because they’re improving their connection to the staff (one of this week’s 5Cs). A good leader “resists the temptation to get bogged down in the day-to-day grind and become neglectful of those who depend upon him/her. He/she never comes off as distant or detached in his leadership role” (Zsapka).

    Good post!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Krista,

    I enjoyed reading your post and really agreed with some of your statements in response to the articles. Specifically, when you mentioned change for the sake of change, it seems quite apparent in many of the changes we see in schools. I remember a former colleague, who I learned much from, during a meeting we were discussing goals asking: “What was last years goal?” Only one person knew. Then he asked: “Did we meet it?” Another person thought we did. He then asked what was the goal 2 years ago and noone knew the goal or if we had met it! Although he was being quite critical, the point hit home for me, that these goals were not very meaningful to much of the staff and meeting them seemed arbritrary! I also was engaged by your discussion of working under leaders (principals) who only want people to listen and agree. It is a frustrating situation to, be a (core) leader, but have little or no say and how you should lead, what goals you will have and how you will work towards them. That said, I do like Regina Public Schools’ larger Strategic Plan at this point and the autonomy we have in attempting to work towards larger goals in individual high schools. I think the smaller school goals were to ever-changing and often lacking in substance. I prefer the long-term outlook and then the autonomy to each school to strive for the larger targets.

    Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jennifer Resch says:

    Thank you for your post Krista. I enjoyed your honest and insightful connection with the articles we were required to read this week. I am always interested in seeing what each person thought of the readings and how they connected with them professionally and personally. Because the intent of these articles were to disrupt out understanding of leadership, I was very interested to see you compare some different leaders you have worked with throughout your career.
    I completely agree with your observation about the leader who simply expected others to follow without challenging or asking questions. These leaders seem to lead through intimidation and “my way or the highway” mentality. I completely agree with your observation that effective leaders are those who involve everyone in the discussion and ask for feedback or suggestions along the way. I know I function much more effectively working with a leader like that.
    I also narrowed in on the article that discussed change for the sake of change. I too have experienced situations where either I was transfered or a co-worker was transferred for the sake of change. Though I have always taken it as an opportunity to grow professionally, I have experienced where the move was not beneficial and it cause quite a riff and was not conducive to a successful team environment. It is difficult, come staffing time, not knowing if it is your turn to move or where you will be working the next year. Instability and uncertainty causes more stress than it relieves!
    Thanks again for your post! I really enjoyed reading it!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. stephenwihak says:

    I enjoyed your post very much, Krista, especially how the readings gave you a framework for making comparative critiques of your former and current principals. Can I ask you to comment on this quote, from Tourish, as I think it might describe the fundamental improvement you feel in your new principal, vis a vis, the former one:

    “Followership is a relational role in which followers have the ability to influence leaders and contribute to the improvement and attainment of group and organizational objectives. It is primarily a hierarchically upwards influence’ (Carsten et al, 2010: 559). Asymmetrical power is taken for granted” (Tourish, p. 9)

    Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me Stephen. I am playing catch up from a week away with students in Quebec. Unfortunately the WIFI at the hotel was not great. (I apologize for my late response.)

      I think it is imperative to be both a leader and follower and at the same time switching in between this roles. As a leader, it is also important to develop effective followers (true followers). It is was beneficial to collaborate and to work as an effective team.
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me Stephen.
      Krista

      Like

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