inspiring outstanding leaders

Distributed leadership – engaging video for the headteacher in your life

In Uncategorized on 2 November 2009 at 10:06 pm

What are your experiences of ‘distributed leadership’?
How would ‘distributed leadership’ work in your school?
What would prevent it from working?

At first glance you may think that being a successful headteacher is all about telling your staff what to do; it is certainly my natural style of getting things done. However I have recently discovered the term ‘distributed leadership’ and realize that you can be a successful leader and incorporate a coaching culture into your school for the benefit of all staff.

Are you a visual or auditory learner? Do you have just 15 minutes to watch/listen to an engaging introduction by an experienced and head teacher?

If so, then I strongly recommend that you click here. This is a video from where Brian Bell, headteacher of Summerlea Community Primary School in Rustington, West Sussex, shares his thoughts on distributed leadership.

Brian Bell sees his role as retaining accountability, while communicating a clear vision and being an effective delegator. He and his staff talk about ‘sensing’ when members of the leadership team are too busy and working flexibly to delegate jobs around the school – a clear example of ‘distributed leadership’. Jane Blackman, assistant head teacher, says that there needs to be many more conversations, excellent communication skills and rigorous meetings to ensure time available is used most effectively.

It is interesting that the implementation for Distributed Leadership follows closely the framework proposed by Jim Collins in his book ‘Good to Great’, for level 4 leaders:

  • First What – Set a vision for where to drive the bus. Develop a road map for driving the bus.
  • Then Who – Enlist a crew of highly capable “helpers” to make the vision happen

However to be “great”, rather than just “good” then you should be aiming to be a level 5 leader and thinking in this order:

  • First Who – Get the right people on the bus. Build a superior executive team.
  • Then What – Once you have the right people in place, figure out the best path to greatness.

Read more about what Jim Collins has to say here or view the book on Amazon here.

I’m off now to see what other gems has to offer…


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