Who will be the future-leaders?
In this year of disruption leaders are being tested in new ways but what are the biggest challenges ahead and what sort of leadership skills are required to meet them?
In a global survey, when 750 senior leaders were asked about their most significant challenges for 2020 onwards, there was remarkable consistency in the top 5 answers, summarised here:
1. Refining Effectiveness. Deciding on the most relevant skills leaders need to develop in the face of so much change.
2. Inspiring Others. Finding the best ways to enthuse and motivate a fast-changing organisation.
3. Developing Staff: Improving the mentoring and coaching of staff to help raise their skills and increase their agility.
4. Directing Change: Understanding what is happening, helping staff through it and alleviating the consequences.
5. Managing Stakeholders: Handling relationships, dealing with competing opinions and delivering the right messages.
Looking at the list it seems that leaders will need to demonstrate commitment to the following:
Mission - they must know what they are trying to accomplish.
Urgency - important causes must be achieved as soon as possible.
Responsibility - they must know what has be done and who must do it.
Service - if they serve only themselves they have no chance of doing great work.
So 2020-plus leadership will be direct and dedicated, more about people and purpose than personality.
Leaders provide for their people what the people cannot provide for themselves, said John Maxwell and our schools are now less predictable places than ever. The future leaders will be character-based, leading from who they are rather than authority-driven and hoping to lead from their position of power.
In the new academic year in schools our staff, pupils and parents will be looking to their leaders to provide for them like never before. Leaders who encompass all of these qualities along with authenticity, respectfulness, fairness and commitment to others will thrive in the new-normal of education leadership.
Peter Hogan has been the Head of schools in the UK and Asia for 20 years. He writes about schools, teaching and learning here at hogan.education and is a qualified Life Coach. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org