Thinking about Leadership Presence, today in a school I was visiting outside my own division, I encountered a lady who, immediately, I knew was the principal. She had, without question, that quality we’d been studying in EDLP 708, leadership presence. It was interesting to witness, really. It was partly the way she walked, the way she talked, and a lot of something that is difficult to describe. But you knew she was confident, in charge, and she also had charm.
But in my own backyard, we recently went through a summer retreat and experienced two days of studying leadership through the lens of values-based leadership. Our guest was Mr. Fernandes from the Luck Companies, the company of which is probably a familiar name in central Virginia. Their motto is igniting human potential which isn’t exactly typical for a company whose primary business is selling rocks.
I went through my own training on the first day with our directors and principals and on the second day, I led a quarter of our larger administrative staff in a similar scenario of defining vision, mission, values, and core beliefs. It was an awesome exercise for me, especially in light of studying here through VCU. I thought the process we went through was a great way to help establish a long-term comprehensive plan. We’re just beginning, but it was a good experience. The idea of running a school division through a values-based leadership model seems like a very smart-way to lead.
How often do we get the opportunity to discuss what we believe in as educators? How many times do we get the opportunity to refine those thoughts in concert and learn what awesome people we have in our organizations, across the board?