Ngā Matapakinga | Discussion

    Nick Major
    When to lead change and when to not; that is the question
    20 March
    Public discussion Created by Nick Major

    In my leadership facilitation and coaching mahi, I am often asked to share thinking and resources about different ‘styles’ of leadership. When asked why this is needed,  common responses frequently allude to a desire to know what sort of leadership approach someone wishes to adopt or see themselves aligned with, or to clarify when to use  a particular style of leadership in a ‘best fit for purpose’ kind of way. There are, of course, a myriad of ‘adjectival’ descriptors for leadership ’style’, a number of which have strong romantic appeal to those new  leadership positions; eg ‘servant’ leadership, ‘charismatic’ leadership, ‘mindful’  leadership, ‘strategic’ leadership.  Then there are ‘transformational’ leaders, ‘transactional’ leaders, ‘instructional’ leaders, and ‘collaborative’ leaders; the list goes on.

    Leadership Styles

    Image source:  https://www.dreamstime.com/stock-illustration-leadership-styles-business-diagram-illustration-strategy-concept-infographic-image53022085

    Of course, no one of these styles, models or labels of leadership offers a leader with a comprehensive kete of strategies to implement in all circumstances;  an effective leader will draw upon and adapt a range of strategies and approaches in response to the context, situation or issue they encounter.   Some circumstances call for innovative, transformational, adaptive approaches to improve educational outcomes; others depend on transactional, routine-preserving approaches to maintain effective practices.  An attribute of effective leadership is knowing when to enact the appropriate leadership response … and being able to explain why. 

    Effecting significant, lasting change in an organisation’s culure and practice is hard work.  Change for the sake of change is a waste of everyone’s time, energy and good will.

    I would be interested to know what reflective questions you pose or thinking you apply in deciding  when to initiate and lead change and when to preserve and maintain the best of existing practices?

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