The person I admire most as a leader is a woman who could be passive and aggressive with her leadership and in her decision making, was willing to admit when she was wrong, always supported any idea we had if it sounded like it might work and helped mold me into a leader within my school. Most importantly, she challenged myself and my colleagues to be the best educators we could be. She relied on the leaders among the staff to help her lead the whole group.
Her leadership style was both passive and aggressive. She guided teachers when they needed it, helping them to become great educators. She also was very honest and compassionate. She could recognize when anyone was in over their head and helped them through the situation even if it was not school related.
This woman believed that the best way to make decisions was to involve key stakeholders, those people whom would be most affected by the decision. She listened to the opinions of those she needed to and took what they had to say into consideration. Many times, the group she used would come to a consensus around the decision. She rarely if ever made a decision on her own, unless she had to.
This woman was also very willing to admit when a decision she made, with or without the group, was wrong. She always told the staff that if we did not like a decision she or a group made then we could come to her with an alternative but never just complaining about the decision. She apologized when needed to and took steps to “make it right.”
Any idea you had, she would support as long as you could defend your position on it. It might have sounded crazy to her but she supported you if you could convince her that the idea was worth trying. She was also there to help pick up the pieces if the idea went horribly wrong.
She had the great ability to recognize potential leadership in others. She would often ask teachers to lead ideas and curriculum changes rather than herself. She would help those she chose to lead in a positive manner and cultivated leadership within her staff.
Her best quality was holding the staff to high standards. She never once told us that we failed at anything. She focused on the positive things that happened and had an uncanny ability to find the positive in any negative experience. Even when our school first check marked under NCLB she showed us the silver lining.
I picked her because of these qualities. I have seen the opposite many times from other leaders and have seen how to just doesn’t work. You can’t be passive all the time or aggressive all the time. As a leader, you must recognize where you need to be on that sliding scale between passive and aggressive. You can’t make decisions on your own all the time. Many times you as the leader may not be able to think of or know all the ways a decision will affect key stakeholders. You have to help guide your staff on the path. You can’t let them flounder. She never did.