Unit 2: My Leadership Style

My leadership style is a reflection of my personality! My personality is very extroverted, I am an outgoing fun loving person who is very supportive and helpful. I generally like to “go with the flow” and love to socialize with others. I am a very involved parent who loves to watch his kids grow and learn. I also believe in failure as a source of growth. I would also consider myself a person with grit, I have had to work hard to get to where I am, coming from a lower middle-class family. I am very flexible when it comes to most things which I think helps when planning with colleagues and working with students. Another trait, that I think might be one of my strengths, is I am a team player. I have grown up playing competitive sports and have had many different roles on those teams that had to help benefit the team. I also have an introverted side that likes quiet, reading, budgeting, and thinking…sometimes too much. I am a good listener and I find that really lends itself nicely to my leadership style.

The first major life experience that has helped to shape my approach to leadership has been becoming a father. In this journey, each of my children has a different personality with unique perspectives, so it has been a lot of fun and sometimes quite the learning curve helping them grow and pushing them to be the best person that they can be. They ask a LOT of questions and I often respond with “well, what do you think?” It is important to foster confidence and growing curiosity in kids and its really fun to watch them think and process information, especially when they are working through problems that entail trial and error.

The second would be watching some of the past leaders that I have had in my life such as bosses, coaches, principals and teachers. I have had a variety of leaders from the time I was 15 and able to get a job. They have been different in many aspects of their leadership styles from good, to bad, to incredible. All of them had different management styles, some just plain awful, which leads me to ask, how do they end up in those positions? I have had mostly positive experiences, but there have been a couple of “leaders” that I have learned from because I would never want to handle situations or staff members the way that they had.

The three leadership approaches that are of interest to me are:  

Democrative/Participative – I think it is important that voices on staff are heard and valued. This could be the difference between staff buy-in and complete disengagement. When members of staff feel like their opinions matter, they are getting job fulfillment and a sense of pride within their school community.   

Laissez-Faire – Educators need room and freedom to grow with their classes. Having the freedom to create assignments and projects without their leader breathing down their neck is key and reduces stress, in an already highly stressful environment. A leader should be a resource and should be available when needed, but trust among staff is even more important for productivity.

Creative – It’s important for staff to have and work towards goals throughout the school year, that’s why we have outcomes that create a basis for what is important for students to know and learn each year. It is also why we work to achieve, seemingly at times, unattainable goals for the Ministry. As long as staff have a goal in mind good and meaningful work will be done.


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8 Responses to Unit 2: My Leadership Style

  1. Dylan Johns says:

    Hi Adam,
    Great post I really agreed with your statement related to learning leadership through parenting your own children It’s amazing how different each child can be and how one must adapt your communication and discipline to suit the personality of who you are dealing with. But at other times on must be more authoritarian and apply rules to all, for safety and the sake of others in the home. I also, think the modern family model that has two parents really creates a teamwork dynamic in leadership whereby you must share this guidance of the children. Sometimes, parents must consistently have the children (especially older siblings) be leaders in many senses, or participative members of the family. The roles of father and mother has been one of the most dynamic changes in society, much like the teacher role in the classroom, where defined roles are less clear than ever. This emphasizes communication and creativity within the family (and classroom) even more important than ever. Throw technology (especially gaming and handheld devices) into the mix and the challenges become even more diverse, this is where I think laissez-faire should not apply! The last concept I will mention is the dual leadership roles we often take, where I am a parent (or teacher) at some points and then all of a sudden a coach when we playing a sport. My children are beginning to understand that I will deal with them quite differently as a father than as a coach at times as these different situations require different expectations and communication. I may be more willing to accept input at home or in the car, but just need them to say “yes coach” on the bench or on the ice! Leadership is a very challenging and diverse role that requires much flexibility and sometimes learning from your shortcomings, or outcomes in situations that did not go as you hope.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. stephenwihak says:

    Hi Adam,

    When I was a young teacher (I came in as a pretty rigid hard-ass, I’m sad to say) I used to have some parents say to me – “Wait until you have kids of your own – then you’ll understand.”

    Bang! They nailed it. I have three wildly different kids, and I came to believe that subsequent siblings go out of their way to NOT be like their older siblings! – and therefore, an important part of treating all kids fairly, is to set aside any notions of family similarities amongst a sibling constellation.

    I had the great fortune to stay in my first school for 10.6 years, and so I got to see whole families of kids move through the school. This taught me forever and ever the fundamental lesson that every educator needs to feel in their heart – student diversity!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I couldn’t agree with you more Stephen! There is such an array of students that walk through our school doors on a daily basis and we need to have a multitude of different leadership styles. What works for one student will absolutely not work for all students. Finding out who your students are and what motivates them is key to garner success in their education journey. I find that I have utilized a number of different styles, and still do, simply because of this. The same goes for my children at home, each are different and its been my favorite journey!
      Thanks for the comment!


  3. Troy says:

    Hey Adam. After reading your post it seems like you are able to take away valuable lessons from any leadership situation, regardless if it is beneficial to you or not, good job! I wonder if you learned more from the bad leaders as their failures are more engraved in your mind or is it a combination of both? I agree, that the Laissez-Faire approach gives freedom and flexibility to the followers. This approach has a lot of benefits from a teachers perspective as it gives them creativity and the power to have some control on how they run their classrooms with respect to how they teach the curriculum and manage their class. A quick question, do you see this approach (Laissez-Faire) used more frequently with administration now than it was when you first started teaching? Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Great question Troy! In my experience I have found that the younger the principal the more control they seem to feel that they have to have over everything. Micro-management has been a management style that I have seen in play for a while…and it seems like a nervous one at that. I feel that at times because they are giving over control they don’t want their staff to fail so they think they are acting as a cushion for you to fall on but it comes across in a way that that cushion is actually suffocating the staff member and they are unable to perform their task to the best of their ability. I hope that comparison makes sense! I wish the Laussez-Faire was utilized more in admin, but properly. Let teachers make decisions and have them feel like a contributing member of a team. Let them fail, that’s how we learn. If we are walking such a tight rope it’s bound to snap with the tension…in full of metaphors today. If the freedom is granted, you get a happier staff that are willing to help and work together for the better of the school.


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