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.