“Leadership is a choice you make, not a place you sit. You can lead others from anywhere in an organization. And when you do, you make the organization better”As a matter of fact, if you're not in an official position of command and decision-making in your school or district, there's a crucial role you play: Maxwell quotes David Branker on this:
“To do nothing in the middle is to create more weight for the top leader to move. For some leaders—it might even feel like dead weight. Leaders in the middle can have a profound effect on an organization.”
Bringing it down to the education industry
Here are a couple of practical thoughts and advice I'd like to offer to all of us who are in the middle leadership tier:
- Innovate. Don't be afraid to propose new ideas and strategies to your principals or school leadership. Don't settle for the status quo. Just because it's been done like this for the past n years, it doesn't mean it's the best way to tackle the challenge.
- Share your work, what you do and what you've accomplished with other educators in your school, district or with the world. Blogging is a fantastic way to effectively influence more people you can imagine.
- Be honest. Don't hesitate to tell others what worked and what didn't. After all, leadership is not a synonym of perfection.
- Add value to others around you. You do this all the time with your students but, perhaps it's time to do it with the teacher next door or even with those who are reluctant to change.
- Empty your leaders' backpacks and fill yours. By nature, we only do what we're supervised to do. We typically say "That's not in my job description". The more you empty your leaders' backpacks with tasks and problems and fill yours with those, the more you're becoming like them from a commitment and responsibility point of view.
What are your thoughts on this principle? How can you apply it in practical ways to what you do on a daily basis? What are you already doing that shows leadership in the mid-level of your organization? What would you like to do? Please share your thoughts, comments or questions.