Organizational Leadership in Education

Introduction

It is evident that school leaders in the contemporary education sector face a myriad of leadership issues. This is in lieu of the fact that instructional leadership that was typical of traditional schools has continued to demonstrate ineffectiveness. Schools have been restructured consistently owing to the dynamic needs of the students, teachers and community. Indeed, many educationists attest that instructional leadership has created autocratic principals and school leaders who are unresponsive to the changing needs of the education sector (Pulliam & Patten, 2010). To that end, limitless efforts have emerged to change organizational leadership in schools. Particularly, schools’ leadership has changed to incorporate new standards of evaluating students’ performance owing to the redundancy shown by the initial standardized grading and testing criteria. Rahim (2011) illustrates that modern schools seem to have taken cognizance of the fact that students’ assessment should be a continuous process. Besides, schools’ leadership is also changing to ensure that it attracts and retains effective and experienced teachers. This paper reflects a leadership plan that school leaders ought to implement in order to retain and attract effective and talented teachers. In addition, the paper will justify the designed leadership plan using some concepts that are pertinent to transformational leadership.

Leadership Plan to Attract and Retain Effective Teachers

In order to retain and attract effective teachers, there is the need to adopt a leadership style that is strategic and effective. The leadership style ought to provide support to the teachers in their endeavors to enhance productivity in the learning environment (Nelson et al., 2012). It is important to implement a plan that enhances collaborative culture in the context of schools. In such an approach, teachers and other members of staff are able to express themselves, make observations, engage in positive criticisms and plan together with other members. As a principal therefore, I will implement a plan that enhances collective responsibility and continuous appraisal for possible improvement. The teachers will be able to analyze teaching tools and techniques that they use in classes (Guthrie & Schuermann, 2009). In other words, the teachers will teach themselves ‘how to teach’.

Further, it is critical to adopt strategies that facilitate all members of staff to cultivate a culture of collaboration in their practice. My plan as the school superintendent will focus its objectives on involving teachers to collaborate in collective goal setting activities. Besides, it will aim at reducing the incidences of teachers’ isolation by creating activities where the teachers can engage in joint planning. In addition, the plan will entail redressing bureaucratic mechanisms within the school in order to ensure that they are responsive to the supportive leadership that the leadership envisions. In particular, Guthrie & Schuermann (2009) say that leadership should ensure that teachers who serve at various capacities within the leadership structure remain committed to school’s core values, mission and goal. They should be encouraged to discuss and communicate the values of the school and their beliefs on the culture of collaboration (Nelson et al., 2012). As elucidated by Pulliam & Patten (2010), teachers should be able to delegate their powers and responsibilities to other members of staff to enhance participation of all teachers. This way, the school will create a team environment that heightens work commitment and job satisfaction amongst the teachers. Subsequently, the school will be able to attract and retain teachers who value collaborative culture that is essential to improved effectiveness of learning process.

Second, my leadership will enhance an environment that fosters the development of teachers. According to Nelson et al. (2012), teachers are motivated when their desired and internalized needs for professional growth become a reality. The process of adopting internalized goals for career development is dependent on the schools’ mission. As such, the teachers who feel they are strongly committed to schools’ goals will ultimately develop career goals (Ozmon & Craver, 2010). To that end, my leadership will ensure that the career growth goals are clear, ambitious and unambiguous. However, it is upon the leadership to ensure that the goals are realistic and achievable. The plan will enhance feedback from the teachers on the extent to which they feel that the career growth goals of the organization are in line with their current practice and positions (Nelson et al., 2012). This is in recognition of the fact that feedback is a form of communication that enhances participation of the teachers and evaluation of ineffective goals. My leadership will also ensure that teacher’s development is realized by involving them to solve any emerging and nonconventional problems within the context of the school. Lamorte & Bacon (2007) say that such leadership will encourage teachers endowed with such roles to follow school’s values and culture of career development and growth. This way, the school will be able to retain teachers whose career development needs are met under my leadership.

Further, my leadership plan will emphasize on group work where members of staff can improve their problem-solving skills within a context of a group. It is apparent that teachers have the urge to work hard in order to bring about improvement in the performance and achievement of school’s goals (Lamorte & Bacon. 2007). To enhance this, my leadership will create an environment where teachers are able to engage in new experiences that go beyond the class. In resolving problems within the school, my leadership will encourage the administrators and teachers to seek a wide array of interpretations of the problem before arriving at a solution. This will include staff meetings where members will express themselves freely and solve problems with the interests of the school at heart. This way, the teachers will be able to tackle many problems that could befall the school on their own. In fact, my plan will encourage the development of problem solving skills and the need for collaboration and group culture.

Under my leadership, I will allow my deputies to resolve any emerging problems when I am not present. The leadership will assist the groups to discuss problems and avoid preconceived solutions that could be detrimental to the process of enhancing group work. Pulliam & Patten (2010) explain that the members of staff will keenly follow the discussions and evaluate different perspectives before analyzing the information in order to arrive at a solution. It is the duty of the school leader to avoid narrow and rigid perspectives by enhancing the group to find a solution on itself devoid of imposition of the leader’s beliefs, values and attitudes. The leader should also demonstrate a high level of flexibility by changing his or her views occasionally in order to accommodate new ideas. This way, the leadership is able to develop confidence in the teachers and inculcate the view that the teachers can do a lot better when together than when the leader is alone in the process of decision-making (Nelson et al., 2012). To this end, teachers will feel empowered, motivated and work together with others for a common objective. This will lead to the retention of the teachers who are effective in carrying out their duties.

Description of the Action plan

In essence, my plan will involve fostering development of the teachers in terms of growth and satisfaction. According to Creswell (2008), it will involve aligning the school’s goals and objectives with their professional growth needs. Undoubtedly, this will involve reviewing the current career goals of the school and bridge the gaps that impede professional development of teachers. In reaching a decision, my leadership plan will encourage wide consultations, involvement and active participation of the teachers (Creswell, 2008). In addition, the action plan will emphasize on the need for teachers and all members of staff to cultivate collaborative culture where they participate in joint planning and goal setting. Teamwork is the most effective way of encouraging the teachers to work together to enhance their effectiveness (Ozmon & Craver, 2010). In other words, when one teacher succeeds, all teachers also succeed. It is also important to mention that my leadership will design the action plan with the available financial resources. Besides, the leadership plan will be implemented with the shortest time possible and have goals and objectives that are realistic and achievable. It will also be supportive of teachers who will attempt to resist the process of change. Being honest throughout the formulation of the plan and active participation of the teachers will ensure that the process of leadership change will be effective and reflect the school’s goals and values thereby, retaining and attracting effective teachers (Creswell, 2008). Finally, the leadership will ensure that the success or failure of the plan is monitored and evaluated. Major indicators of objectives achievement will be changes in teachers’ motivation, collective activities, participation and involvement of teachers in major decision-making situations, and changes in career development and professional growth (Pulliam & Patten, 2010). Improvement in the effectiveness will be the long-term indicator of success or failure of the school’s leadership plans. Areas that will exhibit some shortcomings will be reviewed for continuous improvement process. This will be through collection, analysis and interpretation of both qualitative and quantitative data and information (Creswell, 2008).

Justification of My Leadership Plan: Transformational Leadership

My leadership plan reflects various aspects of transformational leadership. According to Guthrie & Schuermann (2009), transformational leadership is a style of influencing others through support and participation of all involved stakeholders. It is the most influential style where the leaders inspire the members of staff. The reason is that such leadership expects that the members will feel appreciated and will participate in groups and teams in their efforts to achieve the organization’s objectives (Ozmon & Craver, 2010). By involving all stakeholders, organizations are able to boost the productivity of the employees and staff members through their engagement in decision and policymaking processes of the organization. Hall & Hord (2010) articulate that transformational leadership enhances the culture of collectiveness in taking actions and empowers the participants. Hence, the process is a characteristic of hopeful and optimistic members who use their energy to facilitate the process of redefining the organization’s goals and vision. Hall & Hord (2010) also assert that transformational leadership is able to renew the workers’ commitment in line with the value and mission of the organization by restricting the organization bureaucratic systems for the achievement of the objectives.

Further, transformational leadership provides the members of staff with an incentive to improve their performance (Guthrie & Schuermann, 2009). As such, the process is value added in the sense that it increases the productivity of the employees both in the short term as well as in the long term. Educationists who explore the concept of transformational leadership in the perspective of schools explicate that the style is a major influence of modern administration and leadership structures in schools (Ozmon & Craver, 2010). The concept was a creation of Burns (1988) whose ideas of the style also found their way into corporate organizations (Nelson et al., 2012). To that end, it is important to point out the leadership style has not been explored immensely in the context of education institutions.

Despite the lack of data and research on the effectiveness and impact of the leadership style in the context of the schools, it is apparent that the principles of the style are applicable in that environment. Some researches indicate that transformational leaders who initiate leadership plans have similar goals. They include assisting the members of staff to maintain and cultivate a culture that advocates collaboration, professionalism and professional growth in the organizational culture (Pulliam & Patten, 2010). Besides, Ozmon & Craver (2010) elucidate that transformational leaders must be able to foster an environment where members of staff experience personal and career development. It is worth noting that career and personal development plays a crucial role in enhancing the retention of skilled and talented members of staff. The rationale is that employees and other members of staff become committed to their work and experience satisfaction. All these factors lead to increased motivation that has a positive impact on productivity of the employees. Third, transformational leadership has the goal of facilitating the employees and members of staff to develop problem-solving skills in order to work together in a meaningful way.

Research has also revealed that transformational leadership makes many differences when it is implemented in an organization. Particularly, Guthrie & Schuermann (2009) say that adoption of the leadership plan leads to increased involvement of teachers in the process of decision-making. The reason is that transformational leaders support the members of staff in all aspects of their organizational duties, roles and responsibilities (Pulliam & Patten, 2010). For instance, a leader will always seek to unravel the facts behind specific attitudes and perspectives of the members and encourage them to dedicate their efforts towards achievement of organizational goals. Moreover, transformational leadership ensures that leaders adopt decisions that members of staff endorse and as such, reduce conflict between management and the teachers. According to Rahim (2011), transformational leadership reduces incidences of conflict within an organization since all stakeholders including the community play a crucial role in developing the organization’s strategic plan. In fact, Rahim (2011) continues to say that the process of resolving conflict in an organization deprives it a lot of time that could be useful in making progress. To that end, transformational leadership pacifies antagonism that could emerge due to such aspects as ‘top down’ communication strategies and lack of participation.

It is imperative to mention that transformative leadership is consistent with major concepts of organizational leadership that define the role of the leaders and followers (Bucher, 2010). Principally, organizational leadership dictates that the leader ought to ensure that he or she ‘leads him/herself’ in order to acquire skills to influence others. This is through demonstrating commitment towards organizational professionalism and responsibility. In fact, Rahim (2011) postulates that the members of staff ought to look upon the leader for inspiration, as he is a role model for all employees. In addition, transformation leaders must be in a position to raise the morale and motivation of the employees by ensuring they are committed to organizational goals and values (Bucher, 2010). The leader therefore ought to acquaint himself with the employees and be able to identify signs of discontent and concern. Consequently, Pulliam & Patten (2010) assert that the leader is able to ensure that he becomes efficient in boosting the morale of the employees by addressing issues that the employees point out. Further, principles of organizational leadership dictate that a leader should be able to enhance teamwork (Ozmon & Craver, 2010). This is in appreciation that teams create an environment of self-expression, involvement, problem solving, participation and innovation. Ultimately, this leads to an increase in efficiency and performance of all stakeholders to the success of the organization.

Looking at the above-mentioned aspects of transformational leadership, it is apparent that the leadership plan that I designed takes into consideration the principles of the leadership style. At the outset, the plan is justifiable since it emphasizes on enhancing career and personal development of employees (teachers). Besides, the plan has reduced the likelihood of conflict between the employer and the employees by facilitating the teachers to participate in the decision-making processes of the organization. In line with the concepts of transformational leadership, my plan places unsurpassed emphasis on creating a team environment where members will share and discuss various decisions through collaboration. According to Rahim (2011), transformational leader must be able to foster collaborative culture in order to allow all members to express themselves and work together to resolve potential and actual problems facing the organization (both at classroom and administration level). Under my leadership, teachers will get encouragement and the needed support to motivate them. This is a primary role of transformational leaders in order to solicit the support and endorsement of teachers in all aspects of decision-making. My plan also seeks to increase the level of problem solving skills among employees. This way, my plan will be able to retain and attract effective teachers and instructors.

Conclusion

In summary, organizational leadership is a pillar upon which an organization is anchored. A poor leadership style leads to poor performance that impedes organizational success. As the superintendent of the school, I intend to implement a new leadership plan that aims at enhancing the involvement and participation of employees in major decision-making processes. The plan also seeks to foster personal and career development for teachers, cultivate a culture of collaboration and improve teachers’ problem-solving skills. The main objective of implementing the plan is to attract and retain effective teachers. As such, the plan promotes the concepts of transformational leadership.

References

Bucher, R. (2010). Diversity Consciousness: Opening Our Minds to People, Culture and Society. New York: Sage Publishers.

Creswell, J. (2008). Educational Research: Planning, Conducting, and Evaluating Quantitative and Qualitative Research. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall Press.

Guthrie, J & Schuermann, P. (2009). Successful School Leadership: Planning, Politics, Performance, and Power. Washington DC: John & Wiley Publishers.

Hall, G & Hord, S. (2010). Implementing Change: Patterns, Principles and Potholes. Nevada: University of Nevada Press.

Lamorte, M. & Bacon. A. (2007). School Law: Cases and Concepts. New Jersey: Pearson Publishers.

Nelson, J., Palonsky, S. & McCarthy, M. (2012). Critical Issues in Education: Dialogues and Dialectics. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall Press.

Ozmon, H & Craver, M. (2010). Philosophical foundations of Education. New York: McGraw Hill Publishers.

Pulliam, J & Patten, J. (2010). History of Education in America. New York: McGraw Hill Publishers.

Rahim, M. (2011). Managing Conflict in Organizations. Boston: Palgrave Publishers.