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Courageous Leadership Muriel T

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1 Courageous Leadership Muriel T
Courageous Leadership Muriel T. Summers West Virginia Principals’ Institute April 6, 2008

2 How committed are we to change?
Commitment is what transforms promise into reality. It is the words that speak boldly of our intentions. And the actions which speak louder than the words. Abraham Lincoln

3 The Nature of Leadership

4 We need men who can dream of things that never were. John F. Kennedy


6 Leadership is about vision
Leadership is about vision. But leadership is equally about creating a climate where the truth is heard and the brutal facts confronted Jim Collins

7 The only thing we have to fear is fear itself… Franklin D. Roosevelt


9 At a time when Americans seek strength in their leaders, (we) should find the strength to speak hard truths about our schools and support essential changes Robert Gordon

10 How do we typically handle Crucial Conversations?
We can avoid them We can face them and handle them poorly We can face them and handle them well Crucial Conversations, 2002


12 What Courageous Leadership Lessons Have We Learned?

13 Leadership is about change
Leadership is about change. It’s about taking people from where they are now to where they need to be.

14 Model the Way

15 How we spend our time defines what we value..

16 “It is not enough to be busy. The question is: What are we busy about
“It is not enough to be busy. The question is: What are we busy about?” Henry David Thoreau

17 Our deeds are far more important than our actions…

18 Beware the Paparazzi… A leader’s actions speak louder than their words


20 Remember: People first follow the person,
then the plan.

21 It is so easy to become pulled from the school’s focus with a myriad of things to be done. Focusing on what is best for children is key.

22 You can say that again…. Effective Communication Demands Quality and Quantity

23 Do we build the plane in flight?

24 Inspire a Shared Vision

25 Courageous leaders breathe life into the hopes and dreams of others and enable them to see the exciting possibilities that the future holds..

26 Is your vision known and owned by all?
Does it inspire and motivate? Is it propelling your school forward?

27 If you don’t know where you are going, any path will get you there.

28 Student performance will not improve over time without a vision/mission that means something to the adults and students in that setting!

29 The secret of success is constancy of purpose.

30 Challenge the Process

31 Old trees have deep roots…
Commitment to the past hinders change in the future

32 An object at rest tends to stay at rest… Resistance is inevitable

33 Courageous leaders take risks and look for opportunities to innovate, grow and improve.

34 When Leading Change, Consider the Environment
What do we want students to learn? How will we how they have learned it? How will respond when they don’t? What will we do when they already know the material? DuFour

35 Knowing Doing Gap

36 Knowing what to do is the easy part.
Actually doing it is what is hard.

37 Why don’t we do what we know in our heart is the right thing to do?

38 Do we have the courage to remove those barriers that prevent all students from being successful?


40 If we want to change what teachers do in the classrooms, then we need to focus on those actions directly. Dylan William



43 Do we have the courage to say, “We are not in Kansas anymore?”

44 Enable Others to Act

45 The role of the principal in the 21st century is to be a leader of leaders…. Rather than a leader of followers

46 It takes a village…. Organizations change when the people within them change

47 If they build it, they will come…
People support what they help to create

48 Do we have the courage to ask the questions that will tell us what we often do not want to hear?

49 No involvement, no commitment

50 An object at rest tends to stay at rest… Resistance is inevitable

51 Leadership must be a relationship.

52 Encourage the Heart

53 head and heart builds commitment
Get to the heart of it… Connecting to the head and heart builds commitment

54 Courageous leaders recognize contributions by showing appreciation for individual excellence.

55 Who are your Grants?

56 Do we have the courage to light the way?

57 Christa McAuliffe

58 William Sanders

59 Liviu Librescu

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