Friday, July 30, 2010

Leadership Characteristics -- do I have what it takes?

This week I did a self-assessment (giving myself a 1-5 rating for each) and an online assessment that asked me questions to give me rating (you can find it here).  I based my ratings and answers on my current actions as a teacher/team leader/trainer when possible, but there were some I had to answer hypothetically.  It’s definitely not a scientific process, but it is an interesting one.

I compiled my seven strongest and seven weakest on both assessments, then compared them and pulled out the ones common to both assessments to check the correlation to student achievement. 

Where am I strongest, and how do those traits correlate to student achievement?  Being a change agent (one who is willing to challenge the status quo), having knowledge of curriculum and instruction, and resources (providing teachers with materials and professional development necessary for the successful execution of their jobs) all have average .25 correlation, which is in the midrange compared to the other responsibilities.

The responsibilities on both assessments’ “worst” list were communication, culture (fosters shared beliefs and a sense of community and cooperation), optimizer (inspires and leads new and challenging innovations),  and situational awareness. (is aware of undercurrents in the school and uses this info to address potential problems).  I believe I do most of these well in my classroom, but not so much with other teachers.  While the correlations with student achievement for the first three ranged from .20 to .25, I am in trouble with situational awareness.  It was my lowest score on both tests, and has the highest correlation to student achievement of ANY of the characteristics, .33. 

Obviously, this is one I’m going to need to work on.  As a teacher, I know there are many issues that are not directly voiced to leadership.  In a leadership position, I would need to spend extra effort on reading between the lines, paying attention to both verbal and non-verbal cues, and asking about a tense situation if I perceive one. Those are things I can start on now. 


Balanced Leadership Profile. Retrieved July 25, 2010, from

Marzano, R. J., Mcnulty, B. A., & Waters, T. (2005). School leadership that works: from research to results. Alexandria, VA: Association For Supervision and Curriculum Development. 

1 comment:

Lynne said...

Establishing honesty, building competence, and inspiring a shared vision will certainly put you on a trajectory of authentic leadership. Interestingly, several of these areas, as well as situational leadership, are areas that were identified as weaknesses in your leadership assessment analysis. Make certain that you select an internship experience that will help you address these areas so you gain competence and confidence in leading others in building a school culture oriented toward student achievement.