Mission-Driven Leadership
Why is it that those dedicated to the art of leadership are naturally drawn to leadership blogs, articles, and books? It is as though we are forever on a quest for the holy grail of leadership. The repetition of reading about leadership styles and practices is a testament that the reader seeks to improve his or her craft.
Christopher Colwell
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
769
Mission-Driven Leadership
Education leaders, whether school-based or district-based, face ever-increasing challenges and responsibilities. The need for school leaders in the twenty-first century to possess a wide array of leadership skills, talents, and dispositions is without debate. Over the last one hundred years, there have been several evolving schools of thought regarding what skills are needed by the school leader.
Christopher Colwell
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
547
Mission-Driven Leadership
I have been blessed to work with many mission-driven leaders during my more than forty years working in the education field. To all the leaders, at the university and at the P–12 level, who have mentored and inspired me, a special thank-you. Thank you for making a difference in my life and in the lives of children.
Christopher Colwell
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
258
Mission-Driven Leadership
Mission-Driven Leadership: Understanding the Challenges Facing Schools Today examines the skills and behaviors that high-impact school leaders need to cultivate in order to achieve their organizational mission and make a profound difference in the lives of the students they serve. In an age of ever-increasing complexity and demand on educational leaders, Mission examines a specific...
Christopher Colwell
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
630
Mission-Driven Leadership
Leaders matter. Any complex organization requires effective leadership in order to succeed. Schools and school districts are certainly no exception. Next to the impact of the classroom teacher, perhaps no position has more capacity to influence and improve the performance of our nations’ schools than school leaders. From the first-year assistant principal to the veteran district...
Christopher Colwell
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
2,900
Mission-Driven Leadership
It is important to recognize that the historical design of our teaching and learning model in the United States is built upon the organizational model of the early Industrial Age with an emphasis on mass production using an assembly line that is efficiently managed.
Christopher Colwell
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
2,970
Mission-Driven Leadership
As discussed in chapter 2, high-performing leaders need to be effective managers. Schools that are not run in a safe and orderly manner have very little hope of providing the kind of environment that teachers need in order to teach effectively and students need in order to learn effectively. Ensuring the safety of all students and stakeholders and ensuring that the overall environment and climate...
Christopher Colwell
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
3,338
Mission-Driven Leadership
As discussed in earlier chapters, today’s school leaders must be outstanding managers of school and district operations, as well as instructional experts, fluent in pedagogical best practice. Management power and expert power make up the first two tiers of the impactful leader. While these two leadership tiers are necessary, they are not, in and of themselves, sufficient to truly lead with...
Christopher Colwell
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
3,515
Mission-Driven Leadership
In chapter 4, a fundamental question was addressed: Why should anyone be led by you? The recognition that leaders are worth following not because of their management skills and their technical teaching and learning skills, but because of their orientation to a team-centered approach to decision-making and their ability to articulate and follow, in word and deed, a mission-driven culture is an...
Christopher Colwell
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
6,336
Mission-Driven Leadership
As we discussed in chapter 4, getting to Tier 3 leadership involves building expertise in the behaviors and attributes that define interpersonal skills and team-building activities. Tier 3 leaders recognize that high-impact leadership is fundamentally a “people enterprise.” The ability to motivate, influence, understand, and leverage the personalities and motivations of a large group...
Christopher Colwell
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
4,673
Mission-Driven Leadership
Every position in an organization comes with some level of position power, which is the power that comes explicitly with the position itself, regardless of who fills that position at any given time. Typically, as the level of responsibility rises for any given position, the level of authority, of power, embedded in that position also rises.
Christopher Colwell
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
5,115
Mission-Driven Leadership
While most leadership job descriptions give the leader real power and authority designed to assist the leader in accomplishing the job, the research is clear that leaders who over-rely on the power of the position are unlikely to succeed. Position power usually comes with the authority to evaluate employee job performance, which directly impacts the ability of employees to retain their jobs,...
Christopher Colwell
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
5,999
Mission-Driven Leadership
Traditional organizational and decision-making structures operate like pyramids. The CEO, the president, and the superintendent all work and lead from the top of the pyramid. For most organizations, policy decisions, organizational goals, and strategic planning begin at the top and then work their way back down the system to employees who work in the middle or lower tiers of the pyramid. From...
Christopher Colwell
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
5,492
Mission-Driven Leadership
The direction of organizational leadership orientation moving from a vertical pyramidal structure to a team-oriented horizontal circular structure was discussed in depth in chapter 9. Most of the time, for most leaders, the daily orientation of the leader and the leadership team is down through the organization (Pearce & Conger, 2002). Because most leaders operate in organizational hierarchies...
Christopher Colwell
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
5,645
Mission-Driven Leadership
Educators live in a world of hyperaccountability. At all levels, from the first-year classroom teacher to the district superintendent, the pressure to meet specific, measurable benchmarks in what feels like a never-ending list of goals to achieve has been expanding for the last thirty years. Teacher evaluations, student grade level promotion and graduation rates, discipline and safety data,...
Christopher Colwell
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
4,717
Mission-Driven Leadership
Every organization has early adopters, those colleagues ready and willing to try new initiatives or pilot new and innovative ways to impact the organization. These colleagues or stakeholders are the organization’s “first followers.” There is a common set of behaviors that unites these individuals and is uniquely valuable to the overall success of the organization.
Christopher Colwell
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
3,974
Mission-Driven Leadership
Impactful leaders recognize that all high-performing schools or school districts are made up of teams. No one person has the time or the expertise to lead organizations as complex as schools and school districts on their own. Even if the leader was attempting to lead in isolation, informal teams and leaders would emerge within, and impact the organization (Mehra, Smith, Dixon, & Robertson,...
Christopher Colwell
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
5,125
Mission-Driven Leadership
Isolation is the enemy of effective leadership. As discussed throughout this book, leadership in the twenty-first century is a team sport. The notion of a single leader as sufficient to bring an entire organizational culture and climate to its full potential is not only an antiquated concept, but it is an organizational structure doomed to failure. High-impact leaders develop others, and...
Christopher Colwell
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
3,716
Mission-Driven Leadership
For many leaders, developing and maintaining the skills necessary to be a high-performing manager, a technical expert, and a mission-driven team builder can be an overwhelming task. The ability to sustain the energy and commitment needed to function in all of these leadership capacities can be overwhelming. The ability to find balance and a set of behaviors that lead to sustained excellence over...
Christopher Colwell
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
3,908
Mission-Driven Leadership
Christopher Colwell
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
2,080
Mission-Driven Leadership
Christopher Colwell, EdD, is an associate professor and chair of the Education Department at Stetson University in DeLand, Florida. Dr. Colwell teaches teacher education and educational leadership education and serves as a consultant on P–12 leadership development. His research interests focus primarily on school leadership. He draws from forty years of work as a classroom...
Christopher Colwell
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
212