Leading versus managing has long been an interest of mine. With experience, I understand the value in leading through every word and action, I appreciate the importance of managing. And I've come to see the impact in purposeful, specific coaching.
Leaders model their core beliefs with every action. Every word they choose to use. The way they choose to prioritize and allocate their time. And who and what they invest themselves in. This is how beliefs are communicated outwardly, publicly. And it's not the intent of the communicator, but the perception of the recipient that defines these items.
Managing involves details. Relationships. Calendars, priorities. Managing oneself. Managing change.
Coaching is something leaders and managers get to do. It's teaching, meeting individuals at various stages on the learning continuum, on each person's trajectory to personal excellence. Done purposefully, it's based on co-constructed goals. It's progress monitored, by the individual, improved upon with specific feedback and targeted support from the leader/manager.
In the absence of a clear vision, strong leadership is impossible. Lacking a clearly articulated vision and expectations makes management difficult. And coaching ranges from being "off-message" to impossible.
Communication, face-to-face and voice-to-voice. Investing time in perspective taking, walking alongside or in another's shoes. Crucial, difficult, courageous, ongoing conversations about what matters most. Being vulnerable, embracing fear, active listening, and being willing to exchange hopes and dreams, and to clarify these as often as necessary.
Leadership is service leadership. And service leadership is leadership. They're not separate. And there's no other way to do it right. Leaders who dedicate themselves towards helping others, create managers who are dedicated to help others, create coaches...who help others.
And when this system exists in a school, it creates teachers, who help kids.
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