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  • 1.
      • Leading Improvement Efforts:
    • Theories andChallenges
    • Pete Bylsma, EdD, MPA
    • [email_address]

2. Presentation Overview

  • Characteristics of Effective Leaders
    • Perspectives of the sages
    • What research says about effective leadership in schools and districts
  • Creating Change
    • Theoretical models
    • Practical implications for leaders
  • Using data to lead change
  • Other things on your mind

3. Characteristics ofEffective Leaders

  • Effective leaders are found in both private and public sector organizations.
  • Effective leadership is multi-faceted.
  • Most writers view effective leaders as people who do certain things and have certain qualities.

4. Per Jack Welch, former General Electric CEO

  • Leaders need
    • Head(intelligence, competence, wisdom, savy)
    • Heart(emotional intelligence and soft relational skills such as empathy, understanding, and communications that foster candor and openness)
    • Guts(the self confidence to make hard decisions)
    • Character( prerequisites of humility, trustworthiness, strong work ethic)

5. Mind Energy People skills Work habits Head on straight (maturity) Mask shortcomings Resume Per John Wareham ( The Anatomy of a Great Executive) Means to get you where you are headed Misdirect with resumes 6. Per Jim Collins ( Good to Great )

  • Level 5 Executive
  • Builds enduring greatness through a paradoxical blend of personal humility and professional will (fierce resolve)
  • Level 4 Effective Leader
  • Catalyzes commitment to and vigorous pursuit of a clear and compelling vision, stimulating higher performance standards
  • Level 3 Competent Manager
  • Level 2 Contributing Team Member
  • Level 1 Highly Capable Individual

7. Common Characteristics ofEffective Leaders

  • 1. They establish and pursue a simple, clear, and compelling vision.
    • Know what should be, inspire others to work toward it
    • Vision is not too complicated, is constantly in view
    • Continuous communication in multiple forms to reinforce the message

8. Common Characteristics ofEffective Leaders

  • 2. They understand their environment.
    • Proactive and flexible when dealing with external variables influencing the work (economic and political conditions, competition, beliefs and values of the local community)
    • Advocate for supportive conditions, policies, and laws through networking, building relationships
    • Foresee the implications of others actions and adjust accordingly

9. Common Characteristics ofEffective Leaders

  • 3. They think and plan strategically.
    • Understand internal and external challenges and the multiple ways needed to address the challenge(see the big picture and know what levers to pull)
    • Work with others and use a range of information and data to design and implement a sound multi-system strategy to address obstacles and help them meet their goals
    • Establish aligned structures and systems that work well together

10. Common Characteristics ofEffective Leaders

  • 4. They select and support talented people.
    • Recognize need to develop other leaders
    • Know how to select and develop other leaders who can spread the message of the mission
    • Have good people skills and encourage, inspire, and recognize their staff when appropriate
    • Help staff acquire the skills and knowledge needed to do their work

11. Common Characteristics ofEffective Leaders

  • 5. They are learners.
    • Listen to other perspectives, encourage diverse perspectives, seek honest feedback
    • Balance the urgency to meet their goals with reflection to learn from their successes and failures
    • Take calculated risks and have the courage to admit when things do not go as planned
    • Learn from mistakes and are willing to change
    • Remain optimistic and resilient whenproblems arise

12. Common Characteristics ofEffective Leaders

  • 6. They have integrity.
    • Have a strong moral code that guide their actions
    • Honest, fair, and just when dealings with others
    • Treat others with respect, have high regard for all types of people
    • Keep their word and follow through on their commitments (walking the talk creates trust, motivates others to do the same)
    • Actions are consistent with their values and goals.

13. Common Characteristics ofEffective Leaders

  • 7. They get results.
    • High expectations, passion for excellence for its own sake
    • Track record of accomplishing goals by working hard and smart
    • Set goals and select metrics to measure progress toward the goal
    • Inner intensity to improve, sense of urgency
    • Creative problem-solvers who persevere and persist
      • Use lessons learned from listening to change practice, generate new ideas
    • Hold themselves and others accountable for results

14. Common Characteristics ofEffective Leaders

  • 7. They get results (continued)
    • Action-oriented, decisive, willing to make hard decisions after receiving enough information and assessing context
    • Not afraid to move (or remove) staff who do not produce
    • Use small victories to build momentum and confidence that can eventually get big results
    • Accomplish goals by reflecting all the other characteristics

15. Characteristics ofEffective Leaders

  • Effective leaders often have a combination of certain skills and knowledge, dispositions, and values that motivate and inspire others. In general, they are
    • intelligent, insightful, productive, versatile, flexible, creative, optimistic, hopeful, confident, energetic, hard working, decisive, disciplined, courageous, organized, approachable, proactive, fair, compassionate, trustworthy, team players

16. Nine Characteristics ofHigh-Performing Schools 17. Nine Characteristics:Effective Leadership

  • Leadership is essential to implement all the characteristics of high performing schools
  • Deeper Understanding of Effective Leadership
    • Distributive leadership
    • Sustainable leadership
    • Lateral capacity building
    • Relational trust


  • Leadership Attributes and Behavior
    • Demonstrate value-added leadership
    • Build community of learners/leaders
    • Promote second-order change
  • Leadership Approaches
    • Develop positive respectful relationships
    • Create collaborative professional learning communities
    • Focus on learning

Nine Characteristics:Effective Leadership(continued) 19. Characteristics of ImprovingSchool Districts 20. Characteristics of Improved School Districts:Effective Leadership

  • Leadership is at the center when implementing all characteristics ofimproved districts.
  • Focus on All Students Learning
  • Dynamic & Distributed Leadership
  • Sustained Improvement Efforts over Time

21. Improved School Districts: Effective Leadership(cont.)

  • Focus on All Students Learning
    • Focus on all students learning to high standards
    • Share beliefs & values, have clear goals & shared vision of change
    • Hold all district staff, programs & operations responsible for student learning


  • Dynamic/Distributed Leadership
    • Exhibit dynamic leadership, united in purpose, visible in schools, interested in instruction
    • Expand to encompass central office, principals, teacher le