Leveraging Diverse Leadership Styles

Within the scope of any teacher leadership system, we must understand that not all teacher leaders will lead in the same way. Different styles exist and various styles can be used very effectively if we as teacher leaders can learn to leverage our leadership styles and strengths. Before we can do that, it is important that we assess what style of leadership we possess, as many teacher leaders may have not undergone such an exercise.

Many different leadership style assessments occur. One such example is the Directional Leadership Assessment, which can be found here. I have facilitated a more comprehensive leadership style assessment for teachers and administrators through my work with the Center for Teaching Quality as part of my participation in the inaugural cohort the Teacher Leadership Initiative. This training was also used in our preservice training last August for all teacher leaders.

It will probably surprise none of you that know me personally that these were my results:

My Leadership Style

Leadership Style

Your Result: Organizer (North)
86% You are an organizer. You like to be in charge and are good at it. You are assertive, active and decisive. You like to take charge of people and projects. You enjoy challenge and difficult situations. You are comfortable in front of people. You focus on results and meeting goals
72%Teacher (West)
42% Visionary (East)
14% Nurturer (South)

So what do we do once we know our leadership style? First, it is important to note that no one leadership style is superior or better than another. All 4 leadership styles can be used both effectively and poorly. It is also important to know where our gaps exist in our leadership style and that our staff, much like our students, need us to adapt to their learning and professional development needs.

We must also seek opportunities to best utilize and leverage our leadership styles by asking ourselves:

  • What does our leadership style most contribute to a project?
  • What do others turn to our leadership style for?
  • When taken to an extreme, what does our leadership style look like?
  • How might we create balance so we don’t reach that extreme?
  • What’s something we’d really like people with other leadership styles to know about working with our style?

Based on my leadership style, I have a clear deficiency in being supportive and nurturing as a leader. I must seek out opportunities to better develop my leadership capacity in those areas to more effectively reach people that need that type of leader.

The below pictures are captured from a training I co-facilitated last summer on Leveraging Leadership Styles. It helps us to better understand our fellow colleagues and how they prefer to lead, as well as be cognizant of how our leadership styles can be detrimental to our objectives and goals as a team when taken too extremes.

Screen Shot 2015-07-09 at 8.12.26 AM Screen Shot 2015-07-09 at 8.12.43 AM

Other great resources to consider when assessing and seeking ways to leverage the leadership styles and needs of any team:

~Brad Hurst

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