The most recent issue of Educational Leadership is on “School Leadership.”

They asked a number of educators to answer the question: “What personal insight have you had about school leadership?”

I was one of those asked to respond. Here is what I said, and what the magazine printed:

“I’ve been teaching for five years following a 19-year career in community organizing, and I’ve found that effective leadership in schools works the same as elsewhere — it’s about having a vision and then, through listening and developing relationships, agitating others to modify that vision so that they make it their own.

It’s not about being a charismatic guru who sweeps everybody off their feet. That kind of cult of personality (no matter how well intentioned) is a house of cards that will collapse at the first sign of trouble or when that Dear Leader leaves.

And it’s not about knowing exactly what should be done and then being self-righteously indignant and whiny when other don’t follow your lead.

If you think your vision is valid, listen to the hopes and dreams of the people around you. Ask them what they think it’ll take to make their dreams happen. Incorporate those ideas into your vision, and help people see how they can realize their goals through working with you.”

How would you answer that same question:

“What personal insight have you had about school leadership?”

Please share your responses in the the comments section.