Learning About Leadership
At a young age, we are encouraged to take on leadership roles in our family, at school, in the community and in sport. Without knowing it, many of us are already leaders in ways we may not recognize. As a parent, we lead our children when we teach them and model values or when we support sports clubs, school activities and church. Some of us enjoy a leading role in one area while others take on leadership roles in many.
Start with yourself
Be clear about what is important to you. Use these beliefs and values to guide your actions with others and to help you decide what changes you want to make.
Learn from others
Observe leaders you admire. Take note of what they do and think about how you can use that skill to improve your leadership. Find a mentor who will give you feedback and help you maximise your potential.
Take advantage of educational experiences
Look for professional development opportunities. Sign up. Broaden your knowledge by attending workshops beyond the childcare field. Read books.
Learn from your experience
Reflect on what you do. Learn from your mistakes and from your successes.
5 Practices of Effective Leaders
Five practices of effective leaders, as identified by Kouzes and Posner, are listed below, along with a brief explanation and an example of how you might practise leadership to bring about positive change in childcare.
|Effective Leadership Practices||Practising Leadership in Child Care|
|Challenge the Status Quo
Take risks. Ask why things are done the way they are. Learn from your mistakes.
|When working on a committee or as part of a staff team, be willing to offer suggestions, creative ideas and new approaches whenever you hear the phrase: “we’ve always done it this way.”|
|Inspire A Shared Vision
Talk about your hopes and dreams for the future and ask others about theirs.
|Speak openly and passionately about what you believe in – things that you believe will make a real difference in the lives of children and families.|
Work with others to develop a plan for accomplishing a shared goal.
|Encourage others to voice their beliefs – acknowledge others passions and contributions, be respectful of different beliefs. Where beliefs are in harmony, offer to work together “making dreams come true.”|
|Model the Way
Be a role model.
|Be actively and visibly involved in your provincial/territorial child care association. Demonstrate how important it is that we all contribute and work together to realize our dreams.|
|Encourage the Heart
Remember to thank people for their contributions and recognize their efforts
|Remember that the fire of passion requires the flame to be fanned. Do what you need to energize and re-energize to keep the flame burning. Support your colleagues to do the same.|