Every school is a complex and dynamic system that requires highly skilled leadership to both manage and transform. The current climate of high expectations, limited resources and stressed out staff means that these challenges have never been more daunting. As a result, educational leaders need innovative strategies, cutting edge tools and knowledgeable support to help schools grow into safe and effective learning environments for young people and the adults who educate them. Our program provides those strategies, tools and support.
Transformational leadership starts from the inside out, and shows up throughout the day in all the leader’s interactions with staff, students, families, community members and district personnel. These interactions are infused with personal values, social and emotional intelligence, cultural responsiveness, and an understanding of interconnectedness.
This approach to leadership:
- emphasizes the importance of every relationship;
- builds trust with stakeholders through sincerity, competence, and reliability;
- addresses conflict with clarity and compassion;
- balances empathy and decisiveness;
- cultivates alliances across differences; and
- honors every person.
The resulting trust becomes the foundation for deep inquiry into the roots and branches of school dilemmas and challenges. Personal reflection, structured dialogue, and a supportive community allows for the emergence of creative, sustainable and long-term solutions within complex systems. Organizational and individual change go hand in hand.
To engage in such transformational change, leaders must cultivate:
- authentic presence
- communication skills
- cultural responsiveness
- an understanding of whole systems change
Leading from the Inside Out introduces participants to key practices and structures that develop, enhance and sustain these competencies while creating a community of leaders who provide ongoing support to each other.
Be available to respond to what is unfolding in the present moment by being curious and letting go of fixed ideas. Integrate mind, emotions and body through ongoing reflective practices, and develop a deep connection to our authentic self. By relating with what is actually occurring, we can let go of defensiveness and accept responsibility.
Listen deeply and speak clearly with integrity. Balance advocacy with inquiry, create structures for meaningful conversations, hold boundaries with an open heart, and respectfully attend to the complexities of interpersonal communication.
Choose to respond to difference by becoming aware of the role of culture in each individual’s experience, and committing to an ongoing exploration of your own cultural influences as well as the history of oppression in society. Value differences that make a difference in people’s lives and choose to engage in courageous conversations about these differences. Be open to using your power to support social justice and to responding to challenging situations when they rise.
Whole Systems Change
Understand the complexity of change processes, and appreciate the unique dynamics of living systems, why they resist change, and how they evolve. Facilitate deep and collaborative inquiry into complicated challenges, and support the healthy transformation of both institutions and individuals.