Educational Leaderhip Philosophy
Educational Technology Leadership for the 21st Century
My mission is the transmission of STEM literacy, in order to prepare students of all ages for engagement in the workforce and participation in a meaningful life in the 21st century. The challenges to the fulfillment of this mission come from:
Learners who were educated/trained in a low tech environment and are resistant to change,
Systems, institutions, and organizations that are not prepared to fully reinvent themselves in the face of socio-technological changes, and
The rapid rate of invention and technological change, which demands life-long learning from both the teacher and the learner.
I approach these challenges as a Transformational Leader, as defined by Northouse (2013). The "four I’s of the Transformational Leader" (Northhouse, 2013, p. 191-193) are highly confluent with my strengths and represent the leadership approach that I have applied in both schools and non-profit organizations.
Idealized Influence: I capture the allegiance of my colleagues, co-workers, or subordinates with a clear vision and the willingness to roll up my sleeves and work side-by-side with a team. I foster respect and trust through achievement. My teammates know that they can count on me to give 110%.
Inspirational Motivation: Clarity of vision, combined with strong communication skills and deeply held beliefs make me an effective salesperson for organizational goals. Before I apply for a job, I construct a “desiderata” that reflects my understanding of the purpose and objectives of the organization. This has been a very effective means of building rapport with key stakeholders in an organization.
Intellectual Stimulation: I am a strategic thinker, who is able to unpack the most difficult problems and target solutions. At the same time, I am also a life-long learner, with the flexibility to listen to and learn from everyone. I enjoy working as a change-agent, capitalizing on the creativity and innovative thinking of a team. I love the process of moving from blue-sky thinking to project realization.
Individualized Consideration: I have a tremendous appreciation for human potential. In every new leadership position, my first question for staff members is: “Where do you see yourself in five years?” The second question is: “What can I do to help you make that happen?” I receive tremendous satisfaction from witnessing the professional growth of my staff and mentees. Once I understand what motivates the individual, I foster commitment and productivity by orienting him/her toward this goal and offering “contingent rewards” (p. 351) along the way.
I have frequently found myself working in traditionally male leadership roles. My democratic and participatory leadership style is very much in concert with the characteristics that Northouse (2013) attributes to women leaders. Often, I have been the first institutional leader to tear down non-productive, institutional silos and to foster both intra- and inter-agency collaboration. This cannot be accomplished by command. It requires cooperation and a shared sense of ownership. Empowering one’s staff is the key to success.
In addition to all of the above, I bring a consistently positive outlook, a calm demeanor, and a cultivated sense of humor to my workplace, classrooms, or other environments where I engage with people. In sum, I am a high achiever, who can motivate colleagues, co-workers, and subordinates to follow my lead and produce to the best of their ability, while enjoying the journey.
Northouse, P.G. (2013). Leadership: theory and practice (6th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.