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Authentic 21C Leadership

Authentic 21C Leadership

Are you feeling crazy busy at the moment? You love what you do but sometimes you feel absolutely overwhelmed?

Yep I get it!

We live in a world of rapid change and all sorts of problems, from rising socio-economic inequality to terrorism, environmental challenges to mental illness and lack of wellbeing across all areas of society. These things affect everyone in our schools, from students through to school leaders and sadly we have large numbers of teachers leaving schools to seek happiness elsewhere.

As School Leaders we must harness the collective genius in our schools to prepare Generation Alpha and Generation Z to thrive now and into the future.

But how do we do that?

Leading others can be fraught with challenge and difficulty. After presenting at the 21CLHK Conference I’ve been thinking a great deal about 21C Leadership. Whatever we do, if we approach our experiences and contexts with a growth mindset we can learn and grow into a better leader and better version of ourselves. How fabulous is that?

I’ve learnt that building genuine rapport with others and developing authentic relationships is paramount in any leadership role. Actually, I believe that contemporary leaders must possess high-level emotional intelligence EQ skills, to lead, engage and empower others.

Daniel Goleman’s seminal work on Emotional Intelligence, EQ, has been a fabulous asset to me. Being self-aware and self-managing is only half of the leadership challenge. Relationship management, requiring social awareness and social skills, ensures that you will always lead teams and organizations with high levels of rapport. These skills will develop the trust and confidence of your teams allowing you to engage, inspire, empower, create shared goals, grow professional capital and be a positive change catalyst and visionary innovator.

Whatever your leadership journey I think the wise words of Paulo Freire, in his book, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, are always worth considering, “The biggest pitfall for a leader is to be for people or worse above people”. Freire’s whole philosophy of leadership is “to be with people but still lead them”. I have based my 20 years of leadership on authenticity and the same principles as Freire.


If you are interested, you can learn more leadership insights on my blog www.thinkstrategicforschools.com/blog or you might like to check out my new book Leadership Really Matters at http://bit.ly/LRMbook It’s an absolute cracker!


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