The Important Role of a Leader

A leader is great, not because of his or her power, but because of his or her ability to empower others-John C. Maxwell

The person who leads a school sets forth the general direction in which it heads, the culture it creates, and the values it provides to the staff and students therein. It is not just academic progress that defines the success of a student, but their well-being, the personal, and social capabilities of a student also define their success and how progressive they are. This makes the role of a leader a very important one.

The term ‘leadership’ is defined differently in different countries and the concepts of management, leadership, and administration often overlap (Day, Sammons, p. 13). According to Christopher Day and Pamela Sammons in the review paper titled Successful school leadership, the key difference between management and leadership is that the former focuses more on implementation and ensuring the smooth functioning of the system. On the other hand, leadership deals with setting the vision for the organization and helping in the transformation of its components to reach the larger goal.

According to the paper published by the Education Development Trust, the key dimensions of a successful leader is the ability to improve and enhance the conditions of teaching and fostering a healthy community within the school. The problems they have to navigate through for achieving the same would be ensuring that good teaching and learning continuously takes place, managing the behavior of students, building partnerships beyond the school, and gathering parents’ support for the same. Managing the resources available in hand to achieve the bigger goal also becomes a crucial part of this.

There are different approaches a leader can take to make their leadership efficient to the maximum extent. The approach they take should also depend on the organization they are working with. A leader of an institution has a direct as well as an indirect impact on the functioning of the organization as a whole. Thus, the leader must appropriately approach the organization, and choose the right people who will enable the organization to grow.

To end with another of Maxwell’s quotes: “Teamwork makes the dream work, but a vision becomes a nightmare when the leader has a big dream and a bad team.”

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