The principal as Chief Learning Officer and 'leader of leaders' is the wave of educational leadership for high-performing schools. It requires new thinking, new beliefs, and new practices, and places a diminishing value on hierarchical and bureaucratic practices as currently exists in many schools today. Creating an organization of many leaders, and many leadership possibilities opens the door to greater teacher involvement and increased student achievement. Under the guiding principles of Formative Leadership, developed by Dr. Ruth Ash and Dr. Maurice Persall, Edu-Leadership presents Formative Leadership Tip of the Month! We challenge you to inspire your teachers and students to greater success and higher performance!



Formative Leadership Tip of the Month



"The most important action I have taken was to change my role from bureaucratic administrator to facilitator of knowledge sharing."  ---Carolyn Blackwell, CLO


Become a facilitator of knowledge sharing! Relax and let go of the control reigns. Replace top-down decision  making and control mechanisms with collaboration, team problem solving, and learning. Create teams of teachers, staff members, and parents to discuss school related issues. Allow faculty and staff members to provide feedback and solutions to school related issues and processes. Recognize and support the individual strengths of teachers and staff members. As a leader, good communication is critical to building strength in your organization. While you are practicing your new skill as a facilitator, remember to foster trust and be trustworthy, listen to your faculty and staff, be patient while knew learning occurs, value the differences among your faculty, share knowledge, open communication, and build a stronger school. 



What to do next?

  • Creation of leadership teams and action teams

  • Tracking of key performance indicators over time

  • Implementation of an open door policy for all

  • Solicitation of parent and community input

  • Joint parent/student/teacher conferences

  • Increase release time for planning and collegial discussions

  • Focus groups/book studies of relevant issues

  • Focus on the evaluation of the work teachers create for students

  • Creation of a professional development library section

  • Development of methods to recognize and reward innovation


What to read?


Consider the following:

Employee Suggestions are Profitable - Do You Listen?  Freda Turner, Ph.D., Embry Riddle Aeronautical University

Dialogue and the Art of Thinking Together   William Isaacs, et al.

What is 'Right-Communication'?  Ivy Sea, Inc.

What is Dialogue?  Ivy Sea. Inc.

Leading High Impact Teams: The Coach Approach to Peak Performance  C. Niemela and R. Lewis

Breakthrough Teams for Breakneck Times  Lisa K. Gundy and Laurie LaMantia

Harvard Business Review on Effective Communication  (Harvard Business Review Paperback Series)




The New Work of Formative Leadership. , and Maurice Persall, Director of Graduate Programs. Orlean Bullard Beeson School of Education and Professional Studies, Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama.


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