Why are elements of all leadership styles important to manage change?

            Leaders wear many hats and have to know when to wear what hat, especially when decision need to be made. Decision can be split into two groups where the leader is the only one to decide and sometimes the leaders need to let the people decide. Leaders need to orchestrate the direction to manage change. As we live in our classroom throughout each class we have to adjust to the environment of change.

In the midst of change different issues arise and have to be addressed.   Most of the time a leader should be operating with an “Affiliative” and a “Coaching” style leadership to build a relationship with the workers.   As a teacher must know our students and genuinely care about them. When decisions arise a teacher will need to change hats to “Authoritative” or “Democratic” style leading.   The decision would fall into one of two categories, one being major decision that the Leader has to make or minor decision that the workers can have input on.   As a teacher in my classroom I have to be “Authoritative” in what concepts I am teaching on a daily basis. This isn’t up to the students; I have to make this type of decision in order to follow the state guidelines. When the decision is minor like have the lights on or shades closed, heater on or off, the students have to live with the daily conditions and the majority can make those decisions. If there is a fire alarm teachers are forced into the “Coercive” hat and tell the students how and where to leave the building. The “pacesetter” hat comes into play when we write our rubrics for each concepts or task. We have a standard that they have to live up to or come close to.

As you can see that all the different elements of all leadership styles are important. We have to alter our role as we operate through out the day as it brings different issues. As Michael Fullen put it in his book, “ . . . change cannot be managed. It can be understood and perhaps led, but it cannot be controlled.” Change is out of our control, but we can choose how to react to it by changing our hat to lead better.

John Warner, in Leadership and Management, stated in his summary, in order for leaders “to be successful, especially over the longer term, people need to understand their style of leadership and how this may impact on others. This can help us to minimize our blind spots, which might derail us in a particular situations”.   We have to know what our strengths and weakness are in order to observe ourselves to make changes that are needed so our focus can stay on our task at hand.

This take me to Lou Dubois article, How to change your management style, where he talks about changing your style of leading. He advise on how to go about changing, “Think about each individual thing you say and do, and before reacting with your initial thought, catch yourself and do something differently before you fall into your comfort zone. Great leaders are good at adapting to the environment around them, and are good at making changes when they’re needed.” We have to slow down and think before we speak. It is okay to take a moment and re-evaluate our response and choose a different approach with our reaction. He also mentioned earlier to ask yourself if you are willing to hear feedback. When we have outside feedback we can make better changes that are real. Our emotions play a role in our leadership, the emotions are contagious, and our attitude and energy infects our classrooms either for better or for worse.

As teachers we need to know our style of leadership so we can know our strengths and weakness. We have to think things through before we re-act throughout the day and make choices that will bring directions toward our goals that won’t hinder our relationship with our students. Teachers need to be swift at changing their hats.

References:

Dubois, Lou. Inc.edu. How to change your management style. (2011) Retrieved on October 27, 2015 from http://www.inc.com/guides/201105/how-to-change-your-management-style.html

Fullan, Michael. (2014). Leading in a Culture of Change. Somerset, NJ, USA: John Wiley Sons, Incorporated. Retrieved from http://www.ebrary.com

Warner, John. Ready to Manage. Why Leadership Style is Important. (2012) Retrieved on October 27, 2015 from http://blog.readytomanage.com/why-leadership-style-is-important

What is the most effective in leading change. Strategies for managing change. Retrieved on October 27, 2015 from http://www.strategies-for-managing-change.com/leadership-styles.html

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3 thoughts on “Why are elements of all leadership styles important to manage change?

  1. Sally- That is so true what you said, “Leaders wear many hats and have to know when to wear what hat, especially when decision need to be made”. I love how you compare the leadership styles to teaching. I can see that we do have many of those in teaching. Thanks for letting me see that!

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  2. I love your ending statement, “Teachers need to be swift at changing their hats.” It is very true. We need to constantly be changing our “hats” in the classroom to deal with all types of students and situations that arise. Being able to truly understand the different leadership styles helps us to be able to change our styles accordingly (whenever it is necessary).

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