I wrote the following Leadership Philosophy while completing the IB Leadership Workshop Series. As I see it, this is a working and adaptable philosophy. I have already made so many changes since its first draft. I aim to capture my beliefs about school leadership and who I would strive to be as a leader.
When I think of leaders and what leadership means to me, I think of people who make decisions and take actions that are known to have been made or done with the best possible intentions considering the circumstances. They’re trusted. I trust people (and school leaders) whose words and actions give good reason to believe IN them and the values they represent. When school leaders’ values are in alignment with putting people and learning first, trust is built. Because trust is at the centre of all human relationships, it is at the fulcrum of the role for international school leadership. School leaders must be actively mindful of the context of their interactions with others and when making decisions so they can be informed guides who are trusted to lead the way.
I believe school leaders need to emanate optimism and cultivate a collectivist organizational culture. People who are excited about, engaged with and interested in my ideas, pump me up and help take my thinking further. Better yet, people who listen, offer support in the form of time, resources or incentives get me even more excited and provide platforms to springboard ideas and bring possibilities to fruition. Schools with leaders who are solution-oriented and believe in the value of creating platforms, systems and protocols to share, discuss and connect together on big and little ideas are schools which build a collective culture. A culture where people feel included and cared for.
I strive to be a leader who creates the conditions for trust and collaboration. I strive to be a leader who creates the conditions for people to have opportunities to advocate for their thinking, join with others on ideas and contribute to achieving outcomes that enhance the learning experience and make the school a better place. I believe this kind of collectivist school culture where people feel valued, united and moving together.
School leaders must maintain a birds-eye view over the school to navigate and adjust its direction. International school leaders must have a projection of the journey that is adaptable so they can guide the next steps, always aiming to move the school from where it is to where they (the community) wants it to be.
Teachers strive to create learning experiences that meet students where they are in their learning journey. Teachers strive to inspire learners to be the best that they can be. Teachers strive to provide guidance to grow learner’s understanding of the world.
I strive to be a school leader who facilitates the conditions for people to contribute at their highest potential and make a difference in the world. I strive to be a leader who helps people in school communities put their best feet forward together. I strive to inspire international education that creates the conditions for global mindedness to flourish and connects the ideas of people that will move all humans towards a happier, healthier and sustainable future for our planet.