I’ve been a leader in schools, in one capacity or another, for 13 years. I’ve seen both poor and excellent leaders in that time.
It’s often said that a great leader must have a balance of professional competence and sound character, with some arguing that character is of more importance than technical aptitude. For example, would you prefer your GP to be a brilliant professional with great medical knowledge, but who prescribes you drugs you don’t need in order to profit themselves? Clearly, character is important. Things like integrity, honesty and diligence matter a lot. But what does one do when there’s an absence of these? How do you move from being the kind of person who couldn’t care less about others to someone more empathic and caring? What of you are the leadership problem?
Every leader must routinely take time to examine themselves. Conduct something of a self-audit of your own character. This self-Socratic process could follow something like this:
- What do I currently stand for?
- What do I want to stand for?
- What does someone who stands for the character traits I want to possess do?
The final, and perhaps hardest step is to take action by changing your behaviours so you are no longer the leadership problem but the solution. God knows- our world needs far better leaders now.