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Leadership in six key words

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Started by Tessa Gray 19 Aug 2011 12:11pm () Replies (5)

Have just been enjoying reading Leadership in 6 Key Words by Scott Crandall. The post drew me in with it’s simple definition on leadership that reads,

“Leadership is the ability to influence people so they willingly accomplish the goals you are accountable for achieving.”

I wasn’t sure if I agreed with this but kept reading. Crandall went on to breakdown the six key defining words in the statement. I thought this was a great strategy – pulling out key words and disseminating their intentions.

The main points being:

1. Ability - implies that leadership is a learned skill. Rather than a talent or trait, effective leadership can be developed.

2. Influence - Leadership is about getting people to do what you want them to do, what they should do, and what they must do. There are many types of influence, including,

  • Example
  • Mentoring
  • Shaming
  • Asking
  • Demanding
  • Showing
  • Explaining
  • Directing
  • or Coercing – among others.
3. Willingly– through self-motivation, people have to “want” to do something and the best leaders understand that motivation is most effective when it’s long-term and internally generated, rather than temporary, external or task dependent.

4. Accomplish - leadership is about getting specific things done.

5. Goals  - Just as it’s important to get things done, it’s important to define specific goals – so everyone knows how to, focus their efforts, measure their achievements.

6. Accountability – Is necessary for goals to be accomplished.

The part of the post that struck me most, was the types of influence. I found myself considering how I influence people to accomplish tasks and is wondered if the methods have been successful.

Does this strike a cord for you? As an effective leader, what strategies do you use to influence others and has this worked for you?


  • Darren (View all users posts) 19 Aug 2011 12:36pm ()

    I wouldn't agree with the definition.  Leadership isn't about getting others to do what you what them to do.  For me leadership is quite simply the skill of enabling others.

    I also don't think accountability is necessary at all.  Real motivation is intrinsic and will occur as a result of value being placed on a task.  Once a task has meaning to someone they will do it to the highest standard they can.  Accountability just encourages compliance and short term gains.  You will achieve little in the long term.

    Seth Goden is great on this sort of stuff 

  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 23 Aug 2011 10:46am ()

    This definition gets you thinking alright - I'm not sure it was solely written for the education sector?

    I agree with the intrinsic values in teaching and I appreciate the post from Seth Goden, internalised rewards and incentives are beneficial catalysts for change. I'd have to say, as well as the intrinsic value of teaching, a large portion of my experiences as a teacher has included accountability measures - still does. These have included; charter requirements, NEGs/NAGs, National Standards,  reporting to BOT on annual targets achievedmeeting timelines and deadlines, organisational and parental expectations, teacher registered criteria, appraisal and performance measures. The accountability measures didn't drive my teaching, but were definitely part of it.

    I'm just wondering if the post on Leadership in 6 key words, would look different if it had only been written for education?

  • Isaac Day (View all users posts) 23 Aug 2011 12:57pm ()

    Maybe it comes down to the leader's paradigm for leadership?  I find that in my experience in education the two pervading paradigms are power and empowerment.

    The leader who's paradigm is one of empowerment, structured appropriately, where people are aware of decison making processes and involving growing those around them (far too simplistic, but I don't have enough time or experience thus far to write a bestseller about it! Smile) is likely to get good growth and nurture more formal and informal leaders.

    If the power paradigm is the dominant force, from my experience the growth in the leaders is more stunted and people are fearful of making their own decisions in case the percieved power is taken from someone else.

    Just a thought.

  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 09 Mar 2015 9:10pm ()

    Leadership beyond 6 key words...

    The Potential Fate of School Leaders Everywhere by @TeacherToolkit offers a reflection from a UK school leader about proposed leadership resolutions for 2015 (a little later than the original Jan 2015 post). 

    Any New Year's leadership resolutions to add to this?

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e-Learning: Leadership

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