Introduction to Leadership

Welcome to the Emerging Leaders Professional Learning Community, and well done for taking this important step into your future career journey. Let me begin by saying that it is my strong belief that the key to success in many organisations lies in the leadership of that organisation. The stronger the focus on the leadership, the more likely it is that the organisation can strive successfully towards its vision. And as you will get to see throughout all the modules, the learning of leadership skills does not only apply to those with leadership titles within an organisation, but to everyone. True leadership does not come with a title, and titles don’t necessarily indicate true leadership. Some of the best leaders I have worked with have been young people who are new to the organisation, and the reverse is sadly also true! 

The modular content of this platform will be ever-growing. As and when new, pertinent topics start trending we will endeavour to put a leadership spin on them and push out more material for you to watch and learn from. 

Throughout the modules we will look at some of the theory that underpins leadership models and that is applicable to many organisations, and which informs the way we understand leadership within an organisation. It is important for me to tell you at this point that these principles don’t only apply to schools, they apply to leadership in general and as such, can be taken into a broad range of industries. We just happen to be focussing on schools in this course because this is our primary frame of reference and also because schools represent highly complex social environments. Because of this, the leadership has to be particularly well skilled in the art of human understanding.

You will also find that these modules are particularly meaningful to you if you are able to apply what you learn to your own setting, either theoretically or in actual practice. If you are fortunate enough to already have a team of your own that you are leading, then I am certain that you can take the ‘take aways’ straight from the modules and test them out. 

If you do not have your own team yet, that doesn’t matter because you will still be able to view your own circumstances within the teams that you work, through more of a leadership lens. If you begin to view things from this perspective your leadership skills will develop and all the time you give to thinking about how the theory applies to practice that you see, will be of huge benefit to you in the end. Please also don’t forget that you don’t need a title to be a leader. You may not have the same levels of responsibilities as those who are named leaders in your organisation, but you can still ‘lead’. As I have mentioned before, some of the best leaders that I have come across have not even been aware of their leadership skills but they have nevertheless impacted, empowered and facilitated those around them, their environments and the ethos of their organisation. 

So this is the first section and it is all about introducing you to some basic leadership understanding. Following modules will look at specifics of leadership but without the grounding that you will gain from this section, much of what the others contain will seem disjointed and perhaps be a bit more difficult to contextualise.  

By the time you have gone through the modules in this section you will have an understanding of:

  • The importance of leadership in an organisation;
  • How leadership differs from management as a concept;
  • Why organisations need leaders; and 
  • What good leadership looks like. 

Each module that you do will contain some key elements. The first is some visual and/or audio material. This will basically be the content that the module will focus on. There will also be a point of reflection or engagement, to help you gain a deeper understanding of each module. This is something that you can typically do on your own, and I could suggest that you keep a leadership journal to chart your progress and thoughts.  

Finally there will be an action point for each module, which is something that you can opt to take into your workplace and try out. This last point is very important because if we’re honest with ourselves, it is the actual discomfort of trying and failing, and trying again that gives us our growth mindset and the ability to develop resilience as we grow as leaders. And when creating the material I have endeavoured to push the boundaries of comfort in the tasks that have been laid out, to give you the best opportunities for growth. 

Please remember that you can always bring your experiences to the ELPLC community platform where you will find others to bounce ideas off and to share your successes and wins, as well as your challenges and trials. 

This leaves it only for me to say, enjoy the content, and I look forward to engaging with you on it, on the ELPLC platform.