The words to define a leader aren’t far off from the same words that might describe an excellent educator. Many of the same traits that are valued in a teacher are invaluable in a leader trying to create a better school or community environment. As teachers are at the heart of the classroom inspiring student success, educational leaders are at the center of a community driving student, teacher, school and even district-wide success.
There are many types of leadership, ranging from autocratic to participative, that often have both advantages and disadvantages. No matter what your management style, there are many universal qualities that are crucial to successful school leadership. When asking how to be an effective leader, try to embody the following traits.
Ten Traits of Effective Leaders
- Visionary – a quality of foresight or a look into the future.
- Passion – intense enthusiasm: a strong liking or enthusiasm for a subject or activity.
- Respect – esteem: a feeling or attitude of admiration and deference toward somebody.
- Honesty – moral uprightness: condition, or characteristic of being fair, truthful and morally upright truthfulness: candor, or sincerity.
- Integrity – possession of firm principles: the quality of possessing and steadfastly adhering to high moral principles or professional standards.
- Courageous – the ability to confront uncertainty and offer stability.
- Dedication – committed to an idea/cause or to someone.
- Compassion – a desire to help for the betterment of others.
- Communicator – A person who effectively shares information with others.
- Influence – power to sway: the power that somebody has to affect other people’s thinking or actions by means of argument, example or force of personality.
A leader can transform a school or community for the better and ensure success for both students and educators. He or she will not only have the traits of an effective leader, but also the administrative skills to match. This may mean having extensive experience educating or working within the community. It might also mean expanding his or her own education with graduate school.
As an educational leader, you should take time to grow your practical skills, adjust your style to meet the complex demands of your community and try to embody the qualities of effective leaders. While you’re making positive changes around you, it is always important to continue evaluating and improving your own leadership competencies.