Leadership Skills Integral Part of Diffusion of Innovations

This blog from @JonathanEMartin really hit home.

This is a great summation and response to what leaders in Google regard as key leadership skills. It would be natural to assume that Google leaders would value a high level of technical expertise – it’s Google right? But technical expertise ranks a lot lower than other leadership essentials.

Seeing these attributes, in this context, struck me as a first year principal. I’ve been an administrator and pd leader for years and in those capacities, having the skill expertise was critical. My talk was supportive, not evaluative.

In my new position, I’ve always made efforts to be helpful, partly through taking a big part in training.  We have Tech Tuesday at my school and I try my best to lead pd as much as possible to show the emphasis our school has placed on new innovations. I have to keep in mind that my new role comes with perceptions that may be viewed as a block to some teachers. What I may have tried to communicate as passion/urgency may have been actually been seen as a hindrance.

Through the awesomeness that is Twitter, I’ve had some thoughtful and insightful communication @drdouggreen. He’s reintroduced me to a term I haven’t heard since grad school – diffusion of innovations, the spread of new ideas in environments.  I’m thankful for Twitter [again] for helping me connect to others who help me grow.

I will take several things from this blog and experience:

  1. Find my early adopters and promote – for those who may see me leading pd as not supportive, it will give them a good resource to go to and use. Even a model for them to follow
  2. Focus on vision-building and driving – The school and community needs to continuously hear from its leaders where we are going
  3. Be strategic about my training – Its important that I be seen as a driver but I don’t have to drive/train on all new innovations. Again, promote new leaders who buy in. There are plenty of opportunities to model use after some of my teacher-leaders train.
  4. My PLN leads to growth – I can’t thank @JonathanEMartin and @drdouggreen enough for inspiration and insight.
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