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Educational leadership 101

Posted on: July 17, 2016

There is formal leadership by that comes with position and authority. There is also informal leadership is a result of reputation and autonomy.

Call me crazy, but I think that Kid President would make a better leader than many of the world’s current leaders. But by leader I mean the informal kind.

This is Kid President’s most recent video.

Video source

Even though the video was not about leadership, Kid President demonstrated qualities that leaders in education should possess or develop. For example:

  • asking questions instead of insisting on giving answers
  • embracing diversity
  • showing empathy
  • approaching the unknown with humility
  • dealing with the uncomfortable or difficult
  • willing to try and learning from making mistakes
  • dancing (optional)

I bring this up because earlier this week I facilitated conversations and thinking among potential change agents of an organisation. One participant remarked that he was not a leader. I took the opportunity to mention the difference between a formal and informal leader.

We need and we have informal leaders in most work environments. We need not wait for official leaders to initiate change because those moves are too late or disconnected from reality.

Informal leaders lead by example and galvanise people around them to do the same. They are models and influencers. They are always learning and sharing. They earn respect from the ground and people follow their example.

A good leader in education is an informal leader or, if a formal leader, knows who the informal leaders are and knows how to mobilise them.

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