The best leaders have seen the mountain view and want to share it with others.
Updated: Oct 27
When I reflect on the most inspiring and best leaders that I have had across workplaces, community groups (such as schools) and sporting clubs there is a common occurring theme...
Inspiring leaders have been to the top of the mountain (and are respected for this), they enjoyed the experience and they have a deep desire to share the view with others. These leaders have a stable footing at the top, they then bend over and pull others up to enjoy the view. To share the view is not easy. It requires a balance of practice (experience) and knowledge (theory). Furthermore, this balance requires constant reflection about the context. Similar to an eagle soaring high above the mountains, they can see ahead, they can see where they have been and they can see directly where they are at present. They know how to bring the best out of those around them.
The opposite to this analogy would be leaders who do not lead (and are not respected), rather they diminish the confidence of those around them (to suffice for their own inadequacies). Rather than assisting others to the top where they can share the view, they stand on their fingers in the hope that they will fall. Sadly, they blow out the candles of others around them so that their candle can burn more brightly (and they can look like they are coping).
Given what research clearly describes as good leadership, an inability to lead or poor-quality leadership continues to this day and will continue in the future. Why can I make this statement with such certainty? There are leaders with limited experiences and knowledge (including qualifications) and have got to where they are because of ambition alone (this can often be seen in politics). Leadership is like a waterfall and needs to begin at the highest point for the water to reach all members. This is why choosing a leader in a school (or any community) significantly impacts the education provided.