Does your school district have leadership sustainability? Every school district has either defined or default levels of leadership embedded within the context of their unique school environment. Leadership context is influenced by the industry norms, personnel, resources, political influences and varying levels of the organizations ability to anticipate change and react in a timely manner. For leadership sustainability a school or district must have clear goals, clear communication, data and a distributive leadership commitment.
School districts must have a culture that not only recognizes the need for leadership sustainability but also develops a system wide distributive leadership culture. Dr. Howard Youngs states there are four levels of Analytical Framework to Distributive Leadership:
Level 1: Organizational Leadership (structures): what are the identified and implied leadership structures in place
Level 2: Emergent Leadership (structures): who are the emerging leaders, what qualities do they posses that either makes them a formal or default leader, what is motivating the need for the leadership
Level 3: Current professional, political, social and cultural contexts: what are the local cultural expectations and unique needs/actions influencing the leadership culture?
Level 4: Past professional, political, social and cultural contexts: what local traditions and cultural expectations impact current practice and/or impacts change leadership.
Highly successful school districts, in terms of sustainability, must recognize that isolated pockets of leadership produces pockets of excellence and not systemic excellence. To truly ensure sustainable leadership that is systemic and repeatable a distributive leadership approach and processes must be designed and implemented. There must be a seamless flow between all levels of the organization with a clear purpose, identification of roles, transparency and accountability.