9 Feb 2016

Distributive vs Distribution Leadership Culture

Distributive vs Distribution Leadership Culture

The effectiveness and efficiency of a sustainable distributive leadership culture is the difference between average and great schools.  A distributive vs distribution leadership culture focuses on clear goals, systemic process improvements and leadership development of the collective.  A distribution model not only defines but confines anointed leadership to a few.

Traditional distribution leadership approaches focus on confining and defining leadership roles to a few anointed individuals within an organization thus, creating a systemic leadership vacuum. Distributive Leadership processes establishes formal leadership positions, structures and processes for all members of the organization.  The process grants authority and not just responsibility, to each member of the organization by creating a broad leadership community. At the heart lies a few fundamental guiding questions.  What role is the district leadership team playing in strategically developing the leadership capacity at the district and school levels? Board of Education level? To what extent are site-based leadership teams provided sufficient autonomy to make important decisions? What is the clearly identified role of the building principal?

Research out of the University of Wisconsin and Leadership for Learning (www.leadershpforlearning.com) studied the critical role leadership design has on a school.  In particular, they identified social distribution tasks, situational distribution of leadership, contextually actionable responses, embedded progress monitoring and reflection on engagement impact.

The break neck speed of change facing school leaders, combined with high levels of accountability necessitates all hands are on deck.  Having clearly understood goals, definition of role responsibilities and most of all,  an inclusive leadership development focus, schools will be more efficient and effective in positive changes to student achievement and work force satisfaction.  If you are a school leader you should examine how to move your school or district to a distributive vs distribution leadership culture.


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