Why Is Followership Important for Principals?

Principals know the important role of leadership. Public schools are a function of national and state/regional legislation. Policy drives practice in most school systems. So what place does this leave for the concept of followership? Can there be leadership without followers?

This was the topic of the previous #822Chat. Some solid insights were shared. Here are the top Tweets.

If leadership is a function of followership, what does this mean for school leadership?

In our Saturday morning chat, the top Tweets focused on a central theme: school leadership depends on a collective commitment to students based on a cycle of mutual respect – starting with school leaders.

“A leader does not want followership driven by compliance but from respect. A leader builds the capacity in others allowing them to be followed as well!” –Julie DiGiacomo

“When you have a committed collective of educators that love students, are in the trenches with each other, and are growing in research-based instructional best-practices…stay the course.” –Chris Chappotin

School Leadership in the Context of Mandates and Policy

In our Tuesday night chat, the conversation took on a different context. School leadership that thrives in conjunction with mandates and policy.

It requires school leaders to be creative and flexible.

Here are the top Tweets.

“People won’t follow what they don’t believe in. Period. Policy can’t be the leading factor. Students are.” – Mrs. Higgins

“I remember Roland Barth once saying, “A good principal makes sure to let everyone on staff play some of the marbles.” I didn’t think it all that deep, but it sunk in and stayed now for 16 years.” – Aubrey Patterson

“If the leader has no room or freedom to lead the charge and create (necessary)change, not many will be compelled to follow. Lead with and for your “Why”. People follow those who are passionate about their purpose.” – Julie MacDonald

If you’re interested in reading more about passionate school leaders, Principal Tribe publishes the weekly Principal Perspectives where one principal is nominated and highlighted for their excellent work in school leadership.

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