Besides – Tom’s a cool dude! So, I’m going to take a closer look at “Uncle Tom” and see if he can help us out some more – if that’s OK? The title of this post is not something Peters asks per se – but he does talk about the “stuff” quite a lot. For him, the “stuff” is:
That “fits” better…yes? Tom also tells us (among many other pearls of wisdom –often presented in bright colours and outlandish typefaces) that:
Leaders love “mess”!
Leaders understand that “it all depends”!
Leaders “do” (and “re-do” – because they make "mistakes" - OMG)!
Leaders create blame-free cultures – and engender trust!
Leaders accept responsibility!
Leaders break down barriers!
Leaders nurture (and build up) other leaders!
Leaders are great learners – who give credit!
Leaders know themselves!
Leaders do stuff that matters!Come on! Who is gonna disagree with that? Isn’t this what all educators want from their learners, their leaders – and themselves? This Tom bloke might be onto something, after all – let’s elect all these leaders to run our countries. Hell - let's hire all of them to run our schools and universities, right now! Peters believes all this (and boy, does he believe it - with a passion) because we have to accept that the world is today a very different place – or that the world of business today is very different to that of "yesterday".
Hmmmm – could that be true of education, acaba? So, anyway...he tells us, we need very “different” leaders - from those we had "yesterday":
Leaders are not the best performers!
Leaders say “I don’t know”!
Leaders put people first – really, really, really! This last one is the crown jewel for many educators – and demonstrates that leadership is really about people (not just “lip-service” about people). Peters focuses a great deal of his attention on the idea of leaders as “talent developers” (the “people stuff”):
OK – enough of my hero-worship! What Peters says has a great deal of relevance for education, for teachers, for learners – and educational leadership. Indeed, what he is talking about gives us a pretty good “model” for what leaders need to know (dare, I say it – “be”) and what they need to do. In fact, if we really push the envelope, there is not a lot more to do – apart from a few more questions about: The people stuff (leaders as “talent developers”) – in education:
Is all this stuff “learnable”?
Does all this stuff apply only to high-ranking, formal leaders in education – or also teachers, too?
And, if you are an educational leader rşght now:
Do I have the “stuff”? If not, how do I know and what can I do about it?
But, that’s for another post!