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Have our Educational Leaders got the “STUFF”?

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 moreif 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:

  1. Leaders love “mess”!

  2. Leaders understand that “it all depends”!

  3. Leaders “do” (and “re-do” – because they make "mistakes" - OMG)!

  4. Leaders create blame-free cultures – and engender trust!

  5. Leaders accept responsibility!

  6. Leaders break down barriers!

  7. Leaders connect!

  8. Leaders nurture (and build up) other leaders!

  9. Leaders are great learners – who give credit!

  10. Leaders know themselves!

  11. 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 alllet’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 placeor 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":

  1. Leaders are not the best performers!

  2. Leaders say “I don’t know”!

  3. 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 learnersand 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:

  1. Is all this stuff “learnable”?

  2. 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:

  1. Do I have the “stuff”? If not, how do I know and what can I do about it?

But, that’s for another post!
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