Sunday, January 15, 2017

Innovative Instructional Leadership: Truth 2 - 4

Innovative Instructional Leadership: Truth 2 - 4

The following post coincides with the reading of the Chapter 2 - 4 in the book The Truth About Leadership by James Kouzes and Barry Posner.

Why Education?

As I continue the journey of learning about myself and developing leadership skills and empowerment, I find that I am here due to a deeper foundation of values and moral obligations.  While I have not yet discovered the roots, I continue to define myself with specific values and beliefs.  Those have brought me to where I am today.

Musical Interest: Through my musical interests came the opportunity for me to be embraced by the world of education.  I went into a post-secondary setting with ambitions to be a philosopher, anthropologist, and sociologist.  Little did I know that music education and the leadership behind working with students in music would draw me into a lifetime of continuous development and growth in the world of education.  I was able to dream and follow that dream both as an educator and a musician.  I didn't know it at the time, but that dream was just a few chapters in a larger book of leadership, education, and seeking out a better tomorrow.

Time for work

The Fog

As I continue to be an educator and advocate for students, staff, music education, and many other areas of academia, I have to remember that the fog will lift.  This helps me to get up for work everyday and before my feet hit the floor say "it's going to be a great day."

Now in defining a great day, that doesn't always mean that everything is going to go how I envision it.  What I mean by a great day is that it's an opportunity to make a change, to put myself out there.  With not knowing what tomorrow brings, I maintain the belief that we have to take advantage of these opportunities.

The fog is all the stuff that keeps us from taking advantage of our opportunity to work in education.  Often times the fog is ourselves making excuses and getting in the way of what could be.  It's imperative to be successful, we must look past the fog.

Top 5 Values and Beliefs that keep me coming back!

1.) Potential: I value that the people around me and the students I come into contact with are leaning towards unlocking their potential.  This excites me and no doubt makes me want to work harder and be better.

2.) Growth: I find the status quo to be good for yesterday, but far from worthy of tomorrow.  This appeals to myself, my program, my colleagues, district, and beyond.  We must reach in order to be successful!

3.) Challenge/Grit:  I enjoy a challenge.  Not for challenge sake, but for a reason.  While not always comfortable and not always enjoyable, I want to challenge myself and others.  My hope is to also empower those around me to challenge themselves to be better than they think they are.

4.) Purpose:  With so much to accomplish in the world, why would we do anything without purpose.  I am empowered when a clear purpose is added to the equation.

5.) Professionalism/Integrity:  I find that it is integrity that wraps up so many attributes that I find essential to success.  I feel that I am part of the fabric of a larger system that is seeking out a better tomorrow.  Not that today is bad, but tomorrow  could be better.


I often think with having a title you need to have credibility.  That is similar to saying that with having a title comes leadership.  The reading offers excellent narratives that get us away from that stereotypical idea.  It puts weight on the importance of maintaining credibility as a leader.

"If people don't believe in you, they won't stand by you." - Pg 27

The statement above is powerful and complex.  There is not an easy equation for a person to become a leader of credibility.  It comes from inside.  There are several factors that lead to a leader being termed credible.  Page 25 in the book talks about how people feel about their leader relates directly to how they work.

Check out the article below through the eyes of a business owner on the subject of credibility...

7 Ways to Build Credibility, Trust and Character That Will Grow Your Business
image credit:

7 Ways to Build Credibility, Trust and Character That Will Grow Your Business


The chapters read for this blog post were situations and topics that most of us encounter everyday.  Here are some thoughts on each chapter.

Chapter 2
Credibility is the foundation of what we do as leaders.  It is important that leaders set clear expectations in order to setup a well grounded sense of credibility.  There are 4 top characteristics of great leaders: honesty, forward-thinking, inspiring, and competent.  This aligns with what research says across the globe in reference to leaders.  The way that a person feels about their leader relates directly to how they go about their work.  "If people don't believe in you, they won't stand by you." (pg 27).

Chapter 3
We as leaders must identify our own values in order to setup growth and success for the people we lead.  It's important to note that it's integral to align personal and organizational goal in order to have a successful organization.  Page 41 states that conformity produces compliance.

Chapter 4
Where are we going?  This needs to be a primary focus of leaders.  Page 46 states that focusing on the future sets leaders apart.  Often times it is important to search the past to find a theme for ourselves and the organization.  Page 51 states moving forward is the "life blood" of an organization.  I enjoyed this chapter very much.

I agree that we as leaders must thrive, not just survive!


  1. Michael, you are going to make a great leader. Your attention to detail and ability to explain everything in simple terms will allow others to put their trust and faith in you as a leader. I cannot wait to to see where your journey takes you.

  2. Nice blog Mike! I really enjoyed reading your perspective on the chapters and your values on education. I think you are a leader and will make a great administrator one day. You take on challenges with a solution oriented mindset. That inspires others around you to do the same!

  3. Michael, I continue to learn more and more about you through these blog posts. I love hearing that you first thought about being a philosopher, anthropologist, and sociologist. I'm curious when the exact decision was made to go into teaching instead. Was there some sort of a light bulb moment or did it develop slowly for some reason? And I love how now you want to lead in education. I think your music education, and honestly just your "plain" music background will give you a perspective not that many administrators have. I would like to think many teachers will appreciate that perspective.

    Looking forward to continue to learn with and from you, as we thrive and not just survive! Onward! ;)