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Leadership musings: my response to #wellled

I recently listened to Sir Ranulph Fiennes. He joked that he liked to lead from the rear, that way others would find the crevasses.  Conversely, when in lands infested with Polar Bears, he'd stick to the front, as the last person was favoured by the bears to attack.  How many really difficult leadership decisions are made in schools?  How many decisions that really matter are made each day?
What is you most memorable experience of leadership at school?
I didn't lead at school.  Mainly because I didn't like school.  I knew I needed the qualifications; the rest was of little interest.  The Air Training Corps saved my life.  At 14 I was a leader, managing the admin and teaching.  At 15, I was in charge of other young people as we battled with the elements in North Wales and the shooting range.  At 16, I ran the training programme for the Squadron and had been on more leadership courses than I can remember (moral, outdoor, range, drill). I was also teaching adults how to safely use firearms.  I thought that leadership was shouty (it's about knowing when to be silent) it taught me what leadership was.  When you're tired, hungry, injured, miles from home and in charge of six other souls, it puts things into perspective and I still think of those times now.
What is your earliest experience of leadership since becoming a teacher?
The first real class of PGCE.  The teacher had a dynamic approach to CPD - he left me to it with a tricky Year 9.  That's when I realised that I was always a leader. In terms of a 'proper post,' it was putting together Outdoor Education as part of my Fasttrack Teacher status. I've never waited for a formal opportunity to lead.
Which of your leadership roles gave you the most satisfaction?
I am most proud of watching colleagues develop and flourish.  I loved watching them struggle with my demands and challenges, and then transform into better leaders and teachers than I could ever hope to be. I enjoyed the subversive nature of Middle Leadership, and often wish I was back there....
Think of the BEST leader (at any level) you have every worked with. List their top three qualities:
1. Driven by their principles and uncompromising about sticking to them. Inspiration comes from moral purpose, not checklists.
2. Never spoke about themselves.
3. Never shied away from taking the flack or defending their teams.
Think of the LEAST EFFECTIVE leader (at any level) you have ever worked with. List their three greatest mistakes:
Tricky one this as I consider myself an ineffective leader at the moment.
1. Made a thousand decisions that didn't really matter.
2. Didn't foster a shared ownership.
3. They didn't trust. 
Describe succinctly the sort of leader you aspire to be:
My epitaph: 'He didn't sell his soul to achieve his goals.'
Finish this sentence: Leadership is....
...about leading from where it's needed and doing the right thing.


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