Being an effective leader is challenging. One of the major issues is communicating a shared vision to the group during the educational process. However, the modern development of technology increases the possibilities of learning (Levin, 2002). According to Levin, the learning facilities will be represented by a combination of face-to-face meetings and online interactions (2002). It could be said that the described forecasts in the educational sphere will have a critical impact on the leadership styles. The technology will continue to revolutionize the concepts of leadership and management and will add new possibilities to vision communicating and sharing. This continuous evolution will praise flexibility and constant development. Meanwhile, the traditional leadership approaches might experience stagnation.
Nowadays, modern leaders adapt their managerial strategies differently. Consequently, the primary goal of the paper is to assess the behavior of three leaders from my professional and educational background. Evaluating their visions, communicating approaches, and characteristics will have a positive influence on the understanding of the leaders’ strategies and their compliance with the continuous changes. Thus, these findings contribute to choosing a relevant personal model.
Leaders and Their Visions
To determine the possible existence of the differences between the leaders and their styles, I have selected three educational leaders. The first example of the leader is the dean of the business school that my friend attended. He was highly focused on the brand image of the school and often referred to the mission statement when giving a speech to the employees. He viewed the educational institution as a competitive entity and creating an internal corporate culture and external appearance was his priority. His selection of the visionary leadership style is rational. An increased rivalry in the educational sphere requires paying attention to the educational opportunities and business schools’ image simultaneously (Almog-Bareket, 2012).
The second example of the leader was a director of the educational center. In this case, the manager viewed the organization as a strongly tied community. Thus, he promoted that each employee had a unique set of skills and could contribute to effective decision-making. The reasoning for actively employing the principles of collaborative leadership is the fact that the director wanted to increase the overall efficiency and commitment of the workers (Kramer & Crespy, 2011).
The last example is the principal of the university where I completed my bachelor’s degree. This leader’s vision was highly focused on the development of the institution and the expansion of external partnerships. It is clear that emphasizing this viewpoint will have a positive influence on the institutional image and provide more opportunities for the students.
Communicating Visions to Others
However, despite having similar intentions, the selected leaders use different approaches to communicating their visions to their subordinates. In this case, the dean of the business school used several options to deliver his viewpoint and mission of the university. One of them was the visionary approach, as his quote and photographs were presented on the website of the institution. Alternatively, he also repeated the vision multiple times during the meetings and interviews. Consequently, he used every opportunity to emphasize that the business school pursued excellence in education, cherished its students, and was highly recognized.
As for the director and principal, they focused on maintaining the interdisciplinary teams active to deliver their vision (Nancarrow et al., 2013). Engaging the employees in activities and providing a favorable corporate climate were the primary attributes of communicating their viewpoints (Nancarrow et al., 2013). In turn, repeating their mission statements several times during the discussions and presentations had its contribution to their effectiveness as leaders. Nonetheless, critical attention was paid to engaging the audience in the process while highlighting that the organizations cherished their employees and students and pursued excellence.
Comparing and Contrasting Visions’ Characteristics
In addition, it remains apparent that the described visions tend to vary in their characteristics. This difference is noticeable due to the fact that diverse degrees of attention is paid to the features such as being purposeful, understandable, believable, and measurable. In the context of the presented case, all visions are purposeful, as they emphasize future goals and highlight the rationale. In this case, the business leader accentuates the importance of the brand image due to the intensified rivalry. Therefore, the principal’s and director’s visions are supported by the expansion of the opportunities for students and the increased efficiency.
In turn, the visions are understandable and believable since they refer to the theoretical concepts of communicational and visionary leadership. Having distinct results and outcomes defines the leader’s success in persuading the audience (Christenson & Walker, 2008). Simultaneous usage of several sources of communication also has a positive impact on effectiveness. As for the measurability of the visions, it was not stated previously, but the leaders referred to various indicators such as market share (business leader), increased applications (educational center), and a number of new partnerships per year (the university) to evaluate the effectiveness of the teamwork.
Selecting a Personal Model
The assessment conducted above helped see the differences in values and visions of the leaders. In my opinion, a novel model of leadership has to combine the beneficial characteristics of each managerial approach. At the same time, it has to consider the changing environment of education, as now it implies a constant intervention in the learning process (Levin, 2002). Complying with these characteristics will make a proposed leadership model innovative, modern, and future-orientated.
Nonetheless, generally speaking, the appropriate framework should focus on a high level of visioning, focusing, and implementing (Neumann & Neumann, 1999). Integrating these three essential components forms transformational leadership (Neumann & Neumann, 1999). Today, introducing change is not only necessary to optimize performance, but it is also critical for the survival of the organization. In this case, applying the transformational leadership style is the most farsighted approach, as it empowers the members of the team to pursue excellence and make changes themselves to enhance performance (Seidman & McCauley, 2011). Using this tactic will help me deliver my vision effectively and assist in adapting to the modifications in the modern era of technology.
Based on the analyses conducted above, it could be said that different leaders tend to use various approaches and tactics to create and communicate their visions to the audience. For instance, the director of the business school is a bright representative of the visionary leadership style, as he tends to prioritize the institution’s brand image and mission. In turn, two other leaders apply communicative management strategies since they view each member of the team as an important asset. Nonetheless, there is no universal tactic, which will guarantee success in every aspect of the educational sphere.
Despite the well-defined principles of leadership, the leader has to be prepared for the changes in the environment. In the recent future, being flexible and taking advantage of technological development will be the key definers of success. This matter and analyses of the leaders’ communicational tactics highly affected my understanding of the appropriate leadership model. In this case, I could claim that using a strategic approach with high visioning, focusing, and implementing will help me comply with the constant changes in the educational sphere and become an effective leader.
Almog-Bareket, G. (2012). Visionary leadership in business schools: An institutional framework. The Journal of Management Development, 31(4), 431-440.
Christenson, D., & Walker, D. (2008). Using vision as a critical success element in project management. International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, 1(4), 611-622.
Kramer, M., & Crespy, A. (2011). Communicating collaborative leadership. The Leadership Quarterly, 22(5). 1024-1037.
Levin, J. (2002). A 2020 Vision: Education in the next two decades. Quarterly Review of Distance Education, 3(1), 105-114.
Nancarrow, S., Booth, A., Ariss, S., Smith, T., Enderby, P., & Roots, A. (2013). Ten principles of good interdisciplinary teamwork. Human Resources for Health, 11, 19.
Neumann, Y. & Neumann, E. (1999). The President and the college bottom line: The role of strategic leadership styles. International Journal of Educational Management, 13(2), 73-79.
Seidman, W., & McCauley, M. (2011). Transformational leadership in a transactional world. OD Practitioner, 43(2), 46-51.