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NetDay National Leadership Summit
Defining Leadership

Part of the NetDay Leadership Campaign for Education Technology includes asking leaders in education, community, business and government to help us define and understand the various characteristics of leadership. The following are definitions that have been submitted to date. If you would like to submit your definition, please send it along with your name and title to:

Achieving through others.
-- Milton Chen, Executive Director, The George Lucas Education Foundation

Ability to create the environment where all members of a team or organization: a) understand the ultimate work goal, b) recognize the unique and critical contributions they each make toward accomplishing that goal and c) believe they have a support system that will do all possible to help each accomplish that goal.
-- Barbara Stein, Senior Program Analyst, National Education Association

Leadership is inspiring others to accomplish organizational goals, conveying goals and gaining a consensus of the organization or team members - Leadership is an art; it must be felt, experienced and created.
-- Jordan Goins, Superintendent of Schools, West Bolivar Public Schools

Educational leadership is the continuous work of mobilizing people to believe and behave in regard to a shared vision that results in high achievement for every child. It is the ability to support people in doing inquiry about the results of their work honestly, without the fear of blame and judgment.
-- Dan Chernow, Executive Director, UCLA School of Management Program

Leadership is getting people to pay attention to tough issues rather than avoiding difficult issues, work, or values that a community needs to address. Tackling difficult problems - problems that often require a change of values, engaging in conflict, or confronting disturbing issues - is the end of leadership; getting that work done is its essence.
-- John Bailey, Director of Educational Technology, Pennsylvania Department of Education

Leadership is the ability to imagine the possibilities and make them happen. It is stepping forward and encouraging and coaching others to higher levels. It is listening, communicating, collaborating, and building a common focus. It is creating a magical organization where everyone is valued and all talents are used to their fullest.
-- Kathy Klock, Program Officer, Education, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

The application of leadership skills necessary for school leaders to help schools apply technology in beneficial ways to lead them into the 21st century.
-- Arthur Holmes, Technology Coordinator, West Bolivar Public Schools

Personal Definition of Leadership: Vision, responsibility, resolve, inspiration, collaboration.
-- Leslie Saul, Education Industry Manager, Corporate Business Development, 3Com

An educational leader promotes the success of all students and stakeholders by facilitating the development, articulation, implementation and stewardship of a vision of learning that is shared and supported by a larger political, social, economic, legal and cultural community.
-- Judy Cutts, Principal, West Bolivar Elementary Schools

A leader is the team member who can envision the primary goal the group is working to obtain. A leader assesses and considers the strengths and weaknesses of each link when planning measures to obtain desirability outcomes lead to the primary goal.
-- Renee LaMastus, Teacher, West Bolivar Elementary School

Yesterday natural resources define power
Today KNOWLEDGE is power
Yesterday leaders commanded and controlled
Today leaders empower and coach
Yesterday leaders were warriors
Today leaders are facilitators
Yesterday leaders directed
Today leaders delegate*
Yesterday leaders demanded respect
Today leaders encourage self-respect
Yesterday value was extra
Today value is everything
by Dennis Waitley, "Empires of the Mind"
-- Helen Soulé, Interim Director of Management Information Services and Director of Educational Technology, Training & Support, MS Department of Education

Being a leader takes more than managerial or technical skills. One must be an evangelist, a teacher, a risk-taker, a motivator, a visionary and.... one must be very thick-skinned.
-- Helen Soulé, Interim Director of Management Information Services and Director of Educational Technology, Training & Support, MS Department of Education

Leadership in education means bringing people together to define and accomplish a common purpose and create and sustain a culture that supports high expectations for all students. It means enabling groups of teachers, parents, students, and others to work together to discern the nature of problems and creatively find resources and other solutions to solve these problems. -- Jon Schnur, CEO and Co-founder, New Leaders for New Schools

Leadership is the ability to see beyond skill and recognize talent, knowing that skills can be learned. It is the ability to capitalize on the strengths of the individual and motivate that person to seek to develop themselves professionally while providing the opportunities to do so. Leadership is the ability to recognize that every accomplishment is a team effort.
-- Julie Young, Executive Director, The Florida Online High School