A #leader without advisers is like a flashlight without batteries. Both are in the dark. #QuoteADay #Day120 #edchat #edu #learn #lead
No person is an island. And why would that be the case?
We can't hope to make decisions in a vacuum. A leader who leads alone is a leader who is out of touch with his/her stakeholders.
We all need advisers. And, contrary to what some might say, we need advisers who are different from ourselves. If we create a council of friends, we put blinders on to the way things really are. If we diversify our council, we're more likely to truly get the "big picture."
So, assuming you don't want to be left in the dark, what are some tips for creating a council of collaborators?
First, select by respect, not by role. Your council needs to be composed of people who will help you lead, and that doesn't necessarily mean help you by agreeing with you. Your council needs to be composed of learners and leaders who have the respect of the community, irrespective of their role. Whether administrator, teacher, support staff member, facilities worker, student, or parent, every role should be considered. While there may be some items that can't be shared with certain stakeholders, that doesn't mean your council shouldn't be composed of all those who make up your community.
Second, select true collaborators. Your team will need to make some tough decisions. So, it stands to reason that those who you put on the team should be capable of negotiating effectively. This is why it doesn't matter whether the people on your team are your supporters or your detractors. If they support the community, and can be collaborative, they'll help you get to feasible solutions.
Third, vary your team. Your council shouldn't be static. People change over time and their responsibilities and activities change too. In addiiton, if you want to build a truly collaborative community, you need to engage all your stakeholders. So, council membership could be a yearly (or every two year) tenure. This lets everyone know that all voices are valued, and provides you with fresh perspective to continue to help you grow.
Regardless of how you build your team, remember to build one. Otherwise, things will be pretty lonely at the top.