In an explanation about the most common type of leader and the most effective type of leader, John Eades reflected on the findings of the research team at LearnLoft*. Most leaders exhibit both love and discipline with subordinates, and that type of leadership places in them in the category that researchers label “Support”. These leaders are described as good, but they’re not necessarily great. The next level (and highest level) of leadership is the “Elevate” category. These leaders empower their subordinates by building quality relationships and by motivating them to perform at high levels.
Let’s apply this leadership model to the classroom teacher. To improve from good to great as a teacher, both factors – love and discipline – require attention. As a teacher, spend some time pondering how you can improve both qualities in your teaching style. Remember that both factors must rise together and equitably. Elevating your expectations and requirements will also require you to make extra efforts to show your love for the students. In other words, as your demands increase, your relationship with students should grow deeper. Spend some time evaluating your place in the leadership paradigm and pondering your next steps to becoming an effective teacher. The time you spend will be well worth it to you and your students.
*For an illustration of their leadership model and an explanation of each category, see the article, “5 Leadership Styles and the One that Outperforms Them All.”