Thursday, March 8, 2012

Lead, Coach, and Build Capacity

Building capacity in the school district means improving and strengthening the learning in our students, employees, teachers, administrators, school board, and community. Coaching is a great way to build capacity, and leaders naturally build capacity.

Finding leaders to assume leadership roles is an important part of the process. Please be aware that I don't believe a title makes someone a leader, it's just who they are.

Leadership skills sets

I've recently been involved in several conversations about building capacity. One of the conversations was about skills sets to look for when identifying leaders, specifically coaches. 

I believe the following qualities are found in good coaches and leaders:
  • People person: gels well with others and builds relationships
  • Character: has integrity and is trustworthy
  • Attitude: is positive even in negative circumstances
  • Skills and productivity: able to get things done
  • 21st century thinker: adapts, problem solves, is creative, strategizes, communicates and collaborates
  • Stress management: deals with pressure, deadlines, risk/failure, and obstacles 
  • Passion driven leader and visionary: understands, communicates, contributes, and makes progress towards the vision 
  • Leadership capacity: ability to build teams and gather followers
  • Servant leader: takes pride in serving others and building them up
  • Shared leadership: must work as a team to change culture
  • Grows people: nurtures their strengths, and gently challenges them to learn/grow
  • Develops others: knows how much to lead (direct), when to facilitate or team teach (coach), and when to set them on their own (empowering them to do it independently)
  • Measures growth: creates "formatives" along the way to strengthen and help others succeed (this also requires a clear sense of what goals they are looking for)
Coaching and developing others to build capacity

Measuring effectiveness

How do you know you are effective as a leader and coach? Everyone has a starting place and everyone can learn, improve, reflect, and grow.

For me, I measure my effectiveness as a coach based on the growth and changes in myself, and in those I invest my time in.

I set goals for learning, improving, and I reflect, which causes growth. I measure the growth through the amount of risks taken when trying something new, and the improvements made from reflecting, which is evidence of growth.

I also believe Kirkpatrick's four levels of evaluation helps guide a more formal measurement though qualitative and quantitative data, but I will dive into that in a different post.

I'd love to hear your thoughts
  • How do measure effectiveness as a leader and coach?
  • What examples can you share of a time coaching/leading builds others (which builds capacity)?
  • What leadership qualities do you look for in others?

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