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The Four Pillars of Quality-Vision, Mission, Values and Goals
Today's topic is Vision and Leadership
At the top of the list of characteristics of effective leaders is the concept of vision. It is referred to by many descriptors including clear and shared focus, moral purpose, and core values. This idea is at the top of the list in research of effective business communities as well as education. A vision is a picture of the future. It defines what we want to become. It is the basis for decision-making.
The description of "Clear and Shared Focus" reads "Everybody knows where they are going and why. The focus is on achieving a shared vision, and all understand their role in achieving the vision. The focus and vision are developed from common beliefs and values, creating a consistent direction for all involved."
Vision as explained in the book Failure is Not an Option, "It should provide a compelling sense of where the school is headed and, in broad terms, what must be accomplished in the future to fulfill the school's purpose. every decision made, every program implemented, every policy instituted, and all goals should align with this vision." Alan M. Blankstein, Failure is Not an Option
It seems to me the task of achieving a meaningful vision is three-fold: communicating the vision, achieving buy-in to the vision, alignment of efforts towards the vision. Research indicates that the key is in the clear communication of the vision. In order for others to believe and align there must be a clear picture of the vision.
A picture that includes/is:
• a definition
• an understanding of what the vision is and is not
• an image of what it looks like
• specific enough to be vivid
• inspiring and compelling
• adaptable enough for individuals to envision their contribution
• identification of the drivers and preventors of the vision
Does your district have a clear and shared focus or vision?
Apply this to the concept of visionary leadership. How have you defined your vision? Do you lead with your vision? Are your decisions based on your vision? Do you consider yourself a visionary leader in your school? in your classroom?
American Society for Quality – Education Division