Sustainability of Leadership Energy

The sustainability of leadership energy has received greater attention recently as educators grapple with the complexities of achieving substantial improvement and maintaining organizational momentum for continuous improvement. I wonder under what conditions can system and school leaders in SER sustain this critical leadership energy?

Hargreaves and Fink (2006) define sustainability in this way: “Sustainability does not simply mean whether something will last. It addresses how particular initiatives can be developed

without compromising the development of others in the environment now or in the future” (p.30). Thus, intentional reform models, like the Leading Learning Collaborative in SER, must unfold in a way that all schools benefit. The spirit underlying such approaches attempts to create a we-we mindset. As a result of purposeful interaction within and across schools, school leaders become more aware of, and indeed more committed to, the success of other schools in addition to their own.

Fullan and Sharratt (2007) found that leadership teams in schools that were achieving despite being in challenging circumstances embraced four critical areas. Leadership teams:

  1. clearly understood the 14 Parameter Framework and most importantly lived the shared beliefs and understandings of Parameter #1 and the shared responsibility and accountability of Parameter #14;

  2. did continuous self-asse