nexus point | Leadership Development ~ Talent Management ~ Realising Potential

Hames (2007) “Five Literacies of Leadership”

While there are countless philosophical and practical sources developed at some time in the past that are drawn on to provide a foundation for coaching, and which influence the every-day course of our lives, there is also a bountiful supply of excellent modern thinking and synthesis that is providing a cutting-edge view on what it is to lead, and to lead effectively.  Hames (2007) is one person who has explored this in detail, and presents what appear to be some key elements that will contribute strongly to the development of this area.  He proposes five ‘literacies’ of leadership; taken to mean that these are fundamental skills in effective leadership that are on a par with the necessity of simple literacy and numeracy towards our every-day life.  The five areas he proposes are: networked intelligence, futuring, strategic navigation, deep design, and brand resonance.

There is a direct applicability of this to the education system.  Connecting and inspiring people, their passions, their creativity and their intellect directly serves the leadership of a school, let alone its pupils.  Thinking and acting intentionally; designing a possible and desired future, considering and inventing the capabilities required to fulfil on that future, considering the best course of action, possible de-railers, and designing the action right down to what there is to do today.  This allows an opportunity to break away from merely repeating or improving on the past.  It allows something new to be made real that was never real before.  Being strategic is necessary to fulfil on this vision, and it requires collaboration.  Centralised leadership will not allow these new futures to exist; leadership must become a community phenomenon to allow for this.  The concept of deep design shows the level of thinking and considering, and the incorporation of multiple perspectives that contribute so much to the success of the best ventures.  Lastly, brand resonance.  This is where loyalty to the vision, to the future that is being created lies.  This is where people display, and get, that they are authentic.  Each of these key points can be used to seriously challenge our current assumptions and our subsequent behaviours, and to have the work we do making a lasting and valuable contribution in the areas that are important to us as educators (Hames 2007).

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