Thursday, July 13, 2017

Doctorate in Educational Technology- My Journey Pt. 2, Leading Change

I am currently enrolled in a course, "leading Change", which has been enlightening and exciting to learn about. One of the most informative modules we have begun is focused on charactistics of an effective leader. What does it take to lead an organization or team to accomplish a goal? We began with this questionaire to find out our personal leadership preferences, try it here, and the leadership skills questionaire here. Once you find out more about your own personal leadership, you can determine which of the other aspects you might want to learn more about in order to integrate them into your current style.

Here is my take on the most important leadership skills and how technology affects a leaders style. According to the Conceptualizing leadership questionnaire by Sage (2016a) I rated ability and relationship as the highest characteristics for how I define and view leadership. I was not surprised by this outcome since I believe that forming relationships is the most important component of leadership. Yammarino (2013) wrote that leaders are both born and made, and Northouse (2013) wrote that leadership is not a trait or characteristic but a process which utilizes the influences on others to accomplish a mutually beneficial outcome. Leadership is a process and one that involves exerting influence on others to accomplish a goal.
            The definition of leadership that I agree with most was written by Yammarino (2013), Leadership is a multilevel leader-follower interactive process where all share a purpose and jointly accomplish things willingly. This definition encompasses the people who will share in the process and the process itself. In contrast Northouse (2013) emphasized that leadership is a process and in my view, is shortsighted. Based on these definitions I would contend that the definition of leadership is both a process an emergent trait involving both leader and followers who work together to accomplish a mutually beneficial goal based on interactions that flow from mutual influence from the leader and followers.
            Technology has made the process of leadership more efficient for those who have the capacity to utilize it. Northouse (2013) wrote that organizations have management and leadership kinds of positions. Both management and leadership style positions can benefit from the integration of technology. Under the management style creating agendas, timelines, budgets, resources allocation, communication all lend themselves well to increase efficiency with the use of technology. On the leadership side communicating vision, the larger picture, collaboration, team building are easily aspects that can be enhanced with the use of technology.
            The five characteristics that I feel are most essential for leadership are derived from McClesky’s (2014) four factors of transformational leadership: ability to influence others in a positive form, is inspirational, is intellectually stimulating, and uses individualized considerations when making decisions. The fifth and most important characteristic that I feel is most important is an ability to encourage others to co-create and work towards realizing a vision and is organized to be able to develop a plan to implement it.
            I am curious about one aspect of leadership that has not been addressed. I believe that a true leader is one who first is willing to serve. The term servant leadership as discussed in the article, “Servant Leadership and the effect of the interaction between humility, action, and hierarchical power on follower engagement” by Sousa and Dierendonck (2017). The most effective leaders are those who are willing to lead from behind.


Hechanova, R., & Cementina-Olpoc, R. (2013). Transformational leadership, change management, and commitment to change: A comparison of academic and business organizations. Asia-Pacific Education Researcher (Springer Science & Business Media B.V.), 22(1), 11–19.

McClesky, J. A. (2014). Situational, transformational, and transactional leadership and leadership development. Journal of Business Studies Quarterly, 5(4), 117–130.

Northouse, P. G. (2013). Leadership: Theory and practice (6th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc.

Sage. (2016a). Conceptualizing leadership questionnaire. Retrieved from

Sage. (2016b). Leadership skills questionnaire. Retrieved from

Sousa, M. m., & Dierendonck, D. d. (2017). Servant Leadership and the effect of the interaction between humility, action, and hierarchical power on follower engagement. Journal of Business Ethics141(1), 13-25. doi:10.1007/s10551-015-2725-y

Yammarino, F. (2013). Leadership: Past, present, and future. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 20(2), 149–155.

1 comment:

  1. A couple thoughts:

    First, you reminded us that "Technology has made the process of leadership more efficient for those who have the capacity to utilize it." This reminds me of #UDL's goal of creating independent learners. A critical part of that goal is identifying the tools the student needs to learn, ones that perhaps address a disability and/or suit another particular learning need. The teacher/coach's responsibility then is making sure the students acquires the skills to use that tool independently, which allows the students to do their work on their own. Given tech's bigger and bigger role in leadership, then to really graduate and empower leaders, specific training on this tools must be part of the leadership curriculum.

    Second, I too agree with your last paragraph. The leader who aims to serve, asks for how he can help, and gets coffee for his hardworking people, is the one I admire most. Servant leadership can be powerful and effective.