Evaluating leadership and leadership theory is an interesting task. Not only are there many theories of leadership and many styles but there are also many definitions. Often they seem to be only slightly different to one another. However, coming to grips with leadership theories is only half the battle. A deeper investigation into leadership, reveals we need to have an understanding of the type of organisation the leader leads as well as an understanding of the types of ‘followers’ that are expect to be led. A complex and complicated task!
I ask myself how this knowledge and understanding helps us in the world outside of academia? Does this knowledge and understanding help us as Teacher Librarians; does it help us to be more successful and effective players in the world of education? Drilling these questions down further reveals more questions.
Does a study of leadership enhance our ability to be a leader? Does it improve our skill and success as a leader? Does it in fact increase our chances of becoming a leader? Or to flip the issue around – does a study of leadership and knowledge of different types of leaders, make us better able to ‘follow’? As not all people will become leaders it must be assumed we then take on the role of followers in an organisation’s structure. Is being a good follower as important or perhaps more important than being a good leader. Finally consideration must be given to what we do when we have ‘bad’, ineffective or resistant followers? What do we do when we have leaders who can’t lead?
I hope to be able to answer some of these questions not only through a further study of leadership but also through more practical and hands on ways as a Teacher Librarian.