What will be your
Leadership Legacy?
Shirley Kavanagh NAPD Conference 2014
What is Leadership?
"Leadership is one of the most observed and least understood phenomena
on earth." Burns 1970.
“Leadership is a relationship between those who aspire to lead and those
who choose to follow” Jim Kouzes & Barry Posner 1990
“Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do things you want done
because they want to do it” Dwight D Eisenhower
“Leadership is about influence, nothing more nothing less” John Maxwell
“If your actions inspire others to learn more, dream more, do more and become
more, you are a leader” John Quincy Adams
What you say about Leadership
“Leadership is
about coping
with change”
“It’s about being a
good listener. You
might not like all you
hear but your staff
somebody who will
to listen”
“It’s about staying
calm. Shut the
door and in your
office let out that
“Leadership is about
having a calmness
about you, it reassures
others that you are in
“It’s about being
adaptable, about
taking charge and
about communicating
to staff, students and
It’s about having
an ability to cope
with Pressure.
Don’t Panic
Some Assumptions about Leadership
There is no single, “right” leadership style
The ability to lead others is underpinned by a thorough and honest understanding
of your own strengths and limitations
Leadership is a life-long learning journey – what got you here may not get you to
the next step in that journey
Leadership requires the mobilisation of creativity and innovation, it does not mean
that all new ideas must come from the leader
Relationship between those who aspire to lead and those who choose to follow
Leadership is grounded on the ability to engage and encourage the hearts of
others -- to help them to derive a sense of purpose in and from their work
Today relies more upon the ability to connect, than upon the exercise of command
and control
Leaders must be clear about the imprint they wish to leave on their organisations
and then frame their action and behaviours with that legacy in mind
And some key assumptions about behaviour
Leadership is a fishbowl
Performance is contractual -- Effort Is personal
Intent is not action
Relationships Matter,
Sometimes you have to go slow to go fast
People have to trust the messenger before they will trust
the message
Data may guide the head and the hands but stories
move the heart
Everything’s a theory until you try it
The Principals Dilemma - Leadership and Management
Coping with
Coping with Change
Both necessary for success and must be
What is a good Leader?
Being able
to Inspire
what you
Some thoughts from Leaders
So what can we say now about Leadership
Self Aware
Inspire and
Recognise and
develop their
Improve and
change things
and look for a
better way
Role model
Leave a
Earning the Right to Lead
A critical factor impacting peoples’ decision to follow is your
authenticity as a leader:
• It is the alignment of your actions and objectives with your
beliefs and values
• It is the ability to be resilient and take the roles very seriously
– but not oneself
• It is the willingness – as much as the ability- to help others to
use their talent and capability to succeed
• It is the willingness to lead with and from the heart
The Foundations of Authenticity
Authentic Leaders
• Display a consistency between their words and their deeds
– They practice what they preach
• Demonstrate coherence in their performance of the different roles and
duties and what’s expected of them
• Are comfortable with their styles and the actions they take
– They display confidence and optimism even when facing new and difficult
situations or issues
• Are eager to learn about themselves and able to use that learning to
enhance effectiveness
– They are reflective about their actions and proactive in seeking out feedback.
Questions to ask “The Person in The Mirror”
Personal values and motivational drivers
– What really matters to me?
– What gives me a true sense of purpose in my work as a leader?
Leadership focus and priorities
– Do my commitments match my values?
– Does how I spend my time and energy reflect my priorities?
Balance and perspective
– Can I look at situations from multiple viewpoints, including those quite different from my own?
– Am I open to challenge? Can I effectively challenge and influence the thinking of others?
Resilience and self-confidence
– Can I accept who I am in order to use my strengths to best advantage?
– Am I willing to acknowledge and to address my weaknesses in order to drive my continuous
personal growth?
Genuine humility
– Do I always remember to not take myself too seriously, but to take the job very seriously?
– Do I truly value the contribution of others and treat them with genuine respect?
What is a Leadership Legacy?
How your colleagues, your
staff, your partners
Think, Feel and Behave
As a result of the time they
spent working with you
It is the
and ‘live’
for how
….to one another
….to problems & opportunities
….to successes & set backs
….to change & the unknown
….to the next new thing
Your legacy is not about image it is about effect
It is about you becoming a role model for others
Let’s try it! - Your Legacy Statement
Before you start to think about your legacy
statement, a few hints and tips:
• Not as easy as it looks!
• Focus on behaviours!
• This is an aspirational statement
• Be challenging and Stretching
• Be as clear and specific as you can but don’t
seek perfection!
One Final Thought!
“One Child, one teacher,
one pen and one book can
change the world”
Some Tips and Tools
Why should anyone be led by you?
• What drives you to want to be a Leader?
• What special capabilities do you offer?
• How do those capabilities provide value to the people with
whom you work?
• How do those capabilities add value to your school?
Learning Lessons
Conducting an After Action Review
Four Questions, One flip chart, People Involved and someone to facilitate
What was supposed to happen?
What actually happened?
Why was there a difference?
What have we learned?
Guidelines for difficult conversations or feedback
Some Do’s
• Be certain that you know what you really want out of the conversation
• Consider how you will manage your own emotions -- before you begin the exchange
• Identify the parts of the discussion that are safe to talk about and will not produce ‘fight or
• Be specific
• Give immediate and direct feedback
• Accept responsibility for your perception and emotion – use ‘I’ statements
• Check to make sure you are understood
• Give the recipient time to react/reflect
• Play the ball not the player – it’s about behaviour and actions not personality
Some Don'ts
• Don’t evaluate or judge - describe
• Don’t end without drawing out the implications and action plans.
• Don’t feel obliges to fill up silences.
• Don’t exhibit behaviours that may be perceived as boredom!
The Difficult Conversations
Don’t avoid the
Elephant in the
Apply the 5 / 5 / 5 Test
What do you think will be remembered in 5 minutes?
How will the conversation be remembered in 5 hours?
How will your message be remembered in 5 days?
Organising and Chairing a Super Productive
Prepare and Circulate an agenda in advance – let people know the objective of the meeting .
Keep things moving rapidly along.
Cover each point on the agenda in order and in the alotted time
Involve each of the participants, ask for input.
Bring things to a clear conclusion and get the necessary decisions
Only organise a meeting when it is necessary to do so.
Assign responsibility for topic discussions in the agenda
Start and end the meeting meeting on time
If a problem cannot be resolved, appoint someone to conduct further investigations and put it on
agenda for the next meeting.
Don’t be afraid to ask for written reports instead of calling meetings
Appoint someone to create action points with target dates and circulate these quickly following
the meeting. Make sure you follow up progress.
Always end on a positive stimulating note.
Effective Presentations
Clarify the message you want to get across
Consider your audience
Practise and rehearse
Assert Yourself
– Posture
– Presence – Don’t apologise!
Make contact with your audience
Use your voice – Volume, Pace, Pitch
Breathe – make a conscious effort to pause and establish
comfortable breathing patterns
Drink – warm water, don’t gulp ice cold water this will constrict
your voice
Finally, a note about humour – only use it if you know it will work!

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