Aug 16

Is Leader a Joker???

The leader’s only means of leading are decisions. The leader decides something for, or on behalf of, others. however, while you may probably direct soldiers to march in step or line workers so they respect the piece-work, the notion of leading to learn is a contradiction in terms. as a leader I can decide that as of tomorrow free fruit will be served in the canteen. But I cannot decide that from now on the school class and the school must learn. or rather: I can ‘decide’ that but I cannot know whether it will have any effect.

 However, one of the answers is that to be able to manage learning processes, the leader must play a dual role: The leader must be the joker who is both outside the game and at the same time represents an integrated element of the game. The joker plays the same role in the game as the Black Man. he is part of the game and at the same time he repeals all the other rules of the game.

The dual role of the leader may sound as a paradox for is the one demand not neutralised by the other? Maybe, but in that case one of the demands made on the teachers and the leaders must be that they are able to handle paradoxes. To show empathy and at the same time make demands. To have a visionary perspective and at the same time identify themselves with their colleagues. To be companions at the same time as they manifest the fact that they are playing a different role. To be inside and outside. To take on the role and fate of the joker.

This paradox is well-known in the world of educational theory and practice but it also applies in other management styles. Therefore educational leadership is more than just leading schools and school classes. It is an important direction within management theory and management philosophy. It is a demonstration of the fact that educational theory and practice are relevant in many other areas than education.

By Lars Qvortrup

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