1. Tracy

    Amazing. I love this. After a very long and tiring week in the classroom – this is just what I needed to read. Re-energized around innovation and leadership. Thank you!!

  2. I just had a business friend pass this along to me. We both live in Holland, Michigan. Not sure how he connected but I’m glad he sent it.

    I serve and coach leaders from all walks of life; executives, principals, pastors, etc. George, you are a great leader. Thanks for telling your stories – they remind us all that we are human not just students and workers… and it greatly honors your dad! Blessings, Rodger

  3. Peter Wholihan

    A great Saturday read!

    This really hit the nail on all heads. So much to share here.

    I love the quote, “Schools will become so innovative that people will look at borrowing from education.”

    I recall being at a NECC (pre runner of ISTE) conference in the early 90s. There were businessmen tripping over educators to see how to “cash in” and use the Internet. One fellow pulled me aside and said, “We need to learn from the amazing things you are doing with students and apply it to our business.”

    The unfortunate thing for both business and more so education is, that the Power-structures/Leaders now “get/know” the Internet/technology and have carried the old barriers into area what was once free from these hurdles.

    Today business pushes their ideas on to and into the education leadership.

    I long for the innovative freedom (including TIME & SPACE) and leadership that allowed for collecting ideas, reshaping them, thinking and acting different to better serve our community and the world.

    PS As much as the article was for educators, our political leaders need to invest in more non-adversarial, divergent thinking and problem solving pathways. More importantly voters must act DIFFERENTLY!

  4. Denese Belchetz

    Well said. It seems really easy but in practice we know it is not. Question becomes how do we support our school and system leaders in this different kind of thinking about their leadership? Thanks for putting the thinking out there. Looking forward to learning more.

  5. Great and reflective post. I love the term “elbows deep in the learning” and I do believe this is the most important characteristic of an instructional leader.

  6. This is exactly the stuff I’ll be sharing with my Admin colleagues in our Oct. PD Session. My question to them will be “What 1-2 of these can you work on or improve upon tomorrow?” No matter how much we might rely on teachers in the building to make changes, it is us, school-based admin, who must make the changes first.
    I have found #3 to be the best characteristic that really drives change in the building. From there, others follow or definitely want to get on board.

  7. Lisa Boate

    I facilitated a very challenging PD session today, came to your Twitter feed looking for some inspiration, Something to sooth my slightly bruised soul;) this post is exactly what I needed! Reading about the small steps reminded me that we are all on very different journeys, the small steps matter, the seeds planted, the slightly longer pauses showing that people are thinking. I can’t expect everyone to jump to the top of the mountain but I can work with people to find where the pathway begins.
    Thank you!

  8. […] 8 Characteristics of the Innovative Leader – As we continue to look at teachers, students, and learning becoming more “innovative”, it is important that leadership changes.  As administrators often set the tone for their district or their building, if they are saying the same, it is not likely that things are going to change in the classroom.  Leadership needs to not only “think” different, but they need to “act” different.  This post talks about some of those characteristics. […]

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