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Running head: CONTEMPORARY LEADERSHIP CHALLENGES

Contemporary Leadership Challenges


Tonya Harris
Grand Canyon University: EDL-817 Building a K-12 Community
September 3, 2014

CONTEMPORARY LEADERSHIP CHALLENGES

Contemporary Leadership Challenges


A collaborative leader has the awesome duty of bringing the community together to
ensure the students are receiving the best possible education. They have to make sure that all
parties work collectively to guarantee that the shared vision and goals are met. The job of the
collaborative leader is to invest in and uphold relationships that influence individuals within the
community, retain stakeholders and decision makers and maintain a level of production that
satisfies the members of the collaboration (Rubin, 2009). A challenge that faces the collaborative
leader that influences the community is effective communication.
According to Rubin (2009), communication sits at the center of all human relationships.
A collaborative leader faces challenges when their communication skills fall on deaf ears. It is
hard to get all parties involved to perceive and understand the information the way you intended.
The job of the collaborative leader is to develop a climate that communication with all parties is
honest and productive (Rubin, 2009). That proposes a challenge when the environment is hostile
and non-conducive for effective communication.
If the collaborative leader cannot get the collaboration to accept the communications as
they are given, it will equally as hard to get the staff to buy into the shared vision. As a
collaborative leader it is the decisive use of behavior, communication, and organizational
resources that affect the perspective, beliefs and behaviors of the staff (Rubin, 2009). This means
in order to affect how the staff relates to the vision the leader has to use the power of effective
communication along with other skills to get their point across.
The collaborative leader has the responsibility to make certain that all communication is
focused, mutual, open, truthful and to the point (Rubin, 2009). The leader has to contend with
factors that make effective communicating hard. They cannot guarantee that all communications

CONTEMPORARY LEADERSHIP CHALLENGES

will be mutual. It takes two people to communicate and if one party is not receptive to the
communications it will not be reciprocal. As Rubin (2009) states, the communication has to be
productive, timely and inclusive. A good leader can accomplish this, however if the staff is not
open to hearing or even taking part then the effort is void. The challenge of communication can
make the job of the collaborative leader extremely difficult. It will become a hard task when
trying to get all involved parties to work together. The idea of forming collaboration will be
difficult at best when there is no communication.
The development of K-12 leadership has been a slow process that emulates social and
economic growth and change that corresponds with the historical factors of the educational
system (Burkman, 2010). When the educational system was established there was no need for
collaborative leadership, let alone effective communication. The first leaders were church
officials whose communications came through church meetings and sermons. The creation of the
school principal began the implementation of communication. It was at this time that leaders
needed to branch outside of the school setting to establish relationships thus beginning
communications with the community.
To ensure that schools receive the funding they need collaborative leaders have to use
their communication skills to make it happen. There has to be communication with the parents,
staff and the community. Every party that has a stake in the education of the students needs to be
privy to dialogue with the leader. With so many school districts having financial difficulty it is
imperative that the collaborative leader uses all the skills in their arsenal to effectively
communicate their schools financial needs to their stakeholders and community leaders. They
have to advocate for the school and the students thus making their communication with all
involved parties essential.

CONTEMPORARY LEADERSHIP CHALLENGES

According to Rubin (2009), open, accurate communication minimizes both the perception
and the opportunity for behind-the-scenes politics within the collaboration. If we take this a step
further effective communication can eliminate the back room politics that plague our schools. In
order to adequately contend with politics the collaborative leader has to communicate with those
individuals in power. The leader has to understand and respond to change (Page, 2010). The
leader has to be willing to take on the persona of a politician in order to gain insight into the
agenda of the political parties. There have always been political undertones toward the
educational system. The first school leaders were put into position without having educational
backgrounds. They were given the positions based on their political agenda and their ability to
communicate.
According to Rubin (2009), collaboration is a means of aligning individuals actions to
get the task at hand completed. A collaborative leader has the ability to build and manage
relationships with members of the collaboration to ensure that the goals are met. They also have
to have the ability to express a shared vision and goals in a manner that does not seem pushy or
self-sufficient. They have to think about the team and not themselves. A collaborative leader
must rally resources and communities for support of the success of the shared vision (Rubin,
2009). The purpose of public education is to change, infuse, advocate, or elevate our knowledge
(Rubin, 2009). The collaborative leader uses that purpose to maintain and sustain relationships
with individuals who affect the academic achievement of the students.
When challenges or issues arise the leader that follows the established responsibilities
will be well equipped to handle the problems that come up against them. The leader who can
withstand any and all judgments and criticism will be able to withstand the pressures that come
along with challenges.

CONTEMPORARY LEADERSHIP CHALLENGES


Contemporary leadership challenges face all collaborative leaders. It always causes
conflict when a leader has to contend with different personalities and different perceptions.
Getting all involved parties to work together within a collaboration takes good communication.
An effective collaboration depends on the communication skills of the leader. If the
communication is non-existent then the collaboration will be problematic. If the leader has good
communication with the collaboration members then the efforts will be successful.

CONTEMPORARY LEADERSHIP CHALLENGES

References
Burkman, A. J. (2010). K-12 leadership development in the United States: Systemic development
within social culture. John Ben Shepperd Journal of Practical Leadership, (5), 60-71.
Page, W. T. (2010). Leadership education priorities in a democratic society. Scholar-Practitioner
Quarterly, 4(4), 334-337.
Rubin, H. (2009). Collaborative leadership: Developing effective partnerships for communities
and schools (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

CONTEMPORARY LEADERSHIP CHALLENGES