Cheng’s (2002) article describes concepts of leadership. He described a transformation and a layer perspective of leadership. He listed three levels of leaders: individual, group and whole-institution. He listed three domains of leadership of influence: affective, behavioural and cognitive performance. He elaborated on his five dimensions of leadership: structural, human, political, cultural and educational. I found Cheng’s article to be dull and clinical.
The Saskatchewan Education (no date) article proposed that adaptive leadership means responding to challenges and issues that require new learning, new behaviours and new organizational structures. The seven key elements of adaptive leadership offer clear and practical tips, which are not specifically geared to school libraries.
James Henri (1994) stresses the definition of leadership that has been expressed by other specialists and academics in the field, being the ability to influence people to strive willingly for the attainment of group goals. He describes leadership as an art that focuses upon problem solving. Henri believes that vision “becomes the life blood of leadership when it is shared” and it is an art that “can be seen as the ability to influence people to strive willingly for the attainment of group goals” (no page). He concludes by listing four types of power.
Hargreaves, Fink and Phi (2003) explore the role that school leaders play in supporting and sustaining changes in education. They offer a good definition of sustainability in education and list five key characteristics of educational sustainability. They pose the question that should be asked of leaders and by leaders: How will my influence live on after I’ve gone?
Lambert (1999) calculates that collaboration plus communication equals growth. Commitment and sustainability are also explored. His “core of leadership” (p. 6) includes a very inspiring description about the authentic relationships that leaders should aspire to with their team: learning together, supporting one another, having a shared sense of purpose and being committed adults. Lambert’s five key assumptions aim to achieve sustainable, self-renewing schools.
What do leaders do?
They display observable activities such as the following. They communicate, share, collaborate, experiment, take risks, keep abreast of trends and examples of productive schools, confront difficult people and issues, encourage, initiate, employ, suggest alternatives, teach and take their turn doing yard duty. They display personal qualtities such as: assertiveness, empathy, humour, courage, creativity, perseverance, flexibility, versatility. Their behaviour is visible, chatty, proactive, disciplined, and they display lifelong learning attitudes and skills.