Becoming A Self Differentiated Leader

In my journey through the graduate program I’m currently in and my desire to make positive change in my district, I’m working towards being a more self differentiated leader. Edwin Friedman wrote the book “A Failure of Nerve” where he presents that a self differentiated leader is essential to being an effective and successful leader. This type of leader leads by knowing the emotions and ideas of their team, but not letting them dominate how they make decisions. Instead of trying to make everyone on their team happy and lead in that way, they must know their boundaries and be able to make those hard decisions and stick to what is best for the team. Nobody is a born self differentiated leader. Like me, I’m growing and evolving to hopefully become successful in being a self differentiated leader by knowing and identifying the qualities that one possesses and how they affect the overall team. I’m hoping to lead my team in a supportive and inspiring manner, but also able to make those hard decisions and keep our the goal the focus. I’m also developing my ability to contain my reactions and emotions to situations so as not to identify too closely and become ineffective when faced with a challenging decision, one that I may need to take a hard stance on. It’s something that I’ve already begun to practice in my new role leading all the elementary fine arts teachers in my district. There have been times already where I’ve had to have the crucial conversations, and I’m lucky to have been studying self differentiated leadership at the right time, because it’s proven to be the best way to lead our team. Learning these skills has allowed me to lead with a clear vision and path to follow and make decisions based on that vision and path, no matter what challenges faced. I’m eager to see where this will allow us to go as a group and in my innovation plan as it develops and flourishes.

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