In this week’s podcast (#19), John Galvan and I explore the idea of relational leadership.  John talks about influence as the goal, not control, working with people, not over them.  This is the overt conversation.

But if you listen to John’s description of his design of a principal formation program, you see relational leadership in practice.  If John were a controlling leader, he would dictate the behaviors that MUST be present in all principals.  He would be spending time on designing principal evaluation tools and getting rid of ineffective principals.  He would place himself as the arbiter of what quality principal leadership looks like, and he would be pushing for certain decisions to be made.

Instead, John is designing a principal formation program for aspiring principals.  He’s asking for a commitment from the next generation of principals.  He’s identifying the traits and dispositions necessary.  He’s making sure the university program is available and suits his design.

John is serving as the architect of the next generation of principal leaders instead of the arbiter of quality of the present generation.  Influence, not control.

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