Steven Weber

Superintendent or Asst Super

Fayetteville, AR

Interests: Curriculum design and...

  • Posted 1 Month ago
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Value Added Leadership

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Teachers and administrators frequently ask, “How can I be recognized?” “How can I build my resume in order to advance in my career?” The answer to these questions is found in another question: “How can you add value to others?” Leadership is about others, not about building a resume, winning an award, or serving as the president of a state organization. The best leaders have an outward-focus, rather than an inward focus.

John Maxwell (2005) describes a 360 degree leader as someone who is not only capable of leading their followers but are also adept at leading their superiors and their peers. If you are seeking to apply for a new position in education, ask yourself the following questions:


  1. Who am I leading?

  2. What strengths do I have that would add value to the team or organization?

  3. Do others feel like I add value to them or have contributed to their growth?

  4. Do I lead up, down, and across with my co-workers and stakeholders?

  5. If I apply for a position within the organization, would other educators be able to predict the value I would add to others, based on my work experience and contributions?

  6. Am I considered a problem solver or a complainer?

  7. Do others perceive me as a leader or a follower?

  8. How will I continue to grow as a leader?


Tony Dungy (2001) wrote, “By touching the lives of the people right around us, and by replicating leaders who in turn can replicate more leaders, we can create value far beyond the small sphere that we can reach and touch directly” (p. 201). Teacher leaders can provide instructional leadership, data analysis, curriculum development, program review, professional development, and home-to-school communication. Assistant principals should focus on adding value to others and providing staff with leadership opportunities. Maxwell (1995) wrote, “If you really want to be a successful leader, you must develop other leaders around you.” (p. 2). Are you focused on developing followers or multiplying leaders?

“How much time every day and every week do you spend focusing on others and adding value to them” (Maxwell, 2012, p. 49)? In an interview setting, you can highlight the awards you have won, the grants you have earned, and the leadership titles you have held. However, the interview committee will want to know what you have done for others. If you have been given a gift, then your leadership ability is determined by how you use your gift. Great leaders understand that the goal is to help others cross the finish line. As you reflect on your professional goals ask yourself, “How can you add value to others?”

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