The Most Appealing Ideas Expressed by the Author
The book titled “Change Leader: Learning to Do What Matters Most” was written by Michael Fullan and published in 2011. In the book, the author explores the versatile ways and methods of improving one’s leadership skills. The author specifies that a good leader is to search for insights on their own work and learn to see the areas that need change or the opportunities for self-improvement. According to Fullan, practice is highly important for any kind of leader because it is the driver of theory.
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This idea is interesting because usually, the correlation of the two concepts is presented the other way around – the theoretic thought is viewed as the enabling factor for the practice improvement. Overall, moral intention and morality play a very significant role in the goals and tasks of a leader. Fullan points out that the connections with people are critical for a leader, and thus the latter is to motivate the workers in a positive way (through love and kindness, and not threats and fear), connect the peers for the exchange and creation of knowledge, and build capacity.
Another interesting idea of the author is what he refers to as “simplexity.” This term is new but fully understandable to the readers because it combines two opposite characteristics – simplicity and complexity. In other words, the concept of simplexity refers to the unique ability of a leader to present the complex tasks and goals in a broken down and comprehensible way for the employees. This skill is useful not only for the workers but it is also beneficial for the leader because it allows him or her to see the potential opportunities clearer and be a better visionary for whatever sphere they are involved in.
The Implications of the Ideas in the Book for Me as an Educator
The view of practice as one of the primary drivers of learning and improvement implies that an educator needs to pursue the experiences as versatile as possible in order to expand their outlook and capacities. In my opinion, many educators prefer to sticking to their old successful practices and avoiding the risk of engagement in the new methods and techniques because they require a lot of effort and may potentially turn out inefficient and wasteful.
Practically, being on the safe side is what generates stability and safety for the careers of educators. However, Fullan encourages the readers to be more confident as confidence is the basis for change and improvement. His idea implies that even though the final result of a new method way to be unsuccessful, the experience itself creates multiple learning opportunities and valuable lessons. That way, it is still beneficial for an educator to initiate change and enrichen their practice with techniques that have never been tried by them before.
Development and progress are ever-present factors in the field of education. As a result, the practitioners are recommended to add diversity to their work and not to stick only to what is safe and has been done for years. Fullan notices the habitual nature of the behavior, and thus encourages that the habitual patterns are changed. This idea implied that it is important to get out of your comfort zone, even if it seems scary.
The Ideas of the Author That I Challenge
Fullan puts an emphasis on the role of empathy and moral feeling in the self-improvement of one’s leadership style and skills. In other words, the author states that being extremely perceptive and intuitive is very helpful for any leader. It is impossible to argue with this idea because it makes perfect sense. At the same time, such abilities as intuitiveness and sensitivity are not common for everyone. Differently put, there are leaders who lack these abilities and still attempt to pursue self-improvement on a regular basis.
For them, the process of self-development may take longer or include a set of alternative approaches and methods. The aspect of Fullan’s idea that I challenge is the author’s theoretical explanation of how the moral strategies and empathy can help a leader that lack the practical recommendation and a well-put instruction that a reader lacking these abilities could use in order to develop them. It goes without saying that practice is unique and individual for each educator.
At the same time, using the vague and abstract terms such as morality and empathy that may have a different meaning for every single reader is slightly confusing. Of course, practice is the key, and the only way for an educator to work out what works best for them; however, the mere comprehension of what is required from a leader from the point of view of the author is rather challenging. Practically, the language and ideas he uses discussing the importance of empathy and moral is easy to understand for the leaders with a higher degree of emotional maturity and self-awareness, and are complicated for those who lack practice in this sphere.