The Learning Leader Douglas B. Reeves

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The Learning Leader
Douglas B. Reeves
How to Focus Improvement for Better Results
Part I
Focus Improvement
Learning
Leading
Complexity of Leadership
Research
Contrived Complexity
Artificial Simplicity
 “Pretentious Terminology”
 “Unwarranted Simplicity”
 “Laborious Processes”
 Propose easy steps to
 Lack Substance
success
 Enslaved by Process
 3 rules
 The focus has become the
 7 steps
plan, not the quest for
improvement
 We do improvement plans, we
don’t improve achievement
 Easy, simple, quick
 Groundless in research
 No long-term gains
Both Types of Complexity
 Frustrate participants
 Waste time
 Waste resources
 Avoid real issues of improvement
 Produce plans for “planning’s sake”
 Check off “steps accomplished”
 Never identify/engage the issues
Must Strike a Balance
Between
Complexity
 Grapple with complex data
 Analyze issues to determine
the essential
 Understand the “multivariate”
nature of all problems
 Accept the lessons of failure
 Complex human systems
Simplicity
Keys to Improvement
 Monitoring
 Evaluation
 Values
 Beliefs
 Implementation
 All are, by definition, difficult human endeavors
REMEMBER
 “Someone must actually do the hard work of slogging
through the data, assessing the intersection of tens of
thousands of data points, comparing the results of
quantitative and qualitative analyses, and filtering each
hypothesis through the multiple lenses of research,
experience and:
 common sense”
 Doug Reeves
Messy Leadership Preferred
Messy
Neat
 Review data
 Planning
 Mid-course corrections
 Processes
 Focus on leverage points
 Procedures
 Repeat steps to focus
 Precedence over
improvement
achievement
Leadership
Leading or
Learning?
LEADERSHIP FOR LEARNING FRAMEWORK
R
E
S
U
L
T
S
A
C
H
I
E
V
E
M
E
N
T
ANTECENDENTS OF
EXCELLENCE
The Lucky
High Results, No Understanding of
Antecedents
Achievement not related to
instruction
Performance predates teaching
Success not sustainable or attributed
to adult actions
Replication of success unlikely
The Loser
Low results, no understanding
of antecedents
Attribute failure to students,
parents, SES, ethnicity, etc.
No reason to change
Victimhood, “Belligerent
indifference”
Irresponsibility
Replication of failure highly
likely
The Leader
High Results, good understanding
of antecedents
Pursues continuous improvement
Realizes that success that is static
is transitory
Replication of Success is likely
The Learner
Low results, high understanding of
antecedents
Engages with data
Tests hypothesis
Does not blame
Identifies successes
Searches to Learn to improve
learning
Replication of success likely
Research-Based Truths of
Leadership
 Adult Actions Matter
 Specific Leadership Actions Link to Improved Student
Achievement
 Leadership is not one skill nor the action of an
individual
Adult Actions Matter
Leadership, teaching
and adult actions have
more power in
determining
achievement than
demographic factors.
Specific Leadership Actions
Improve Achievement
 Inquiry: successful determination of failure and success
(adult causes, “blaming victim” is statistically untrue”)
 Implementation: specific elements of improvement are
implemented with students at the classroom level, and
are implemented continuously
 Monitoring: ongoing assessment of success and
failure, not at program level, but at the student level
Leadership Not One Skill or
Actions of an Individual
Leadership utilizes a variety of skills, attitudes and beliefs
Leadership utilizes
a variety of people
from all parts of the
organization many
of whom are not
called “leader.”
Leadership: A Data-Based
Human Endeavor
Challenging Leadership
Myths
 Historical Models
 Analytical Models
 Relationship Models
 “The One Thing You Need to Know”
Historical Myths
“Historical Heroes” as Leadership Models
All historical accounts skewed by
reporters and their context;
While models of heroism are useful,
actions do not transfer directly across
space and time.
Historical biography at best good
reporting not sound research;
Analytical Myths
Analysis alone is the attempt to quantify human
behavior, and alone is due to fail.
Myth: Since “low SES schools”
perform more poorly than “high
SES” schools, poverty
determines achievement.
(When most Low SES schools
also have a lower percentage of
quality teachers.)
“Two variable correlations
insinuate only one cause and
effect”
Life is “Multivariate”
Relationship Myths
While “emotional intelligence” has been proven a significant factor
in leadership success, sole reliance on positive relationships and
conflict avoidance is ineffective and not supported by results.
Evidence:
1. The leader that avoids
conflict at the expense of
results.
2. The leader that may be
criticized as impersonal but
is revered for results after
they leave.
The One Thing You Need to
Know Myth
Leadership defies one-dimensional
definition.
The range of variability in human
behavior approaches the infinite.
Understanding of Leadership can be
informed by history, analysis, and
relationship theory.
There is never “one thing,” in an organization.
Leadership is multi-dimensional.
Leadership is not solitary: “We cannot do it alone.”
Learning Listening Break
 Group review of Learning to Lead Podcasts by Doug
Reeves
 Listen, Discuss, Summarize, Report Out
Model
Teachers
Looking Deeper in Data
The
Value of
Culture
3
Challenges
of Web 3.0
Avoiding the Landmines
Let’s Start Again With Some
Humor
 A Video Portrait of this Class in a few Years!
Can’t Do It Alone
Leadership is multi-dimensional.
No single person is capable of
excellence in all dimensions.
Leadership must be an organizational
function.
Shared responsibility with
complementing leadership roles.
No single person bears the brunt of
being exemplary in all aspects.
Wisdom of the Group
Leadership decision-making more accurate when entrusted
to a group or team.
Likelihood of success greater via the team than the
individual.
Even in Probability the
greater the number of
trials the greater the
accuracy.
Coaches pick those that
complement not those
that repeat the same
strengths and
weaknesses.
Architectural Leadership
Leaders are the Architects of
Organizational Improvement
Vision alone cannot lead.
Leadership then becomes
Distributive, Collaborative,
Connective, Complimentary,
Empowering, Inclusive
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