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What is my leadership signature? Thats the question we all struggle with.

One thing is for sure, it lies in the 2nd quadrant of the Johari Window- we definitely do not have the answer.

I struggled with this question and found the answer through two means:

1. Asking. I asked lots of people. Colleagues. Folks who reported to me, and those who I reported to. I saw a remarkable acuity in their feedback (a realisation that comes only later).

2. I took a couple of personality tests. If you havent taken the MB TI, you may want to do it! What I found quite useful too was the Firo-B and the CPI (california personality inventory) 260.

Its tough to believe in these tests. I never did, rubbishing it as HR fluff. But they surprised me.

All the best!

Lee Dixon

I had the pleasure of supporting school administrators for 20 years. For the last 10 years, I mentored several prospective and new administrators.

My blog is focused on providing advice that you might not get elsewhere. Although Florida-based, it may have some useful advice for those in other states.

Good Luck on you job search.

P.S. I also missed the cut on my first try... which was also before I was really prepared. Find good mentors and offer to help them in exchange for the tips you pick up along the way. People who are striving for excellence always need help with the grunt work to put their ideas into action. They also love having someone to mentor... it helps them clarify their thinking and vision.


Lee Dixon

And be the most supportive person in the building to the person who got the job.

Mike Waiksnis

I think we all struggle when asked to define our leadership style. Personally, I would like to think my style revolves around customer service. We have many customers in our profession--out students, teachers, staff, parents and all of the other stakeholders. It is important that we serve them all in a way to increase student achievement at our school. I base my decisions as an ed. leader on one question--is it good for the kids.

When I was trying to land my first assistant principal position, I felt like it took forever! Keep plugging away and each interview will prep you for the future. Keep seeking out leadership roles and do them exceptionally well. Good luck!

Scott McLeod

Rick, I have found it helpful to write down my leadership philosophy. I revisit it at least once a year:




That's brilliant!

Reggie Engebritson

I appreciated your honesty in posting this blog. I have had many interviews and have learned from each one, just as you are doing. I have found that writing down what I think is my leadership style and then coming back to revisit it and revise it has helped me - just as others have said here.

Best of luck to you. Your blog really hit a familiar note with me and so I appreciate you writing.

A. Mercer

Sorry about the job, but I think your are definitely asking the right questions, and doing the right things, plus you have a lot of good and interesting suggestions here.

I would say that you may be more subdued and quiet than others, but that you let your actions (respect, support, and trust) speak the loudest, and this leads to others trusting and following your leadership. Your strength is how you listen, as much as what you say.

Rob Jacobs

Scott,I have found that knowing what you don't know is part of the growth process that everyone must go through. I developed my own leadership philosophy by using Mind Mapping or Idea Mapping techniques to help me visualize my leadership history. From this, it become visually evident that my style was Relationship, Collaboration, and Change/Innovation. Now, I can quickly articulate my philosophy because I can see it in my head (Idea Map). This is a big help during interviews.

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