How leaders do what they do

There are four capabilities each with descriptors. The capabilities describe how we do what we do in Lutheran education. These leadership capabilities represent an integration of knowledge, skills, personal qualities and understanding. These capabilities assist leaders to identify areas for personal and professional learning.

Growing oneself

Involves building an understanding of oneself, being ‘in tune’ with one’s own biases, assumptions, thoughts and feelings. It is having an awareness of how these impact our decision-making capacity or how one presents to others. It includes the capacity to control or suspend thoughts, emotions and judgements and be comfortable in ambiguous or stressful situations without making reactive decisions or jumping to irrational or emotive conclusions. Read the descriptors here

Involves a personal faith in Jesus. It includes witnessing to the Christian faith and recognising God’s presence in daily experiences and the importance of faith in both joyous and challenging times. It expresses itself in service to others and provides a framework for making meaning and developing identity and relationships. This includes a deep understanding of Lutheran theology and how its application guides everyday actions. Read the descriptors here

Involves the desire to learn and grow in one’s professional vocation. It includes being open-minded to new information and feedback from others, objectively considering other interpretations and demonstrating a readiness to adapt thinking and practice. At its strongest, it involves the capacity to transform one’s habitual, mental and emotional patterns. This includes consciously choosing alternate ways of thinking, feeling and acting that enable us to reach our highest potential as leaders in Lutheran education. Read the descriptors here

Involves the ability to maintain a positive outlook or perspective, even in the face of obstacles or setbacks. It draws strength from the promises of God and includes being optimistic about the future, and consciously choosing to project warmth, faith and hope in relationships with others. It involves valuing the gifts and contributions of all and creating a sense of optimism by building a positive and energetic climate of encouragement and support, even during times of difficulty or change. Read the descriptors here

Engaging the community

Involves being genuine, authentic, open and honest in dealings with others while remaining steadfastly professional in one’s behaviour, action, advocacy and decision-making. It involves being one’s true self and acting with integrity. It includes treating all people in an equally transparent, fair and equitable manner as well as advocating diplomatically and assertively for what we know is right even when under stress or pressure. Read the descriptors here

Involves the ability to be fully present and engaged in effective dialogue with others in a way that communicates a deep respect and empathy for their circumstances, background, culture and intentions. At its deepest it includes insightfully reading the unspoken thoughts or feelings of others and underlying assumptions, intentions or reasons for their behaviour. Read the descriptors here

Involves skillfully communicating and negotiating with others (directly or indirectly) in order to build support and develop ownership and shared acceptance for ideas, actions and decisions. It includes preparing thoroughly, understanding the audience and adjusting communication style and approach to appropriately engage with others and their perspectives. It may include working over an extended period of time to build long-term support for strategically important decisions and initiatives. Read the descriptors here

Involves identifying, building and nurturing mutually beneficial relationships with key individuals or groups within, across and beyond the education sector. It also includes relationships where service to others is the focus. It includes developing and honouring relationships and networks that are of tactical and strategic importance in the development and growth of Lutheran education. Read the descriptors here

Leading the team

Involves creating a very clear sense of purpose and clarity for the school, team, or area of responsibility where God and students are at the centre. It involves establishing compelling vision and describing how each person’s role plays a valuable part in achieving the greater purpose. It includes clearly and intentionally prioritising responsibilities and articulating how the broader Lutheran education vision and purpose are translated into practical day to day actions, tasks, decisions and behaviours. Read the descriptors here

Involves providing opportunities for spiritual formation of others appropriate to their spiritual journey. It includes demonstrating a commitment to one’s personal faith journey, leading the school community in faith, reaching out to the wider community to build faith and deepen their understanding of Lutheran beliefs and values. It also includes creating an environment where Christian spiritual reflection and formation are valued and encouraged. Read the descriptors here

Involves growing the knowledge, skill and leadership capacity of others. It includes providing space for thoughtful reflection and support, as well as presenting effective learning opportunities that stretch the capacity of others. At its deepest, it involves creating an environment where team members are encouraged to take responsibility for their own self-care and self-development. It includes fostering both their wellbeing and enthusiasm as they serve students in Lutheran education. Read the descriptors here

Involves holding high standards and inspiring and encouraging excellence. This includes agreeing to clear performance goals, providing autonomy to deliver outcomes, acknowledging positive achievements and taking decisive, yet pastoral action. Ensures that underperformance is addressed and excellence is upheld in the best interests of students and the community. Read the descriptors here

Focusing on outcomes

Involves proactively and diligently seeking information, knowledge or understanding. Researches opinions and facts in order to ensure decisions are evidence-based, rather than relying on unfounded assumptions. It includes proactively looking beyond the day-to-day context to search for new information and facts from a variety of sources, within and outside Lutheran education to support decisions that create the best possible schools/early childhood services. Read the descriptors here

Involves creating opportunities for collaborative exchanges of information that are open and transparent. The best ideas, practices and knowledge are shared in order to tap into and build our collective wisdom for the betterment of Lutheran education. This includes inviting others into a safe and generative exchange of ideas and practices. Sharing occurs with colleagues, students, the church, broader school/early childhood service community and the wider education systems and bodies. Read the descriptors here

Involves taking a ‘big picture’ view and seeing situations strategically and coherently within their broader context. It involves looking for patterns, trends or connections across different situations, timeframes and experiences to comprehend current circumstances, see things in perspective, capitalise on future opportunities and mitigate potential risks. Read the descriptors here

Involves proactively doing what needs to be done to meet commitments and deliver on promises to provide the best possible Lutheran education for students and their families. This occurs with a focus on continual improvement. It is expressed through intentional creative action, striving for improvement, introducing innovations and consistently working to deliver excellent education outcomes. Read the descriptors here

Lutheran Education is based on the Gospel of Jesus Christ and informs all learning and teaching, all human relationships and all activities. Growing Deep consist of 5 elements:

Our Foundation provides the Lutheran lens through which we view all that occurs in Lutheran Education.

The Vocational Practices describe the work that we all undertake.

Capabilities describe the way we work.

Our Culture describes the environment we are aspiring to create in Lutheran Education.

The culmination and fruits of our work is that we are all Free to Flourish.

I lead by word and deed simply because I am here doing what I do. If you are also here doing what you do, then you also exercise leadership of some sort.
Parker Palmer