I had a discussion with a Principal (Aspiring) from NYC today who is involved in the New Leaders Aspiring Principal program. He is in his final stages of preparation for full placement in leadership. This aspiring principal has been involved in a blended environment program through New Leaders that includes a bulk of preparation in clinical setting as well as national and virtual seminar work that supports leader preparation.
What I was most taken by was his statement that this approach, including the blended environment, was “just so right for him.” As I talked with him about his experience, it became more and more clear to me that his situation reinforced the notion that if you give passionate people the room to work and allow them the opportunity to design that work in a way that meets important goals but also meets their personal needs, they simply will reach better outcomes. In the education world, I need to constantly remind myself of what I learned from Drive by Daniel Pink; autonomy, mastery and purpose are why we do what we do, especially when we do it well.
This aspiring principal felt so strongly that the program he was experiencing brought him true mastery towards his ultimate goal to be a principal but that they allowed him the opportunity to attain that mastery through applying his own ideas and approaches in a real working environment. They also gave him the freedom through the virtual component to learn more at the times best suited for him. This helped to reinforce his level of purpose and the “drive” he had to be the highest quality principal leader he could be.
In an education world that is ripe with overbearing policy changes and legislation it was encouraging to talk with someone whose passions for education remained so strong during his preparation program. While his character and action are obviously the core reason for his success, I also give due credit to New Leaders for providing a preparation program that can help reinforce this type of leader. Not too many University programs can currently say the same.