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Spokey’s Question on Leadership

Leadership in education and its absence has a higher profile in India’s schools today than it ever has. This is your chance to promote the characteristics, skills, and values which good leaders possess. Start thinking and share your views with us to help us create a profile of “what good leadership looks like”.

As a follower, because all of us follow someone, what is it that prompts you to follow and make someone your leader?


  1. Poonam Choksi October 10, 2012

    I have worked for the Corporate sector for 5 years and it was always about ‘developing leadership skills in potential candidates’. I still believe that good leaders cannot be created!! I believe that the qualities within the individual characteristic makes him/her a good leader. I would follow someone if I believe that he/she believes in me!

    • Barb Amsden October 16, 2012

      Speaking from the perspective of a former teacher (briefly) who has been in the business world for some time – the world that many of your students will leave your care to join — the best leader I have had is one who is there when you need him/her and not when you don’t. That type of leader is rare and it really relies on trust – in Poonam Chocksi’s words: belief of a “follower” that the leader believes in the follower. Mutual trust relies on clear two-way communication: what is expected when and for what purpose. I think it is hard to create a leader but the skillls can be fostered.

      A minor personal preference in a leader: equanimity (with passion for the goal) and common (or uncommon) courtesy.

  2. Amisha Modi October 10, 2012

    I agree with Poonam. A great leader, for me, is someone who provides opportunities for their followers to grow and develop, providing guidance and constructive criticism along the way. Leaders should inspire those around them, oozing the drive and determination to reach their goals/a vision. Their passion for their subject should energise others around them to be a part of something special.

  3. Dr. Ambar October 10, 2012

    Leadership and followership to me is a process of mutual growth and therefore transformative in the true sense.i believe it is the kind that the society needs today, moral and inspiring, intellectually stimulating and influential. It’s kind of leadership that besides propounding the values of justice , equality and collective well being also defines values like forgiveness , kindness , gentleness , humility, patience tolerance and perseverance as extra ordinary values of a leader .

  4. Sudeep Srivastava October 11, 2012

    Leadership is indeed a vital question in any form of organisation and I look forward to understanding more on leadership in educational institutions. I cannot help but notice the absence of thought on ‘followership’. It is not considered a macho space to be in and our education systems are designed to always make us look better than we are or would like to be, ignoring the ‘follower’ aspect of our existence. In fact, followership roles can wield enormous powers towards change and progress. Look around at the world – this theme is playing out!

  5. Lalita October 16, 2012

    I truly believe that a good leader produces leaders not followers,though there is no leader without followers.
    In education,qualities of leadership is missing from schools to educational administration.A school Head with leadership qualities n approach takes forward schools to a new level.
    A teacher is true leader in the class room if s/he encourages free analytical thinking in the class room,if s/he allows to provide space for questioning without being offended.Also,admitting to few things that they are not aware of,or they will come back next day prepared give ample reason to look upto him/her a true leader.
    A leader is valued when s/he gives you something extra under same normal monotonous circumstances.
    Leadership is when you can stand by something you really believe in.
    As a follower,I truly encourage creativity in my Institute.I give them freedom to do things new way,if they come up with plans.I supplement it if needed.
    I have always been encouraged n supported by my seniors,my parents,my teachers,so I give them extra

  6. Lalita October 16, 2012

    Mostly it’s believed that one is born with certain Leadership qualities, and it’s meant for people who are at the top of the organization, but contrary to this approach,I strongly feel that quality to lead yourself well, n to lead others can be very well developed provided a person is ready to pick up small little steps in his/her life.

    We must believe that we do impact lives in our own ways.As parents,we do impact our children,as teacher,u never know how n to what extent u r impacting a child’s life…….!!!

    Leadership is an important ingradient of a successful n rewarding life.
    By displaying leadership,we first reward ourself.

  7. Ajita K January 16, 2013

    Leadership in context of educational institutes is a critical aspect, more so because it is these very institutes that will create future leaders. For me a true leader would depict the following qualities:
    1. A visionary
    2. Ability to align all members of the institute to the vision
    3. Excellent planning, collaboration and execution skills
    4. Grip on 21st century learning requirements
    5. Ability to adapt to different roles ranging from a nurturer, to coach to mentor…and most importantly a servant leader
    6. Promote a lifelong learning approach in the institute

    Moreover, those in a leadership role should be aware of the impact their actions and decisions have on their followers and regard it as a valued profession.

  8. Jyoti Parruck March 18, 2013

    I foudn a great leader is MY Principal (sir): Dr. Mahesh Prasad.
    I grew up, use all different (mad) techniques and make my Biolab as learning centre. He was always there to support me and grow independently to become a (successful) teacher!! He never forced his opinion but left me free to explore and develop myself.

    I have some weakness, as I am NOT very good in writing lesson plan etc (I am weak in ENGLISH), which I never hidden from anyone. He never pinpointed my weakness but encourage me to go ahead on my strength.

    Thanks for the confidence on me Sir, so that I myself become confident in my teaching BIOLOGY!!

  9. Paul Machado September 22, 2013

    A good leader is the one who leads others by example. A leader is not the one who does different things but one who does things differently. A good leader always motivates, guides and inspires others to perform to the best of their abilities. A leader need to be tolerant, practical, humble, visionary and above all a good listener.

  10. Vidushi December 11, 2013

    A good school leader is:
    a) Someone who manages the academics of a school, not just the administration.
    b) Has a clear vision for the values, philosophy, principles of the school
    c) Is dynamic and responsive to change, especially in the world the child is inheriting
    d) Someone who works harder than everyone else
    e) Creates a rich environment in the school for the children to learn from