Both Fullan and Reeves have written extensively on leadership, and on the change process. As a secondary school principal, both are of keen interest to me.
Here’s how their advice compares:
|Douglas Reeves – From Leading to Succeeding: The Seven Elements of Effective Leadership in Education||Description||Lyle Kirtman & Michael Fullan – Leadership: Key Competencies for Whole-System Change||Description|
|1. Purpose||What do we aspire to be and to do, and why are we here and what makes us come to school each day?||3. Creates a Commonly Owned Plan for Success||Creates short- and long-terms with input, develops clear measurement to monitor and adjust, and ensures the people buy in.|
|2. Trust||Doing what you say you will do. Quickly and humbly acknowledging mistakes and asking for forgiveness. Confronting conflicts between personal values and professional environment.||2. Builds Trust through Clear Communication and Expectations||Is honest and direct, follows through, ensures understanding and is comfortable dealing with conflict.|
|3. Focus||Focus on the best initiatives, weed out those with low implementation levels and low impact, evaluate those with high implementation that are having low impact, lead those with high impact but low implementation and invest (support) those with high impact and high implementation. Avoid the lure of fragmentation.||Focus on the right policy drivers: 1. Capacity building, not negative accountability; 2. Teamwork, not individualistic strategies; 3. Pedagogy, not technology; 4. Systemic policies, not ad hoc policies.||Takes a broader, more “balcony view” to leadership, with focus on pedagogy, people and systemic policies|
|4. Leverage||Make good choices, and make the most of very minute of time in school.||1. Challenges the Status Quo||Challenges practices that are blocking improvements, delegates, takes risks and does not let rules and regulations block results.|
|5. Feedback||Provide fair, accurate, specific and timely feedback.||6. Has a Commitment to Continuous Improvement for Self and Organization||Uses strong self-management and self-reflection skills and a high sense of curiousity, along with input from all team members, to take responsibility and change.|
|6. Change||Readiness for change depends on personal and organizational conditions: both low = resistance, low personal + high organizational = frustration, high personal + low organizational = learning, both high = change. Do the important, not the urgent.||5. Has a High Sense of Urgency for Change and Sustainable Results in Improving Achievement||Uses data to set a clear and decisive direction to move initiatives ahead quickly.|
|7. Sustainability||Plan early to delegate, to allow colleagues to practice and refine their skills. Refers to Fullan’s eight elements of sustainability, particularly the “long lever of leadership” and the need for systems thinking.||4. Focuses on Team over Self||Hires, empowers and develops the best team, and welcomes critical feedback.|
|7. Builds External Networks and Partnerships||Understands role as extending beyond the work and community, and uses technology to engage people in two-way partnerships.|
Given that Kirtman is a management consultant, the building of external networks and partnerships is a logical addition to what appears to be a fairly consistent list from both publications.
Both provide excellent advice, and reminders to school leaders.