This is the exam question
Write a reflective account of your leadership activity and the development of your personal practices/capacities.
Your account should be coherent and free-standing, while answering the tasks set, so that it can be understood by an audience unfamiliar with your work for TMA 02 and your professional context. The assessment will be assessed by one or more other markers in addition to your tutor. You should therefore make clear your professional context and your own role, as well as the purpose, objectives and success criteria for your activity. Material in the appendix should be clearly referred to in the main text of the report – do not expect markers to search for supporting material that you have not mentioned in your report. Your appendices should not exceed five pages of A4. However, it is not necessary to have appendices if your work is well synthesised in the main account.
Your project report should be titled, ‘A reflective report on the leadership of …’, and should be structured as follows. You should clearly indicate where you move from one part to another. Any reference made to TMA 02 or other work of your own should be correctly cited (with your name and the year, as you would for any other citation).
Part 1: The Activity
Provide a brief explanation of the purpose, objectives and success criteria for your activity. You should detail any adjustments made to your plans since TMA 02 and the reasons for these along with any ethical considerations you had to make.
Part 2: Evaluation of the activity
Evaluate the extent to which you have been able to achieve the purpose and objectives of the activity in the light of your success criteria, providing evidence from the activity to support the conclusions you reach.
Part 3: Reflective analysis
Critically analyse the processes and outcomes of the activity drawing widely on relevant theoretical frameworks and concepts from the module and your wider reading. You should critically reflect on the impact of context, including structure, culture and agency on the process and the leadership actions you took. You should also critically reflect on the impact of your leadership actions.
Part 4: Impact on thinking and practice
Critically assess the impact of your leadership activity on the learning of both learners and/or the professionals involved. You will need to be clear about the learning you are referring to and how your leadership actions had an impact. How might this learning have been improved?
Critically evaluate the change in your leadership practice brought about by studying this module. Draw on your learning from the leadership activity, the assignments, the readings and the activities. You may draw on one or two actual or hypothetical critical incidents in your practice that demonstrate your learning.
You must include your ‘Ethics checklist’ (revised if necessary) as well as a copy of your marked TMA 02 and its associated feedback form.
You may choose to present Parts 1 to 2 of this assignment in note form. Part 3, however, should be presented in continuous prose.
By the time you come to write this report, you should have completed your study of the module material.
Educational leadership is seldom a purely rational activity in which plans are adhered to and fulfilled. For the examinable component, you are not assessed on the leadership activity itself or on the achievement of the success criteria you set yourself, but on the quality of your reflective analysis and evaluation. This depends on your ability to conceptualise and apply theoretical perspectives in order to explain the congruence (or lack of it) between actual outcomes and intended outcomes, and to explore educational leadership.
It may make no difference at all to your grade if your leadership activity was an abysmal failure or a stunning success in terms of achieving its objectives, depending on the reason for that, provided that you have undertaken a thorough critical reflection and have demonstrated what you have learned from the experience (which should lead to future improvements in practice). It may well be the case that a leadership activity that is reported in glowing terms as a great success may not be as highly graded as one that takes a more critical stance. The whole point of reflective leadership practice is to improve by learning from experience. A detached and critical account is therefore expected.Green-Schools in Ireland
This is the leadership activity I used for my project
Green-Schools in Ireland is operated and co-ordinated by the Environmental Education Unit of An Taisce (FEE member for Ireland), in partnership with Local Authorities throughout the country, is supported by the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government, the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport and is sponsored by Repak and the Wrigley Company Ltd.
Over 3,700 primary, secondary and special schools in Ireland (>92% of all Irish schools) are currently participating part in the programme and over 2785 schools have been awarded the Green Flag. The Irish Green-Schools programme is one of the most successful within the international network. One of the main factors in the success of the Irish Green-Schools programme is the partnership between the Environmental Education Unit of An Taisce and Local Authorities i.e. the financial and time contribution of the Local Authorities to the programme. Most of the Local Authorities (City & County Councils) have an Environmental Education Officer (EEO). These officers provide the invaluable on the ground support to schools undertaking the programmeApplication Procedure
Your answers in the Green-Schools application form will give us most of the information needed to decide whether you have achieved Green-Schools status.
The procedure for assessing your school is as follows:
1. Schools send in initial application
2. The Green-Schools office review application and make recommendations
3. School implements recommendations and sends report to An Taisce
4. Assessor visits the school
5. Green-Schools evaluation committee make decision to award the Green-Flag.
Schools can submit an application for an award at any time of the year. However, the assessment procedure is lengthy, so to ensure that your application is processed there is an application deadline set each year – November 30th 2013. Any applications received after this date may be carried over until the following school year. If schools are successful with their Green-Schools application, a Green-Flag award ceremony is held in May.
The Green-Schools programme is based on Seven Steps. These steps are outlined in the chart below. The most important aspect for schools to remember is that every school is different and it is therefore critical that a school fits the seven steps around its circumstances and situation and NOT try and fit the school into the seven steps. 1. Green-Schools Committee 2. Environmental Review 3.Action Plan 4.Monitoring and Evaluation 5.Curriculum Work 6.Informing and Involving 7. Green Code
• Green-Schools Committee * Environmental Review * Action Plan * Monitoring and Evaluation * Curriculum Work * Informing and Involving * Green Code
This is the essay that needs revision
A reflective report on the leadership of the green schools in my school
Purpose and objective of the report
The report is designed as a reflective writing of my role and impact as a coordinator in a committee made of students and teachers in my school. The committee was formed to improve the environmental state of my school through improving environmental awareness among the students. The awareness is to be made through the implementation of the green schools program in my school. The report is also meant to address the efforts I made to see that the green schools program is implemented in my school by practicing my leadership skills in the selected committee. The school has provided me with the responsibility of providing support to my colleagues in ensuring that the green schools program is delivered in the institution. Owing to the fact that the students in the committee may have several challenges ranging from social to economic changes, I had also to ensure that those in the committee are fully supported.
Any school that implements the green schools program must aim at reducing waste in the institution through several ways. I had the responsibility of ensuring that my committee was working towards the creation of a waste-free school scenario. I also played an important role in ensuring that there was enough support from the board of management, the principal and other staff. In this regard, my role was to ensure that one or two members of the committee had read the handbook before presenting an outline of the program to other members of the committee and to the members of board of management. There was also the role of ensuring that the introduction of green schools program did not negatively affect health and safety policies and procedures in the school. The institution has also the aim of working with other schools both locally and internationally to ensure that the green schools program becomes a success. The other aim of this project is to ensure that the school implements the program in the best way possible by following all the regulations to guarantee the award of a green flag.
I had personal objectives in running out this project. To begin with, I was to use this project as a platform of improving my communication skills. This was an easy task for me because I was expected to act as the leader of the committee on green schools program that required me to develop good communication skills for its successful implementation. Effective communication helps individuals or a committee to better understand a situation or a person enabling the individual or committee to build trust, resolve differences and create working environments where innovation is a key element. Communication is also to be perfected or improved to avoid scenarios where people misunderstand each other which may cause a lot of frustrations through conflicts in professional and personal relationships. My other objective in this project is to make sure that I assist the students develop confidence and a sense of citizenship through participation in the project. My development of my planning skills was also an aim of my participation in this project. I also wished to work successfully with outside agencies such as the county council of Ireland.
For any type of a project, there should be criteria to determine whether the project was a success or a failure. The person highly responsible for setting these criteria is the project manager who should ensure that the best criteria are set out. As the project leader, I had the responsibility of ensuring that the committee made up of students and teachers work out to deliver the project within the time and budget required by the institution. It should however be noted that this is not all that was to determine the success or failure of the project. Other success criteria are focused on whether the objectives set out by the institution and the leader of the committee was met or not. The project was to be considered to be successful if the school would have successfully implemented the green schools program at the end of the project. The project would however be said to have failed if there would be no green schools program at the institution despite the completion of the project. For the committee to sit back and say that they have succeeded, both the teachers and students should feel empowered to implement the program in the institution. Additionally, the presence or absence of litter in the school was another good criterion to use to conclude a success or failure of the project. A change in the amount of waste recycled by the school was also to act as success criterion with an increase depicting success and a decrease depicting failure. The establishment of a specific number of links with other institutions in the whole world was also to be used as a success criterion.
There were other success criteria to be used at a personal level. My communication skills should have improved during the project for the project to be considered a success. Apart from the communication skills, an improvement in my leadership in the course of the project was also to be termed as an indicator of success. The project would also be considered to be a success if I would have worked successfully with all the stakeholders such as the city council and the board of governors.
Evaluation of the activity
I was able to achieve my aim of making sure that a green school program was implemented in my school through the application of my leadership skills to guide the students and teachers in the committee. I acted as the green co-ordinator to help participants to gain practical experience in the institution by allowing them to ‘‘go green’’. The main target was the empowering of the students since are the leaders of tomorrow and due to an increase in the demand of Eco-conscious environments. Eco-students are a good platform for creating a green future for the benefits of later generations. This part of project success was determined through the evaluation done using the pre-set success criteria. The project was implemented to make sure that the school members put the environment into their minds before taking any action. The idea is to make sure that the teachers and the students will demonstrate conservation of the environment, its preservation and restoration.
Any type of change requires the main players to be empowered for the change to be achieved. I was able to empower the students and teachers in my school to implement the green schools program. The key leadership skill I utilized in this case was the understanding of how the change in form of green schools program would affect the institution. There are three key things that were bound to be affected by the implementation of green schools programme. The processes in the institution were to change including the procedures and policies. The technology was also expected to change in order to facilitate the implementation of green schools to happen in a more efficient manner. Another success is evident in the way people involved in the implementation of the programme have accepted the change. The three elements were possible due to the application of the three stages in any Change Management Life Cycle. The first stage in this cycle involves identification of the change, engaging the people follows as the second stage while the third stage involves implementation of the change. As in any type of change, the committee members had to recognize and bring into board the need for change. I had the idea that the institution could not have experienced the change unless the committee was made to understand and avail their support to the reasons for coming up with the change.
In my leadership role, I was able to achieve the objective of identifying the change that needed to transform my school into a green school, the implementation of a green school program. My ability to articulate the identified change in a common and consistent language was the first fundamental step that allowed me move on with the change initiative. Through my leadership, the committee was able to identify and communicate the need for change in a way that it was understood by and received support from the members of all the levels of the institution (Battilana&Casciaro, 2012). Additionally, the intellectual, neurological and psychological responses that came from people regarding the implementation of green schools programme were dealt with accordingly. The first technique used to deal with the diverse reactions from the individuals in the institution was an effort to capture the attention of the people. The knowledge that any change may interfere with the concentration of human beings allowed the committee to direct the attention of the people in a positive way to allow them to focus on the green schools programme. The ideaay was achieved through the introduction change initiative in a setting away from the daily routine of the people implementing the change that brought a sense of urgency and a sense of ownership in the change (Bernstein &Arnoff, 2010).
Aligning the disturbances of people was also the other remedy of dealing with the diverse reactions. This involved the creation of an agreement between the members of the committee and the school fraternity to create a common gap between their present way of thinking and their mental state that they needed to adopt the change. This allowed all the players in the implementation of the green schools program to agree on the organizational response and the direction needed for the change. I was also able to create a compelling future vision and got involved in continuous communication of the same vision. My vision was took into considerations the needs of every level of the institution so as the staff’s daily is described together with high levels of change goals. I was also able to outline and be ready of possible frustrations in implementing the green schools program in my school.
Additionally, my leadership role allowed me to define the job responsibilities of each member of the committee in addition to empowering them to carry out these responsibilities. The other challenge that I was able to overcome easily through hard work was describing the job and metrics appropriate to the green schools program implementation in addition to making the players understand the end-to-end process. The other goal that seemed difficult to achieve was overcoming the institutional culture dynamics that seemed to prevent people from being involved in the implementation of the green schools program. Other cultures were a stabling block to the adoption of the already implemented green schools program (Klimoski& Amos, 2012).
A close evaluation of the activity through interviews shows that the committee succeeded in their efforts to engage people in the planning of the institution’s response to the implementation of green schools program. This is seen as the antithesis of a rollout strategy from top to down whereby a change initiative was to be delivered to the people expected to implement the green schools program. The committee gave these people an opportunity for intellectual, psychological and emotional reaction to the implementation of green schools program which allowed them to become used to the idea of the change and start thinking in terms that can identify potential trouble areas thus contributing to an improvement to the project. Institution-wide workshops on the best change response were also conducted to facilitate the adoption of the change by the people. The sessions were fundamental in since they enabled important players in the project to participate in the discussion on how a certain factor should be applied in the institution and bring some contributions to the creation of a more aligned way of managing and adapting to the change in form of implementing green schools program. The ability to align the reactions and encouraging people to get involved in this project moved the people’s behavior to the direction of dealing with the problem and creating a platform to facilitate the implementation of green schools program. All these allowed the committee to implement the change strategy at a higher level. Those that were involved in implementing the green schools program and the groups expected to be affected by this implementation were involved in the strategy development. The strategy was then acknowledged by everyone involved in the activity as a flexible plan to allow changes to be made after the implementation was under way (Klimoski& Amos, 2012).
The implementation of the green schools program is also seen to be achieved from the information gathered from the interviews. This was possible since the strategies of change created in the identification and involvement stages were successfully translated into actions in order to achieve the proposed future institutional state. People were well prepared to participate in the process of development and implementation of the green schools program since the first two phases were carried out effectively. My work as the committee leader was to monitor the activities being carried out and ensuring that the appropriate technology is being applied. I was able to balance the time spent in all the three stages of implementing the change to make sure that there is successful change adoption. The committee decided to apply prototyping a technique to initiate the change with an increase in change being experienced without having to wait for very detailed master plan. The detailed master plan was avoided due to the knowledge that it could slowdown the initial stages of the implementation of green schools program. Prototyping was preferred since it has the ability to take into account the people’s activities and thinking as new technologies and processes are being deployed. Since the people’s activities and thoughts were used in the development of change response, there was a further increase in the ownership of people in the change initiative (Al Lily, 2013).
Among the techniques the committee used during the implementation of the green schools program included reiterating the mission of the change by use of constant communications. There were several channels used to remind the players the importance of their hard work towards the implementation process. These channels included project milestone communications, E-mails, conversations among other channels. As the group leader of the committee, I was able to make sure that several success criteria were considered to determine whether the project was a success or a failure to my school. I ensured that any individual involved in any task of the project was had the desire and ability to work in the new environment. All the additional sets of skills needed for people to change to the new green environment were evaluated in addition to changing the job descriptions were need arose. Additional achievements included the reduction of waste in the school compound including papers, glass, metal, plastic, organics, household hazardous waste, special waste, and construction and demolition waste (Yuan, Chini, Lu & Shen, 2012). My committee was also able to link with six local schools and four international schools in making sure that these schools become green in the shortest time possible at an affordable cost. The most important achievement of this activity has been the awarding of a green flag to my school (Kalyani, 2011).
At the personal level, acting as the committee leader allowed me to improve my communication skills. Among the communication skills that I was able to improve included my verbal communication skills which were fundamental in dealing with the committee members. I also managed to develop my nonverbal communications which was not an easy task for me. My written communication skills also became better since I was required to communicate with many players in writing. In addition to developing my communication skills, I was able to develop my leadership skills. As a sign of project success, I was able to improve my skills at motivating students by allowing them to be involved in this activity as a way of helping them build their confidence. My planning skills have also improved by a great margin which is evident from the project being completed in accordance with the required budget and time. The activity also gave me an opportunity to work with outside agency to make sure that the project outcomes are as good as possible (kristensen& Morgan, 2012).
Analysis of the process and outcome of the activity
There is a process followed by any institution that is willing to implement a green school program followed by the awarding of a green flag. The first step involves the interested institution sending an initial application. It is the responsibility of the Green-Schools office to make sure that the application is reviewed and recommendations are made. The institution is then required to implement the recommendations before sending back the report. Assessors then visit the institution to check on the situation on the ground. The Green-Schools have a committee that has the responsibility of making decision to award the green flag to the institution. It is important to note that the interested institution can submit an application showing interest for the reward of a green flag at any month of the year. However, a date is set beyond which the submitted application is pushed to the following school year. If the institution succeeds in submitting their application for a green flag, a Green-Flag award ceremony is conducted in May.
There is the Center for Green Schools Fellowship program that allows institutions immediate and huge differences to many adults and children. This opportunity allows one to enjoy a great deal of independence together with the provision of an extensive training and the idea of supporting passionate colleagues. This allows one to help his or her institution to accelerate various initiatives that they could not carry out without the implementation of the green schools program. The completion of the activity has allowed my school to improve on the existing program on recycling and composition (Suwannobol, Promrak&Batsungnoen, 2012). There has also been an improvement in the manner in which energy usage in my school has been monitored with the usage being communicated to the school staff. Another area that has received positive impact from this project is the one dealing with implementation of curriculum on environment. Growth has been experienced in commitments to indoor air quality in addition to a revision to transportation or maintenance contracts.
It is paramount to note that the school had to go through a thorough process before the Green-Flag was awarded. The advertisement for Fellow application was noted on the Green Schools website together with requirements for application materials and instructions. My school was among the three finalists from my district after the selection from the pool of applicants was done. The school was able to pass the interviews done with Center for Green Schools staff together with a representative from the host organization. The good results for my school in the interviews allowed it to become part of a powerfully effective group of individuals who were to work on green schools across the country. The school was also able to receive training and advice from people in the leadership of programs aimed at changing educational facilities in a positive manner. Among the provisions for training program included two in-person training sessions per year to be done in Washington, DC. Two conference call per week with the Center for Green Schools staff among other Fellows were also granted as part of the training provision. The institution was also allowed to attend the local seminars and conferences on ongoing green building. Two visits in every year to the district offices were also to be done by the Center for Green Schools staff.
After the school was awarded the Green-Flag, the Center for Green Schools was to provide salary and benefits in full for a period of two years, including a relocation stipend based on the mileage. In the third year, the school district will be given the responsibility of doing the payments while the Center for Green Schools will be responsible for covering half of the salary to be paid to other Fellows. The funding of the travel program and the training will also remain fully funded in the third year. To add to the efforts of the Center for Green Schools, the school districts given the responsibility of receiving Fellows are expected to provide them with office materials such as phone, desk among other supplies. These districts are also expected to provide the Fellows being received with an activities budget amounting to about $5000in every year for implementation of programs in addition to inviting participation among students, staff and faculty (Metcalf & Benn, 2013).
One of the most significant impact of my involvement in this activity as the committee leader was a great improvement in my communication skills. I was able to develop the habit of communicating clearly using straightforward language, a language which is neither too hard to understand nor too simple. I can now use my spoken words to pass the intended message with a lot of ease. The persuasive speaking demanded by my role as the committee leader allowed me to develop my verbal communication with ease. In addition to developing my verbal communication skills, I was also able to develop nonverbal communications skills that included the cues and body language that one uses while listening or speaking to another person (Patterson &Dowe, 2013).
These include nodding of the head, showing an open body, and inclining towards the speaker. An open body is shown when shoulders back and arms are uncrossed and shows the speaker that one is listening and hearing the message being delivered. It is important to mention that my written communication skills were also developed in this activity. The areas I improved in my written communication with time include use of proper grammar, correct spelling of words and a better way of relaying information. This is of big advantage in the individual level since poorly worded and misspelled written work affect the message being conveyed in the written work (Rhodes &Brundrett, 2012).
There were several efforts made to ensure that the communication skills of every member of the committee were improved. The communication skills were developed through the implementation of a training program that taught quality skills in oral communications for telephone and face-to-face communications. The committee was also able to focus on concise and clear statements as opposed to fragments or very long sentences. We started with simple exercises like describing a paint in four sentences to enable the committee understand expressing concepts clearly and efficiently. Another thing emphasized among the committee members was the importance of structuring sentences properly in addition to forming proper paragraphs. As the leader of the committee, I taught the members how to convey the tone of the message using word of mouth. The importance of the members of the committee hearing what another person is trying to say despite that person possessing weak communication skills was also stressed in the training meetings. The key words to be watched out during conversation such as “I think” and “but” which may mean doubt were pointed out. The committee was also taught how to identify questions that come in the form of a sentence to avoid misconceptions.
The implementation of the green schools program in my school allowed the students to gain knowledge on issues surrounding their environment in addition to gaining organizational skills in implementing the ideas of reducing, reusing and recycling waste around the school. In a bid to reduce the waste in the school compound, double-sided photocopies were used to reduce the consumption of papers that contribute to a big percentage of the waste found in the school compound (Oldenburg, &Hirschhorn, 1987). Routing slips were used to circulate memos as opposed to the idea of sending individual copies. Furthermore, whenever there were meetings, the committee used marker boards, overheads, and blackboards as opposed to the use of paper flipcharts. Most messages are now being conveyed by the use of homeroom representatives or by the use of public address system. Another idea being employed in the green school today is the purchase of classroom and office supplies in bulk.
Other waste reduction methods are being targeted to the idea of reusing commodities in the school. The use of refillable pencils and pens is a common idea that has enabled the committee to achieve the objective of waste reduction in the institution (Gakhar, 2013). The old cardboard boxes are also being reused for the purpose of storage or packing of outgoing commodities. In addition, file folders are being reused by the act of reversing the folders or by the application of new labels. The idea of reusing envelopes used for internal mailing and filling has also been initiated since the implementation of the green schools program. The school administration has started using central message boards for post announcements in order to reduce waste in the school compound. There are many situations that require one to do some simple calculations or write rough notes. The school has ensured that only single-sided sheets of paper are being used as scrap paper for such purposes. The school has also initiated a program that ensures that used office equipments and books are sent to a social service agency or a local charity (Ghiban, NegoiţĂ, NegoiţĂ, 2012).
Another important initiative created since the implementation of the green schools program is the creation of a waste exchange program within my school and among several schools in my district. This has enabled the school to reduce waste in the school compound in a great way since it allows staffs and students to create new homes for unwanted clothing, books, sports equipment, jewelry and other equipments (Sinha, Choudhary, & Shree, 2012).
There has been a great improvement in the amount of waste the school is recycling after the implementation of the green schools program (Suwannobol, Promrak&Batsungnoen, 2012). Boxes and bins have been set up in classrooms and offices for recyclables and fine paper. The idea of vermicomposting has also been incorporated which involves composting small amounts of food scraps found in the classroom using worms. This has been an easy task for the students as they are carrying it out as part of the science project. In an effort to close the recycling loop, the school is purchasing office and class rooms supplies having recycled content. These include books, writing papers, toner cartilages and paints containing recycled material (Pires, Martinho, & Chang, 2011).
My leadership skills were very important in the committee and allowed the committee to guide the school in the journey of seeking for the award of a Green-Flag within the required time and budget. This was made possible by applying the planning skills needed that allowed the committee look ahead in addition to avoiding financial, emotional, social or physical hardships (Leclerc, &Moldoveanu, 2013). The skills also allowed the committee in making and implementing the required decisions for an easier implementation of the green schools program. Planning was highly important in the development of the budget to be used in the implementation of the green schools program in addition to playing a role in developing and monitoring individual aspects of the project and in determining the overall direction the committee wanted the school to take (Gupta, Lödding, &Tseng, 2006).
The Center for Green Schools program was keen to look at the plan of the committee for the green school program in my school before they could approve the award of the Green-Flag. The center wanted to be presented with a formal and written plan on what the school was ready to do and how it was to do it. My planning skills had an important role to play in helping the committee to organize and manage the necessary operations and the work force that was needed in the activity. My ability to use the planning skills translated into the control of the school’s expenses and revenue making the school to remain in normal operation during the process of implementing the green schools program (Christiansen, Gasparin&Varnes, 2013).
It is important to note that despite the great importance of the planning skills in the success of this and many other similar activities, there are some things in an institution that cannot be planned (González, Alarcón, Maturana, Mundaca& Bustamante, 2010). As an example, one may have not been able to predict the probability of a member of the committee or task force quitting his or her responsibility. Having this in mind, I was able to use my skills and make the committee as flexible as possible in order to incorporate such changes as they arise. This also allowed us to settle on better options and bring in creativity when an opportunity arose. This shows that individual plans are subject to change but the need for planning will never change. In addition to the initial planning skills prior to the start of the activity, my role as the committee leader allowed me to develop better planning skills.
Impact of the leadership activity on learning
From the interviews conducted to assess the progress of the activity, it is evident that both the students and professionals involved in the implementation of the green schools program learnt improved their way of learning things. My leadership role had a great impact on the way these people learnt different aspects in this activity. Those involved in the activity were able to learn the process of an institution implementing the green schools program. They were able to change their approach to the reduction of waste in the school and how to link with other schools for easier implementation of the green schools program.
As the committee leader, I was able to make the students and professionals understand the need for quality instructions and the importance of making sure that the right message is passed to the members of the committee. I was the key person responsible for the provision of the required feedback to the committee members on the progress of the activity which was possible through the creation of a system that other could use to help me deliver this feedback. My consistent and well informed support made a big difference in the efforts of the committee to achieve the set goals. The increasing pressure to deliver was key in facilitating the need for delivery of my leadership skills. There was help provided to me to enable me allow the students and the professionals to come up with a better way of absorbing things. This help mainly came from programs on professional development. As any good leader would do, I was keen to ensure that I inspired and motivated my team members to make the team work. This was made possible by my efforts to keeping to the entire deadline in the implementation of the green schools program in addition to following on problems and solving them. To buy trust from the committee members, I focused on clear delegation of duties and a good follow up on issues.
I was able to change the perspective of the students and the involved professionals on their strengths and weaknesses. This was partially achieved by doing a SWOT analysis which stands for strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats. A good success for personal leadership was also important in coming up with their strengths and weaknesses. The latter one involved writing down what one felt as his or her strengths then allowing a colleague with integrity to give their opinions about another person. This was of great importance to the committee members because the idea of having to understand themselves first allowed them to understand other people in a subtle level. Once one has identified his or her habits and nature, he or she can be able to see the motivations contributed by others in addition to understanding the best way to lead. I was also able to teach the people involved in this activity how to use their own ethics in accomplishing a certain task. This requires a person to strive to make the situation at hand a success regardless of the personal effects. The players in this activity were able to make sure that the implementation of the green schools program came before their personal interests.
Another important leadership aspect that helped the players in this activity to learn things better was being a natural leader. This was mainly characterized by the evaluation of what the team members needed to have achieved at the end of the activity. This was very important in helping the students to become more productive in addition to being more effective and intelligent. The idea of incorporating my own insights, empathy and understanding instead of only relying on ideas from other people helped me greatly in this context.
Change in leadership practice brought about by learning this module
Through learning this module and acting as the leader of the committee on the implementation of a green school program in my school, I was able to change my leadership practice in a positive way. An improvement in my planning skills was one area of impact brought about by the leadership role I played in this activity. I was able to learn on how to successfully plan for an activity and get good results. The first technique I was able to perfect on was the identification and drawing priority to the tasks that I need to complete in a certain activity. I realized that it is of great importance to write the activities of the day every morning. The next important thing involves the determination of the urgent tasks that need to be finishes before the others within a short period of time. Looking for tasks that should be completed before starting another project is of great importance for a person who values success. It is however important for one to note that adjustments on the list of the priorities may be needed. In this regard, one should add the new list of tasks in his list of priorities before according them the appropriate time to be completed. Creating a schedule for the daily work if it is the same every day is a good idea to keep one on task. The constituent schedule was also a platform to help my committee to plan our time with ease.
For one to have a better chance of succeeding in his planning activities, the use of online tools is of help. The online tools give one an easy access to materials and information that facilitates the planning work. There are email programs such as the calendar that can allow one to keep tract of the required deadlines for each task in the project (Abbasi, Siddiqi &Azim, 2011). The use of the online calendar to guide me in meeting the deadlines was a bonus to my planning skills. The online services also allowed me to send myself some reminders in addition to accessing the calendar from my mobile phone. As a committee, were able to use a project management software program that was a boost to my planning skills. The program allowed all the members of the committee to access it thus there was ease in sharing information among the committee members.
Communication was another element that enabled my committee to plan the required task with minimal stress. Communication is important in keeping every player in the activity aware informed on the organization and planning of the activity. It is important to note that the committee leader may have a very good outline of how the activity should be carried out, but the committee members are not aware of the plan if effective communication is not brought into board (Robles, 2012). The activity also taught me the importance of keeping my colleges updated on my projects by the use of effective communication. The best way to do this is by sending weekly email messages to keep all the colleagues posted on the progress and the upcoming activities or duties to be carried out in a particular project. Input in the planning process may be achieved conducting in-person meetings.
My involvement in the implementation of green schools program in my school opened up my minds on communication skills. One of the importance aspects that improved about my communication skills is showing appreciation. Before getting into the root of the message, one should show appreciation of the time spent by other colleges who spoke in the meeting. One should be considerate and respectful since time is a very important resource. It is also of great importance to recognize or complement any positive contribution made by other people in the meeting. All this are important in creating a good rapport with both the colleagues and the audience. In this activity, I was able to realize that one should avoid controversial topics or comments such as those touching on religious beliefs or politics.
Furthermore, it is prudent to maintain a positive attitude which is known to produce a good result on ones communication. One should be constructive and avoid being negative and a complaining person. An effective communication should avoid critiquing or attacking people since they will shut down. As a leader, I learnt to be an encouraging and kind person despite situations where one may want to express displeasure or a concern (Beam, 2012).
The tone used in a communication forum is an important aspect in determining the way the audience receives the message. An effective communicator should avoid being aggressive even when he wants to be assertive so as to make his point. It is also important for one to be direct and confident which should go in line with a cooperative and a calm tone. Additionally, it is important for one to think about the result of the conversation before going deep into the conversation. It is important for one to know his objectives which allow him to be on point in the entire conversation. A person may be conversing to give help, collaborate on a certain issue or resolve a particular conflict. One may also be speaking to seek advice or may be trying to influence behavior. In this regard, the outcome desired by a person is the key determinant of the communication flow. I also learnt the importance of a listener in order to have good communication skills (Ferrari, 2012). In communication, eye contact is very important in addition to being polite and avoiding interruption. It is not a good idea to interrupt others when they are delivering their ideas as this is seen as a disrespect of the thoughts of the speaking person. A person with good communication skills should to understand the perspective of other people. Additionally one should focus on maintaining an open mind and having an idea on how to value diverse viewpoints.
Another input into my communication skills was on how to identify and use non-verbal cues. Lack of eye contact, for example, indicates that one is impatient. Additionally, distraction and fidgeting can be important signs that show restlessness. One can identify signs of physical or mental fatigue presented in form of yawning or sighing (Liu, Polasik, Ghosh & Wu, 2013). All these categories of nonverbal signals are a clear indication that the communication may not be productive. In such a case, it is important for the person delivering the message to wrap up the conversation quickly, postpone the conversation, or opt to inquire the source of the discomfort if the relationship between the person and the audience allows. For the purpose of improving the chance of success of the communication, it is important for one to make sure that there is a mutual understanding between him and the audience regarding the content of the massage. This is mainly achieved by the person through asking for input and feedback from the audience (Deiser, Newton, 2013).
This has a double effect of confirming that one has communicated successfully and making the other party in the communication feel that they are heard and their message understood. An effective communicator is expected to be sure of what the actions to be taken and should be keen to establish accountability. In this regard, one should make sure that deadlines, expectations and accountabilities are confirmed. It is wise to document any agreement made by the act of writing it down. The idea of having an idea of what should happen is important in avoiding a possible conflict in the future. A person with good communication skills will always try to end his communication in a friendly manner. There is also the need to stress your thanks in an effort to leave the other party feeling valued and understood. For a productive communication to occur there should be considerations, respect, clarity and awareness. I was able to learn that it is possible to be kind and direct in addition to getting the required result (Russ, 2012).
I was also able to understand that without buying the trust and faith of the people one is leading, there is no good leader. The leader is supposed to have a very strong believe in a certain thing which makes the subordinate to have the same magnitude of faith. I also learnt a good leader will also try his best to act as an example to the people he is leading. Therefore, a good leader should not only focus on giving orders but also be keen to practice what he says (Singh, 2013). This is achieved through becoming the role model the subordinates will always want to follow. My skills in helping the people under me fell motivated and better also improved in the course of this activity. This is achieved through helping these people solve their problems and in developing a strong believe in the central idea. A good leader is also supposed to help the subordinates achieve their goals as opposed to assigning them duties and waiting for them to have them completed (Kalargyrou, Pescosolido&Kalargiros, 2012).
Abbasi, M., Siddiqi, A., &Azim, R., (2011).Role of Effective Communications for Enhancing Leadership and Entrepreneurial Skills in University Students.International Journal of Business & Social Science, 2 (10), 242-250
Al Lily, A., (2013). Social Change and Educational Technologies: By Invitation or Invasion. Journal of Organisational Transformation & Social Change, 10(1), 42-63
Battilana, J., &Casciaro T., (2012).Change Agents, Networks, and Institutions: A Contingency Theory of Organizational Change. Academy of Management Journal. 55 (2), 381-398
Beam,H., (2012). Good writing: an underrated executive skill. Human Resource Management, 20(1), 2-7.
Bernstein, R., &Arnoff, S., (2010).Bringing Innovation into the Heart of What We Do. Journal of Jewish Communal Service. 85 (1), 132-135
Christiansen, J., Gasparin, M., &Varnes, C., (2013). Improving Design with Open Innovation. Research Technology Management, 56 (2), 36-44
Deiser, R., & Newton, S., (2013). Six social-media skills every leader needs. McKinsey Quarterly, (1), 62-75
Ferrari, B., (2012). The executive’s guide to better listening.McKinsey Quarterly, (2), 50-60
Gakhar, S., (2013).An Effective WasteManagementSystem for a Better Future.Aweshkar Research Journal, 15 (1), 129-136
Ghiban, A., NegoiţĂ, O., &NegoiţĂ, O., (2012).Managementof the Waste Materials.Journal of Electrical & Electronics Engineering, 5 (1), 73-78
González, V., Alarcón, L., Maturana, S., Mundaca, F., & Bustamante, J., (2010). ImprovingPlanningReliability and Project Performance Using the Reliable Commitment Model.Journal of Construction Engineering & Management, 136(10), 1129-1139
Gupta, A., Lödding, H., & Tseng, M., (2006).An approach of capability representation for improvingcapacity planning.International Journal of Production Research, 44 (17), 3419-3431
Kalargyrou, V., Pescosolido, A., &Kalargiros, E., (2012). LeadershipSkills in Management Education Academy of Educational LeadershipJournal, 16 (4), 39-63
Kalyani, M., (2011). Innovative Culture: An Intervention Strategy for Sustainable Growth in Changing Scenario. International Journal of Business Administration, 2 (4), 84-92
Klimoski, R., & Amos, B., (2012). Practicing Evidence-Based Education in Leadership Development.Academy of Management Learning & Education, 11(4), 685-702
kristensen, P., & Morgan, G., (2012). From Institutional Change to Experimentalist Institutions.Industrial Relations, 51, 413-437
Leclerc, O., &Moldoveanu, M., (2013). Five routes to more innovative problem solving.McKinsey Quarterly, (2), 80-91
Liu, T., Polasik, S., Ghosh, P., & Wu, C., (2013). Investigating Verbal Workplace CommunicationBehaviors.Journal of Business Communication, 50(2), 152-169
Metcalf, L., & Benn S., (2013).Leadership for Sustainability: An Evolution of LeadershipAbility. Journal of Business Ethics, 112(3), 369-384
Oldenburg, K., &Hirschhorn, J., (1987). WasteReduction: A new strategy to avoid pollution Environment, 29(2), 16
Patterson, A., &Dowe, D., (2013). Developing leadershipskills across an organisation.Keeping GoodCompanies, 65(2), 110-113
Pires, A., Martinho, G., & Chang, N., (2011). Solid wastemanagement in European countries: A review of systems analysis techniques. Journal of Environmental Management, 92 (4), 1033-1050
Rhodes, C., &Brundrett, M., (2012).Retaining LeadershipTalent in Schools.International Studies in Educational Administration, 40(1), 19-34
Robles, M., (2012).Executive Perceptions of the Top 10 Soft Skills Needed in Today’s Workplace.Business Communication Quarterly,75 (4), 453-465
Russ, T., (2012).The Relationship BetweenCommunication Apprehension and Learning Preferences in an Organizational Setting. Journal of Business Communication, 49(4), 312-331
Singh, P., (2013). A Collegial Approach in Understanding Leadership as a Social Skill.International Business & Economics Research Journal, 12(5), 489-502
Sinha, N., Choudhary, B., & Shree, S., (2012). Solid WasteManagementwith Emphasis on Environmental Aspect.AIP Conference Proceedings, 1414(1),123-127
Suwannobol, N., Promrak, P., &Batsungnoen, K., (2012). The EnvironmentalConservation Behavior of the Applied Health Science Students of Green and Clean University. World Academy of Science, Engineering & Technology, 71, 618-621
Yuan, H., Chini, A., Lu, Y., & Shen, L., (2012). A dynamic model for assessing the effects of management strategieson the reduction of construction and demolition waste. Waste Management, 32 (3), 521-531
These are the revision notes
Your Project performance profile /revisions needed to ensure a pass
The following comments have been recorded for you
Comments on the EMA
Part 1 is a little confusing. You should have based your EMA purely on your leadership actions and related objectives / success criteria. What is more, the success criteria are lost in all the description featured here. A much more straightforward approach to setting out what you did and how you would measure your impacts in a timely fashion was needed here. Your reader is left confused about who is doing exactly what and which elements constitute the core of your EMA project.
Continuing the same problems, Part 2 draws on the committee’s actions and successes. You needed to draw your actions out of all this to be the evidence which should in turn determine the degree of your success and impact, as judged against the criteria that you set yourself at the outset. There must be a different way of presenting this section to deal with your part in it all? At a point, you say ‘my committee’: were you the responsible person for everyone’s actions? Was this an element of your activity that you have not made clear?
Part 3 is extremely descriptive and hardly ever critically analytical. Some of your discussion on ‘the leader’ deals with elements which might be explored better in Part 5 (for example, the elementary discussion on communication skills). Too much of what you present is dealing with what good will come of the programme, rather than focusing in on context and processes of your institution and how they related to your actions. Your analysis remains very superficial and focuses on describing the benefits of the programme rather than getting underneath the structure, culture and agency of your context, drawing on module work and theories. Here you do not really demonstrate deep learning about leadership. You needed to work theory into your treatment of context and actual actions during the EMA project period. This focus on tasks set and being able to draw out your own leadership actions explicitly is crucial to this EMA.
Part 4 contains elements relevant to the task set in terms of identifying your impacts on others’ learning but these are lost in a stream of descriptive considerations that do not follow a clear structure. You would need to strip away much of this and bring in a significant amount of evidence and module-related citation to support your assessment of your impacts on others. This part, and likely elsewhere, would require a re-write in order to achieve an appropriate focus.
In Part 5, your paragraph, which begins ‘Through studying this module…’ was leaning towards the task requirements but was devoid of reference to learning from the module materials or even theories of learning and leading. You miss the point in discussing making use of a calendar or write generically about the committee and what is a good way to lead: the depth and ability to access context and theory critically is totally missing. That said, there are so many things which could be reframed in terms of your actions and project in order to demonstrate your growth. Where you have used a citation reference, you have not unpacked how this is meant to inform your discussion. The overall feel throughout has been superficial description.
Unfortunately, from the EMA in its current form, there is insufficient evidence of having studied or understood the module or other material. You show very little evidence of critical thinking or analysis of the problems with weakly stated and evidenced responses to the task set. You have not always demonstrated an understanding of the focus of the assignment and any salient points are often lost in the volume of description.
In preparing your resubmission you need to sharpen the focus of the report to respond to the task set in each part, greatly reduce the description, greatly increase the amount of module material drawn upon and increase the criticality throughout. This is a report not a story of the project. We need to know what you did, how the context and culture impacted on your project and your leadership of it and your agency. Did the module materials impact on your planning and if they did, was the result as expected? If not, why not? You have to show that you have read the module materials, understood them and can apply them, critically.