What forms of leadership might lead to dramatic improvements in student learning through effective uses of technologies?


The Leadership Styles of: Telling, Forcing, Participating and Transforming

Below you will find a table that looks at a comparison of four general strategies that a leader may employ. Truthfully not all leaders can effectively lead from all four strategies.  Some are ‘tellers’, others are ‘participatory’, others are really into the authority of ‘force’ and some can lead in ‘transformative’ ways.


Emphasis: facts and rational persuasion


Emphasis: authority and leverage


Emphasis: relationship and open dialogue


Emphasis: potential and transforming self

Target Change target Change target Relationship Change agent
Motivation Self-interest Self-interest Common good Change agent
Levers Facts Power Dialogue Integrity
Time Short Short Long Long
Impact First order First order Second order Second order
Perceived Control High Highest Low Lowest
Actual Control Low Low High Highest
Outcomes Compliance Compliance Emergence Emergence

Below are explanations form the authors related to TIME and ACTUAL CONTROL just to answer any questions people may have about these two concepts, as Quinn and Sonenshein see it.

Time. The four change strategies require different time investments. The telling and forcing strategies take little time commitment. In the former strategy, the change agent simply transmits more persuasive information to the change target. In the latter strategy, the change agent simply exercises legitimate or illegitimate authority to institute change. The participating strategy takes more time investment. Establishing a win–win, participative dialogue takes much time and effort. The transforming strategy is also highly time consuming. The change agent has to go through self-reflection and then repeat the process on a regular basis.

Actual Control. The irony of the telling and forcing strategies is that although these approaches have high perceived control, they result in little actual control. Recipients of the telling strategy rarely change deeply rooted behaviors. In the forcing strategy, where perceived control appears extremely high, we damage the relationship with change targets. Consequently, as soon as monitoring ceases, compliance disappears. As we become skilled in the participating strategy, we develop an enormous sense of control in that we can turn most situations into win–win outcomes. In the transforming strategy, we have the ability to reach complete control because we are both the change agent and the target. As we reduce our hypocrisy and increase our commitment, others are free to choose their course of action.

The source for this information is: Four General Strategies for Changing Human Systems by Robert E. Quinn and Scott Sonenshein, page 74 through 79 from the book: from the book Handbook of organization development By Thomas G. Cummings 2008 Sage Publications

I share this because I believe our country needs participatory and transformative leaders in education to truly bring technology into play effectively within schooling.  What do you think we need to move forward to increase learning for each and every student?