Education Observatory

Research in Education at the University of Wolverhampton

Leading with Purpose, Vision and Values

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Fullan (2019) and Sinek (2010) remind us of the importance of purposeful leadership, the importance of making our ‘why’ clear, and to lead with clarity and vision. Dr Matt Silver, in his keynote at our Inclusion and Diversity in Leadership conference, discussed the importance of purpose and vision and how it needs to align with our values. He asked the important questions of, how do the vision and policies you implement in your organisation live your values, and what are your values? He made the important point that leaders need to be self-aware and start with their own journey to enable them to develop a clear understanding of their values, purpose and drive (Pink, 2018). Matt shared his own leadership and life journey with delegates, reflecting on how there were key moments in his life and career journey that acted as reminders of the importance of having clarity around your purpose, values and vision. He also outlined how a simple act of positivity can have a wonderful effect on a learner’s life and outcomes. 

Tracy Cockayne (NPQH) reflected on how her engagement with her own self-development helped her to become a strong and inclusive leader to support others. She felt that effective CPD, in the form of an NPQ, helped her to lead her team with clarity and enabled her to be an evidence-informed leader, in line with Vare et al’s (2021) outline of the key principles of effective CPD. Tim Mullen-Furness (NPQH) shared how his research-informed approach made a profound difference on learners’ outcomes, and he discussed how he is also extending his learning journey to complete his PHD later on this year. Ryan Mullings (NPQH) explored how his leadership journey supported the development of literacy, and how he, at a very early stage of his career, was aspirational and successfully completed his NPQH. 

The second day of the conference highlighted the importance of vision, purpose, and values. The leadership journeys shared also reflected on how leaders continued to strive to be the best they can be by driving their own learning journeys and how leaders continued to ensure that they are research and evidence informed, to ensure that they can make decisions to do what is right by all and to place the learner at the heart of every decision.

Reference List: 

Fullan, M. (2019), Nuance: Why Some Leaders Succeed and Others Fail, UK: Corwin.

Pink, D. (2018), Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, UK: Canongate Books.

Sinek, S. (2010), Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action. UK: Portfolio

Vare, P., Dillon, J., Oberholzer, L. and Butler, C. (2021), UCET Discussion Paper: Continued Professional Development, UCET Working Group, January 2021, UCET.

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