Transformational Leadership During and After the Pandemic

Article | 11.03.2021

The August Wednesdays with Wightman Town Hall reflected upon transformational leadership during and after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Wightman's Regional Director of Architecture, Education Sector Leader, and Recognized Educational Facilities Planning (REFP) expert, George Kacan, facilitated the session and panel discussion. The panel included former educator, superintendent, author, and renowned speaker, Dr. Raymond Golarz and Wightman's Director of Architecture and Accredited Learning Environment Planner (ALEP) expert, Greg Monberg.

A pioneer in implementing site-based, shared decision-making, mentor to Superintendents, and advisor to School Boards, Dr. Golarz is uniquely qualified to help you lead effectively amidst chaos and uncertainty.

During this health crisis, the safety and care of school children and staff are of utmost concern. Dr. Golarz stressed the need to encourage teachers, staff, and board members to work cohesively to create safe and orderly environments for teaching and learning. Stability, clarity, and support must be extended to teachers and staff so that they, in turn, can confidently exude the sense of trust and caring necessary to foster student creativity and learning.

Leading with transparency, showing interest in the thoughts and actions of teachers and staff, and acting with empathy and kindness will help bring about the improvements necessary to realize your shared mission: to ensure that all children can achieve at the highest level. Excitement over change often occurs at the middle of the leadership tree rather than at the top. Treating teachers and staff with the dignity, honor, and respect typically reserved for high-level administrators will motivate them to boost productivity and join together to bring about positive transformation.

A key takeaway is that leaders must learn to let go and entrust others, experienced in assuaging an alarmed community, to employ their best judgment in determining how to bring about desired changes. Dr. Golarz advised building a network of delegates empowered to bring about positive transformation incrementally until established on a district and city-wide scale.

Lastly, Dr. Golarz remarked, "If a pigeon lands on your podium, don't ignore it because no one else will." Detrimental effects on education wrought by the pandemic must be acknowledged and quelled swiftly. Educational leaders employing transformational leadership strategies can readily bring about the changes necessary for student success.

Here is a recording of the session