A mashup of all things educational! From technology and social media to leadership and international education, this is where I will be reflecting and applying everything thing I learn from the web and my PLN. Join me on the adventure and add your opinion to the mix!

14 October 2011

1 What Makes a 21st Century Leader?

I asked and you delivered! About a week ago I worked on a project with my Headmistress to help her create a presentation for an upcoming IB conference.  She was asked to speak to the Heads Council on leadership and she wanted to know how the IB Learner Profile fit with leadership in the 21st Century.  So, who better to ask than the Twitterverse to find out if the qualities of the profile really reflected the components of successful leadership in the 21st century?

The results are fascinating! First, I want to thank everyone from my PLN who answered the survey and retweeted it so that we could get a more extensive picture of what leadership in the 21st century looks like around the world.  While we could always get more answers, we did get a fair amount and we were able to make some interesting conclusions.

Click below to read more!
Secondly, I want to thank all of you who mentioned how difficult it was to try and rank the qualities that you were given in the survey.  Don't get me wrong, I am perfectly aware that all of the attributes of the learner profile are needed to create a balanced and strong leader in the 21st century.  However, when pushed, it was interested to see that there are in fact a few attributes that are consistently ranked higher or lower across all of the respondents.

Here are three charts and graphs that we created to help us draw some conclusions (based on the results as of last week which may be different as the survey continues to be live) and create some continuing questions:

From this you can see the basic spread of the data regarding gender, position and location.  Overall there was a wide spread in the rankings but there was a clear majority of people that ranked Communicator as the number one quality that a 21st century leader needs to have and Balanced as a quality that is less necessary for a leader to demonstrate.  Does this fit with what you expected?  Knowing what you do about leadership today does it make sense that a leader should be a strong communicator?

While there is no striking difference between females and males in their ranking of the attributes of the learner profile, there was one major difference worth noting.  Women scored Open Minded as a more important characteristic for leadership than men.  In reverse, men found Risk Taker to be a more important attribute than women in terms of characteristics for a leader.  Does this follow with what your experience is when working with female and male leaders?  How could we use this to help us shape our leadership with our staff?

There is considerable consistency across the continents regarding which attributes are considered important for a leader.  It was noted that the Eastern hemisphere countries seemed to value Caring slightly less than the other continents while they seemed to value Thinking as an attribute more than the rest.  European respondents seemed less concerned than the rest of the continents with including risk-taking as part of the most important characteristics of a leader.  While all of the continents scored Communicator as one of the most important attributes for a leader, Asian and European countries seemed to place a higher level of emphasis on this characteristic for leadership.  North and South America tended to have the most balanced spread of the attributes of the learner profile with no real discernable end point while the remaining continents had a more distinctive bell shaped curve in their assignment of the importance of the characteristics needed for a leader.  Does this follow with what your experience is when working with colleagues from various countries?  How can a leader use this information to shape and form their leadership approach in the 21st century?

Probably the most interesting part of the survey was reading the comments of everyone who responded.  While it is IMPOSSIBLE to represent all of the amazing thoughts and opinions that were given here I strongly encourage you to view the results spreadsheet and read the columns asking for opinions.  The twitterverse definitely has opinions on leadership!  I did take the results of the most important characteristic column and make a Wordle out of it to see if there were any trends in the commentaries that were given.  Here's the result:

I'm planning on printing this off and placing it on my wall as a reminder of what is important for me in my role.  What stands out the most for you?  How could you use this information to inform and shape your leadership?

Thanks again to everyone for their responses.  I look forward to reading your comments about our findings!

Jessica :)

Photo Source:  lumaxart


Cheryl Oakes said...

Jessica, I just read your comment from August at TechLearning on the blog about picture posts. Our picture posts were just shipped this week. We will be posting more information about them soon. Some students are building the posts, so in January we will get them operational. I really like this article that demonstrates your PLN and their voices. I will be sharing this.
Nice to meet you online.


Post a Comment

Blog Archive