Effective Leadership in Practice

Leaders play an essential role in influencing and supporting positive change. Effective leaders are flexible in responding to emerging situations, but they also have a vast capacity to envision opportunity. Coalitions that collectively work together toward common goals need leaders who foster collaboration and create enclaves dedicated to supporting positive change.

Leading is not often effortless, easy, and stress free. Leaders may find themselves in challenging situations in which they encounter new challenges, unusual twists on common scenarios, or the altogether unexpected. At times, challenging situations may be emotionally and ethically draining, and/or they may present leaders with questions about the most effective way to proceed. Leadership theory and evidence-based behaviors are useful frameworks that influence change in a strategic way that is likely to leverage desired outcomes.

In this Discussion, you will explore a scenario that describes an early childhood setting facing multiple challenges. A new director has just been hired and is filled with high expectations to support the center in becoming “an engaging, warm, and safe learning space for young children.” Based on evidence from your personal/professional experience and the literature presented in the Learning Resources, your role is to advise the new director about specific leadership strategies she can use to influence positive change within Valley Hill.

To prepare:

  • Review the case study scenario, “Leadership Problems at Valley Hill,” located in this module’s Learning Resources.
  • Reflect on the knowledge and skills you have gained in the Learning Resources regarding leadership theory and evidence-based behaviors that support positive change.
  • Identify theories and evidence-based strategies that you feel would be most relevant to the scenario presented. As you reflect on these, also consider their congruence with your own values and beliefs.
  • Consider how you might use the leadership theories and/or evidence-based behaviors to approach the identified challenge.

By Day 5 of Week 1

Post a response to the situation presented in the Valley Hill case study. In your response, present an analysis that addresses the following:

  • The leader’s role in striving to create an open, supportive, and challenging culture in the workplace at Valley Hill or any early childhood workplace
  • How specific leadership theories and/or evidence-based behaviors could contribute to the effectiveness of this leader and improve the current culture and practices at Valley Hill
  • A personal reflection of your own leadership strengths and areas for opportunity, and how these might promote or inhibit successful resolution of the presented scenario
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