A Journey Through Technology

Week 7: Why are all five components of leadership necessary for success in leading through change?

on March 4, 2017

This week’s topic is about leadership and the five components of leadership as explained by Michael Fullan in Leading in a Culture of Change (2001). These five components are: moral purpose, understanding change, relationship building, knowledge creation and sharing, and coherence making. (Fullan, 2001, p. 4) But why are all of these components necessary together? Looking at different leaders I have had as I’ve grown up, I would say that all of these components are necessary to ensure that a leader is fair, balanced, and effective. I have had experiences, and know others who have as well, with leaders that are very strong in some areas, for example organization and knowledge, but lack good communication skills and fairness towards those who follow them. I personally have hard time following someone who does not possess of combination of good leadership skills.

According to Concordia University in Portland, Oregon, the five traits of a good educational leader are: self-aware, excellent communication, resourceful, lead by example, and power of teaching and learning. (Five Important Traits of a Good Educational Leader, 2012) An article published with the American Institute of Research also states that “In order to be effective with their colleagues, lead teachers found it necessary to learn a variety of leadership skills while on the job. These skills included: building trust and developing rapport, diagnosing organizational conditions, dealing with processes, managing the work, building the skills and confidence in others.” (Boyd-Dimock & McGree, 1995)  Peter Economy (2014) shares a list of 10 Powerful Habits of Highly Effective Leaders, which includes confidence, communication, supportive, and being responsible. In each of these different explanations of leadership qualities, no one source only lists one component. Fullan states that the five components of leadership act as “checks and balances” as leader fulfill their duty. (Fullan, 2001, p.7)

I teach at an IB, or International Baccalaureate, school. The IB program has what they call the IB Learner Profile, which lists 10 traits that IB learners strive to demonstrate. (http://www.ibo.org/globalassets/publications/recognition/learnerprofile-en.pdf) While this list could also be used as a list of good lead attributes, I think that the Balance component is very applicable to the question this week. IB learners “understand the importance of intellectual, physical and emotional balance to achieve personal well-being for themselves and others.” (IB Learner Profile, 2010) This is something that could easily be applied to any leader, probably in any situation.

As educators, we should not be surprised that leadership requires a combination of qualities, when we are trying to help our students meet a variety of objectives while they are in our classroom. We don’t want our students to be good at only one thing in school, we want them to be balanced and gain a variety of skills and abilities. Therefore, I think that in order to be an effective leader, we should strive to be well balanced in all things that are required of us as leaders in our classrooms and beyond.


Boyd-Dimock, V., & McGree, K. M. (1995). Leading change from the classroom: Teachers as leaders. Retrieved March 3, 2017, from American Institute for Research, http://www.sedl.org/change/issues/issues44.html
Economy, P. (2014, October 17). 10 powerful habits of highly effective leaders. Retrieved March 3, 2017, from Inc., http://www.inc.com/peter-economy/10-powerful-habits-of-highly-effective-leaders.html
Five Important Traits of a Good Educational Leader. (2012, November 3). Retrieved March 3, 2017, from Concordia University, http://education.cu-portland.edu/blog/ed-leadership/five-traits-of-a-good-educational-leader/
Fullan, M. (2001). Leading in a culture of change. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Inc.,U.S. Retrieved from http://egandb.uas.alaska.edu:2081/lib/uasoutheast/reader.action?ppg=17&docID=10842273&tm=1444680173430
IB Learner Profile. (2010). Retrieved March 3, 2017, from http://www.ibo.org/globalassets/publications/recognition/learnerprofile-en.pdf

5 responses to “Week 7: Why are all five components of leadership necessary for success in leading through change?

  1. Natalie says:

    I agree, effective leaders do need to have a balance of the five components of leadership. The qualities from IB learner profile is exactly what we hope to see in our current leadership and for our students. I remember a big complaint was the disrespect of students to staff at school. Honestly, we all complained about these issues but we also didn’t take any action to help solve the problems. With the amount of curriculum we need to cover, we often skip over the personal skills that we just expect students to have when they walk into our classrooms. As a community, we should all strive to work on these characteristics with our students. Students would benefit from these positive experiences and learn lifelong skills.


  2. unicyclepro says:

    I like how you researched and shared other leadership qualities. I have done this in the past as well, but it’s interesting that people assume that educational leadership qualities are similar to business leadership qualities. In my opinion, they are not. The ultimate goals are not even the same. Business is out to make a profit, and will need to make decisions based on this priority. On the other hand, educational leaders need to make sure students are “successful”, what ever that is defined to be. Yes, they both involve finances, but there is a fine line between making correct budget cuts, or investments in business compared to education. Yes, they both have employees, but the clientele is not the same. It’s a disservice to see people make comparisons about good leaders, when they don’t specify what the “business” is. Education and business are separate entities and should be treated as such.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Josie Leach says:

    Great point about needing all five leadership components to be “fair, balanced, and effective.” I agree that the concept of leadership can be a complex model. You have to be mindful of the different roles you have to be as a teacher. You have to allow the students room to make their own mistakes, which can be hard to do at times. I think that Fullan had done a great job with explaining how they built the model. It is easy to read and very relative.



  4. jtschewe says:

    Just like most things in life – balance is the key.


  5. Sarah,

    It is nice to see the leadership guidelines align so well with each other. I think it is important to recognize which qualities we have and how we use them. Finding the IB leadership qualities that align with what you are currently doing has helped you to see those in a way that relates to your current placement. Here is a website that gives examples of how you can achieve every aspect of leadership brought up in Fullan’s book. http://education.cu-portland.edu/blog/ed-leadership/5-school-leadership-qualities-every-teacher-possess/


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