The Case for Utilizing the Invitational Leadership Model
The current climate in the education system indicates a rising need for leadership that will surpass all previous models and theories. Many of the concerns raised include increased standards for accountability issues, the need for effective leadership that will live up to the demands of these progressively difficult times. Other concerns include the need for growth in organizational health, perception of the leader as someone who can create real change, and the creation and development of a positive school culture.
Many researchers are now calling for a more participatory approach to leadership in these difficult times in education. Several challenges (e.g., cost restraint, public accountability, globalization, integration of technology, and measurement of student outcomes) require more participatory forms of leadership than those exhibited in the past. The evidence available suggests that the existing theories of leadership don’t fully reflect or explain the current practices of effective leaders. The hope is that more participation on the part of school leaders will help to improve student outcomes.
Current theories of leadership are not good enough to meet the needs of current day leaders. We therefore find that, as public scrutiny and accountability standards increase, a change in leadership theory is likely warranted. In addition to the above challenges, there is growing demand for today’s schools to become institutions of academic excellence, and also for schools that are effective at serving the needs of all interested stakeholders. There is an increased need for caring school systems that serve the best interests of the institution and its various stakeholders. This implies a more profound and challenging responsibility for leaders to understand the growing concerns of those they serve.
The above challenges and concerns are uniquely answered by the invitational leadership model. Invitational leadership can step in to satisfy the need for a leadership model that consistently and completely addresses both the internal and external elements of an organization. Invitational leaders focus on creating organizations that are people-centered and success-oriented, while at the same time dealing with all the other necessary aspects of the organization.
Invitational leaders model school culture through the thousands of daily interactions by which common standards, relationships, visions, expectations, and definitions of what works were created, framed, supported, and tested. Invitational leadership also provides required guidelines and direction to support the organizational growth and success of the school. Invitational leadership contributes positively to the school, because it cares for and supports the efforts of others. The invitational leadership model will serve as a positive source to assist in the preparation of tomorrow’s school leaders.