Leadership is both a privilege and a responsibility. It takes a certain type of person to lead, especially in the field of educational technology. I just read a post by Tony Bates entitled “So you want to be an educational technologist…” and one thing that he said really resonated with me about what it is we do:
“In some ways you need to be a super-hero, with expertise in pedagogy, technology, project management and, above all, in inter-personal communication, as 90% of your job is persuading people to do things differently.”
I mean, if a super-hero isn’t a leader, who is? But then again, who can live up to the ideals of being a super-hero? Certainly not me! However, he’s absolutely right that to do what we do well means that you have to have above-average knowledge of all of those things, as well as andragogy and the ability to learn and adapt on the fly.
I don’t normally consider myself a leader. I prefer to think of myself as an “organizer.” I organize groups of people together to make things happen. I organize groups of knowledge together to share with others. But when I read his description, I can’t help deny that I must be a leader according to his description. At the same time, I think that the most important part of his description is the ability to persuade people to do things differently. To be a really efficient change agent, you need to know who your other agents are and then be able to organize them to maximize efficacy. So you see, I still consider myself an organizer more than a leader.
Leaders are only as good as those they follow, though. I have been blessed to have awesome leaders guide me on my journey. As I grow in my role, I look for the following qualities in those I follow:
- Commitment to the role
- Continual learner
- Energy and passion for edtech
- Sharing knowledge with others