Doing what’s BEST

Contribution to ANTSEL online conference 2008 – hosting and facilitation by Cybertext 

I wonder how familiar the feeling is? Sitting with laptop open, deadline approaching, and a commitment made long ago to make a contribution to an online conference. Just a few words related to one of the key questions being asked.Let me also add that I’ve never been to the Northern Territory and don’t pretend to have any appreciation at all of what it might be like to lead a school there. I thought, though, that it may be useful to share some thoughts of mine about the things which seem to sit behind the leadership behaviours of those I see who seem to be doing a great job at the business of leading schools. Now, before we go on, a word about semantics. You’ll notice that my previous sentence contained words like ‘job’ and ‘business.’ I’m hopeful that these few words might serve to prompt the reassurance that while school leadership may encompass processes where performance is measured relative to objective and quantifiable targets, it is also a people business. In our schools, all sorts of people work in partnership to add value to the lives of our future leaders. As we lurch ahead into a paradigm more akin to the internet, with its multifarious ways of approaching the same objective, the strength of our connection to some fundamental human values becomes critical.For a couple of years now, I’ve been lucky enough to speak to a number of groups at conferences and other gatherings. One of the recurrent themes has been based on an acronym and an idea thought up in one of those reflective moments that we all share from time to time. This is the idea.