15 August | Leading as Game Changers

Lead: Leading as Game Changers

We need to think and act so that we can stop at least some of what we're currently doing so that we have the time to do the important work well.


a School for tomorrow's

Community Membership

Come together in our global community of innovative, like-minded people and help create the future of education.

Join Community

We need to think and act so that we can stop at least some of what we're currently doing so that we have the time to do the important work well. We have to organise our time differently. We have to organise our budgets differently. We need to reinvent the actual mechanics of what it is that we're doing on a practical basis to support the professional growth, learning and development that will make a difference with student outcomes. Otherwise, we'll still be talking in 30 years about the need without ever creating the solutions. 

Game Changers in education are people who can bring about solutions that reinvent the vision, intent, means, and outcomes of schooling. They're not just people who talk the talk; they walk it as well. They’re people who can help a school community to reconstruct its notion of how it spends a day, how it spends a week, how it spends a year, to get done the things that are really important. 

They engage parents and families and alumni in ongoing conversations about how these solutions might work and why they are necessary, even if the tenor of some of these conversations might be somewhat challenging. They also model solutions (and readily accept suggested improvements to them) for their community members, especially their students and teachers, in everything they do so that what begins as alien or distantly possible becomes tangible in the lived example of leaders who know the way, go the way and show the way.

Game-changing innovation that really transforms education in this way isn't an overnight thing. It's patient work. You've got to have done your homework. You've got to have prepared the way. You've got to have all the ducks lined up. You've got to have the sponsors and partners in place. You've got to have the research in place from the start and build the body of evidence as you go. And have to have the vision and the fortitude to get you there to start with. 

When we look at the culture of a school that understands its way forward, one of the starting points is that the members of its community of inquiry and practice understand that not all answers are knowable immediately, that they can't manipulate all of the outcomes, and that they can't dictate everything to the future. 

This is where the humility and willpower that Collins talks of come into it. They know that they have to be deliberate and intentional about what they want to happen. They know that they need to master the brief and pay attention to detail. At the same time, they recognise that they also need to to let go of the need to command and control. 

Instead, Game Changers seek to equip, empower and enable each other. They teach and lead and learn together. They surrender positional power in favour of earned authority. They proceed with a destination in mind but understand that it's what is learned on the journey that matters most about taking a risk, seizing an opportunity and making some mistakes along the way, so long as they learn from the process how to improve on the next stage and they can reach their goals in good time.

What are you changing about your own game as a leader in schools?

Dr Phil Cummins is the Managing Partner of a School for tomorrow, Associate Professor of Education & Enterprise at Alphacrucis University College, Managing Director at CIRCLE – The Centre for Innovation, Research, Creativity & Leadership in Education, and Head of Education at Voyage.

Like what you’ve read?

Let’s keep the conversation going.