By Jessica Quijano, NJSEA Vice President, The College of New Jersey

Leadership is typically thought of as a role in which a bold, wise and amiable person takes initiatives to lead a group of individuals, but that is the generalization of the leadership role that can obstruct the potential for emerging leaders. Rather than embracing everyone’s individual story, the concern becomes how to fit into a predetermined mold. The problem is that there is no one type of leader.

Cindy Atlee and The Storybranding Group ( state that there are twelve archetypes of leaders. Dr. Carol S. Pearson created the archetypes, and The Storybranding Group adopted them to focus on the differences in how people think and act. It highlights the concept that someone’s identity is a symbol of his or her individual strengths, values, passions, and purposes.

Educators are leaders by nature, and they are models of leadership for their students in the classroom or on a local, state or national level. They are the advocates for their students as they seek to bring to fruition the potential all students hold.

When it comes to classifying leaders, particularly those new leaders in a school setting, such as preservice educators, there exist four domains, each containing different archetypes with which a leader could identify. Educational leaders may connect strongly with a certain archetype or perhaps two or three. The intersections of these archetypes, the uniqueness of our identities, and the collaboration with other educational and leadership styles allow leaders to reach their potential.

Leaders who make things work

Caregiver: Caregiver educators advocate for all students they encounter. They respond to a student’s needs and aim to improve quality of life for the student. The Caregiver values compassion, dedication, generosity and helpfulness.

Ruler: Ruler educators are peacemakers who make decisions and use their influence wisely. They have the ability to defuse complex situations, and they value responsibility, competence, leadership, savvy and stewardship.

Creator: Creator educators are dreamers. They generate ideas for improving current circumstances, such as curriculum or pedagogy, with authenticity. They value imagination, expression, invention and innovation.

Leaders who get results

Hero: Hero educators are achievers who create goals and missions that they are determined to complete. Any challenge or obstacle can and will be overcome. Heroes thrive on the idea of makings a difference in his or her school community, and they value determination, courage, discipline and energy.

Revolutionary: Revolutionary educators are challengers by nature. They view school, state, and national policies as places for reform. Revolutionaries challenge the status quo—traditional practices that they do not believe benefit students. They value radical thinking, risk, rebelliousness and edginess.

Magician: Magician educators are catalysts in their schools and communities. They effectively transform the school climate while encouraging students to realize their visions and dreams. Magicians see all possibilities, especially the situations in which everyone can benefit. They value vision, inspiration, intention and synchronicity.

Educators are leaders by nature, and they are models of leadership for their students in the classroom or on a local, state or national level.

Leaders who build communities

Jester: Jester educators are entertainers, and they believe that learning should be lighthearted and fun, which could help alleviate some baggage students may bring into the classroom. They are clever and witty and model being present in the moment. Jesters value joy, humor, playfulness and resourcefulness.

Everyperson: Everyperson educators are realists who band together as a community. They acknowledge differences and build a community through camaraderie and support. They place a premium on students having their voices heard in the larger community.  Everyperson educators value empathy, unity, fairness, and dignity.

Lover: Lover educators are connectors as they share their passions with all whom they encounter, committing themselves to enhancing the quality of life for students and the community. They appreciate the individual and foster relationships that allow each recipient to flourish. The Lover educator values appreciation, passion, commitment and connection.

Leaders who learn and grow

Innocent: Innocent educators preserve what is right. They are optimistic that what is right will be achieved by carrying out ideals and values that benefit students. These educators take what is given to them, observe, analyze and renew the traditional ideas of being an educator. They value belief, hope, simplicity and renewal.

Explorer: Explorer educators experience new adventures and encourage new initiatives. They push for continual growth of the individual, the class as a whole, and themselves as educators by embracing new perspectives and utilizing new paths and techniques. The Explorer values discovery, freedom, individuality and integrity.

Sage: Sage educators are philosophers and investigators. They think through materials, circumstances, and daily occurrences to find insights and answers. Sages are curious to figure out why students behave in certain ways, and, without straying far from truth and reality, they conceive their own actions and methods. They value truth, clarity, knowledge and curiosity.

How do you lead?

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