Future-Focused Leadership: Preparing Schools, Students, and Communities for Tomorrow's Realities

By Gary Marx | Go to book overview

1
The Leader as a
Connected Generalist

Too many of today's organizations are over-
managed and underled
.

Warren Bennis (1998)

We all know the story. With only a hammer and chisel, the carver is intent, masterfully shaping a stone. An onlooker asks, “What are you doing?” Stopping for a moment, the carver eagerly replies, “I'm building a cathedral.” The carver could have said, “I'm chiseling a stone,” “I'm making a gargoyle,” or “I'm carving a stone for the west wall.” This artisan knew the stone had to be masterfully carved, but he also knew it was part of something even more majestic.

At its best, education is majestic, touching every aspect of human endeavor. That pervasiveness means that educators who hope to prepare their schools and their students for the future must be connected to the complex, fast-moving world around them.

Pursuing this noble and never-ending goal will require all the visionary leadership we can muster. Leading the process of developing a constantly evolving vision for education won't be easy, but it's sure to be the most exciting and important thing we could ever do.

Insightful leaders in education are the first to admit that a 20th century system may not be adequate to prepare students for life in the 21st century. Change is tough, but change may be less of an issue than deciding what we

-11-

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