I believe that leadership, particularly in the early childhood environment, should have the potential to transform lives and social order. Therefore, besides leaders possessing the right traits to lead others toward realizing common goals, it is important for the same leaders to have specific modes of operation, which will enable them to effectively guide others. As a result, I think that the best theoretical model that best suits my approach to leadership in the early childhood environment is a combination of transformational leadership and principle-centered leadership theories.
I single out transformational leadership and principle-centered leadership models while taking into consideration major trends that can affect my work as an early childhood professional in the contemporary society. As Brownlee, Nailon and Tickle (2010) indicate, there are many trends affecting the effectiveness of delivering the highly needed quality of services in early childhood education. First and foremost, it is important to note that I will be facing a widening and deepening role in society as a leader in the early childhood environment. As a result, it is normal to bear responsibility for making a difference in the lives of my followers, particularly young children. Besides, the contemporary issues in early childhood dictate that I should be an expert in managing change as I guide children from one stage of lifespan development to another.
With all these issues in mind, I will approach leadership in early childhood with a transformational mind. This implies that my role as a leader in the early childhood years will revolve around the imperative need to take the necessary actions in order to ensure that my followers are aware of what is right and important for their own lives and the society at large. Most importantly, my main objective as a leader will entail nurturing motivational maturity in my young followers and ensuring that my personal interests do not come in the way of realizing social change. This is the true spirit of transformational leadership as espoused by James McGregor Burns and Bernard Bass (Brownlee et al., 2010).
Another important issue that will affect my work in the early childhood environment entails working in a multicultural setting. This implies that I will not only face the challenge of dealing with multiple personalities but also a mixture of cultures. In order to succeed in such an environment, I believe that my work should involve guiding my followers through the process of transforming from one cultural predisposition to another. What this means is that a good mixture of cultures will enable my young followers to appreciate other cultures in the world. Besides, with increased globalization in the contemporary societies, one is never sure of working in one place, but the chances of working anywhere in the world are very possible. Therefore, in order to work efficiently in any part of the world, it is important for my young followers to learn about different cultures and languages.
On the other hand, Carr, Johnson and Corkwell (2009) indicate that leadership involves people improvement. Accordingly, I believe that people should be given the opportunity to improve their personal qualities, innovative skills and undergo continuous improvement in order to contribute effectively to social change. Therefore, I understand that the quality of services offered will ultimately determine the potential of my followers in attaining different social and professional goals. Maintaining the desirable quality of services in early childhood education is a major challenge to many professionals considering that resources are a limiting factor.
However, my approach toward realizing the required quality of services will be guided by the theory of principle-centered leadership. As Carr et al. (2009) note, principle-centered leaders set the pace for their followers to succeed by creating an enabling environment. Therefore, I believe that principle-centered leadership is the best approach toward ensuring that my young followers attain the required standard of education that will shape their future careers and ultimately enable them to contribute positively to social change. The most important skills and attributes that I will value the most in this case include integrity, responsibility and initiative, creative cooperation, and mutual understanding. With these attributes in hand coupled with the principles of transformational leadership, I believe that I can perform excellently in administering early childhood education for the benefit of the entire society.