The tenets of distributed leadership

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The 6E conceptual model of distributed leadership consists of six underpinning tenets.

  • Tenet 1: Engage with—distributed leadership gains carriage through an activity or series of activities that engage a broad range of leaders in positions of institutional authority (termed formal leaders), employees respected for their leadership but not in positions of institutional authority (termed informal leaders), experts in learning and teaching, and formal and informal leaders and experts from various functions, disciplines, groups and levels across the institution who contribute to learning and teaching.
  • Tenet 2: Enable through—the contextual and cultural dimension of respect for and trust in individual contributions to effect change through the nurturing of collaborative relationships.
  • Tenet 3: Enact via—the importance of a holistic process in which processes, support and systems are designed to encourage the involvement of people.
  • Tenet 4: Encourage with—the plethora of activities required to raise awareness and scaffold learning about a distributed leadership approach through professional development, mentoring, facilitation of networks, communities of practice, time, space and finance for collaboration, and recognition of, and reward for, contribution.
  • Tenet 5: Evaluate by—a suitable process needs to be designed to provide evidence of increased engagement in learning and teaching, collaboration, and growth in leadership capacity.
  • Tenet 6: Emergent through—distributed leadership engages people in a sustainable ongoing process through cycles of action research built on a participative action research methodology.