CTQ Innovative Leadership

Get-to-Know You Prompts in Innovative Leadership Lab


Welcome to the Innovative Leadership Lab! I'm so glad you are here and looking forward to learning and growing through meaningful dialogue and exchange with you in this community. Are you ready to get started? Take a few moments to share the following information about yourself with the community:

  • Background -- Your name; Where you live and work; Your school, your role, and how long you've been in education
  • CTQ Community -- What is your CTQ story? Tell us about your connection to this community!
  • Innovative Leadership -- What would you like to gain from participation in this particular community?

Thank you for joining the Innovative Leadership Community. Welcome!


Did you know that you belong here? Did you know that your presence in this community is needed? Community expert Peter Block emphasizes the need for creating an authentic sense of belonging in community spaces. By developing deeper connections to others in this community, your experience in the Innovative Leadership Lab will be rich and meaningful. Are you willing to share? Let's start with two questions:

  1. Describe a time when you felt special.
  2. What is your favorite thing to do on an unexpected day off from school?

Please take a moment to comment on one another's posts. Share your thoughts and similar experiences with each other and let's melt the virtual walls of this digital space!

Resource on good questions for building community:

Potential Prompts on Leadership - after initial get to know you prompts...

Prompt #1

Critical Leadership Skills

Leadership expert John Adairsays that the public is more aware than ever before of the need for good leadership. With more than 24,000 titles on leadership now available and an industry estimated over $50 billion a year, better leaders are not being produced. Adair says, "The task of a leader is not to put greatness into people, but to draw it out, because the greatness is there already."

What leadership skills are necessary to draw out the greatness in others? Think about a time when someone drew greatness from you. Think about what that person did. What was the most critical leadership skill in drawing you out? Take this poll and then let's chat about it.

Which critical leadership skill did you choose and why? Tell us your great leader story. Which critical skills were missing from this list? Does leadership differ from teacher leadership?

For more information about where I found the list of leadership skills for my poll, read the research summary, Critical Leadership Skills - Key Traits That Can Make or Break Today's Leaders, by Ken Blanchard Companies.

Prompt #2

something about the current leadership project/work going on with the community members right now -- still thinking about how to put together a post on this.

Prompt #3

Dreaming, Imagining, Envisioning...

I want to ask about your vision of the future.
Imagine that, like Rip Van Winkle, your closest teaching colleague falls asleep and wakes up in five years. He or she reads in a popular education magazine powerful stories of how CTQ's Innovative Leadership Community has grown in strength over the years. Community growth has been explosive. Teachers involved in this community are tackling unprecedented challenges, leaning on the community for just-in-time feedback, advice, and support. Your colleague finds YOUR name in a dozen of the articles about innovative teacher leadership in the magazine! You are thrilled to be part of a movement that is making such an important difference in education and decide to write your colleague a brief letter to explain what he/she has missed.

Include the following in your letter:

What do you imagine the three most significant articles (with YOUR name) are about?
  • What part do you play in these stories?
  • What was one way the Innovative Leadership virtual community supported you in meeting your leadership challenges at home?

Prompt #4
The Great Communicator

Over and over we hear it. Without good communication skills, effective leadership may not be possible. Unfortunately, we do not spend the time we need studying communication and honing these intricate skills. Consider the following very important communication skills of innovative leaders. Ask yourself how you accomplish each task. Please take a moment to share an example of how you have found success with the following tasks. Don't hesitate to share which tasks you find most challenging! If we each share our best strategies, the advice/idea we need to tackle our greatest challenge might right here! If you can provide examples, you might just make someone else's day!

Conveying Vision, goals and objectives
How do you best communicate the big picture?

Building Relationships
What communication strategies help you build trust among others?

Giving Feedback
Describe how you manage providing feedback to others?

Recognizing Others
How do you keep people motivated?

Active Listening
Some leaders are criticized for interrupting and imposing their viewpoints on others. How do you avoid this?

More Prompt Ideas:

What do you consider indicators that you are doing an excellent job?

Thinking back on your year, please share a high point when ....

What motivates you to do the work you are now doing?

What would represent a "breakthrough achievement" next year that you would love to help make possible?

Quiet Please!

Let's consider some of the typical activities of teacher leaders.

They build relationships.
They provide feedback to others.
They keep others motivated.
They convey a vision and guide others toward shared goals.

It sounds like teacher leaders do a lot of talking. Right? Certainly these activities are crucial to a teacher's effectiveness as a leader. Yet, one leader activity is easy to overlook. Listening.

Consider the simple act of listening. Describe a time where you (or another teacher leader) demonstrated the extraordinary impact listening had in a particular situation. Why is active listening such an important skill for a leader? Why is it hard to listen? How do we go about improving our listening habits?