Think Global, Act Local: Transforming Local Leadership for Global Awareness

Your Name and Title:
       Dr. Patrick Faverty, lecturer, educational leadership, educational technology

                                        Apple Distinguished Educator

School:            Gevirtz Graduate School of Education,  UC Santa Barbara

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Target Audience:                         School and district leaders

Short Session Description (one line):


Think Global, Act Local: Transforming Local Leadership for Global Awareness 

Full Session Description (as long as you would like):

Global Awareness has been acknowledged by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills as a 21st century interdisciplinary theme to understand and address global issues, learn from and work collaboratively with individuals representing diverse cultures, religions and lifestyles in a spirit of mutual respect and open dialogue in personal, work and community contexts, and, understand other nations and cultures, including the use of non-English languages.

Local educational leaders who wish to connect to this greater perspective of global awareness, would be well served by considering the tenets of transformational leadership. The primary function of the session will be to engage the participants in a collective dialogue to frame these transformational issues utilizing a global perspective.

 Clearly the leader who commands compelling causes has an extraordinary potential influence over followers.

James MacGregor Burns, The History of Transformational Leadership


 From Wikipedia: Transformational leadership enhances the motivation, morale and performance of followers through a variety of mechanisms. These include connecting the follower's sense of identity and self to the mission and the collective identity of the organization; being a role model for followers that inspires them; challenging followers to take greater ownership for their work, and understanding the strengths and weaknesses of followers, so the leader can align followers with tasks that optimize their performance.

Leadership expert and presidential biographer, James MacGregor Burns, initially introduced the concept of transformational leadership.  According to Burns, transformational leadership can be seen when "leaders and followers make each other to advance to a higher level of moral and motivation." Through the strength of their vision and personality, transformational leaders are able to inspire followers to change expectations, perceptions and motivations to work towards common goals.

Later, researcher Bernard M. Bass expanded upon Burns original ideas to develop what is today referred to as Bass’ Transformational Leadership Theory. According to Bass, transformational leadership can be defined based on the impact that it has on followers. Transformational leaders, Bass suggested, garner trust, respect and admiration from their followers.

The Components of Transformational Leadership    Bass also suggested that there were four different components of transformational leadership.

  1. Intellectual Stimulation – Transformational leaders not only challenge the status quo; they also encourage creativity among followers. The leader encourages followers to explore new ways of doing things and new opportunities to learn.
  2. Individualized Consideration – Transformational leadership also involves offering support and encouragement to individual followers. In order to foster supportive relationships, transformational leaders keep lines of communication open so that followers feel free to share ideas and so that leaders can offer direct recognition of each followers unique contributions.
  3. Inspirational Motivation – Transformational leaders have a clear vision that they are able to articulate to followers. These leaders are also able to help followers experience the same passion and motivation to fulfill these goals.
  4. Idealized Influence – The transformational leader serves as a role model for followers. Because followers trust and respect the leader, they emulate this individual and internalize his or her ideals.



1 Burns, J.M. (1978). Leadership. N.Y: Harper and Raw.

2 Bass,B. M,(1985). Leadership and Performance. N. Y,: Free Press.

3 Riggio, R.E. (2009, March 24). Are you a transformational leader. Psychology Today. Found online at

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Please allow me to further outline what this discussion will be about.  Transformational leadership is primarily linked to personal transformation as a leader.  As educational leaders it is our task and primary responsibility to prepare our students for their future.  Increasingly our students' future is attached to global issues.  It stands to reason therefore that true transformational change as a leader warrants consideration of how each of us develop our personal awareness and connection to key global issues.

This discussion will include further consideration of the personal transformational process to the end goal of transforming our schools/districts/agencies forward, increasing our global awareness for all involved.


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