Leadership for leaning means a twin focus on the individual learner and on the learning organisation. The facilitator of learning cannot rely on ‘off the shelf’ training packages as the world is changing too fast for that. They need to be able to tune into individual learning needs and provide the spark of inspiration and the well judged intervention to aid the learning on their own journey of exploration. We have seen how the learning facilitator is both a manager and a leader. The good manager makes sure that the right things are done to make learning programme efficient. The good leader does things right by modelling good practice and inspiring others with their vision. A key outcome of this learning object has been your own vision for learning which is inclusive of all those around you. The first part of the learning object ended by encouraging people who use services and carers to get involved in practice learning as an important and effective way to exercise citizen leadership.
The second part of the learning object began to consider theories of leadership in more detail. First we traced the development of leadership theory through an initial concern with the individual characteristics of ‘great’ leaders through behavioural, situational, transactional and finally transformational approaches. The learning object ended by outlining some critical perspectives on leadership and prompted you to develop your own critical understanding of the concept.
Overall, this learning object has presented a positive view of the potential role for leadership in the renewal of social services in Scotland. Leadership is about participation, openness, empowerment and creativity. It combines these values with a clear focus on delivering better services for people who use services. In this way the emphasis on leadership promises to preserve some important values that brought many of us to social service in the first place but also gives us the clear sense of purpose and direction sometimes lacking in our organisations.