Who is taking responsibility? Becoming an authoritative leader
This chapter tells the story of the author's leadership journey over a twenty-five year period as Head Teacher of a maintained nursery school that developed into an integrated multi-functional children's centre. It offers an account of how and why she developed a passionate belief in systemic, democratic leadership and the challenges encountered trying to implement theory into practice. The chapter explains why she believes it is essential for leaders to become authoritative by taking responsibility for their designated role through purposefully inquiring into their leadership behaviours and actions. It shows how knowledge gained through inquiry can be used to inform and, insofar as possible, shape the unfolding future. Self-perceptions held about learning capacities proved to be a psychological and emotional hurdle in striving to engage everyone in the process of developing practice-based research.