The first of five Red Deer Public Aspiring Leaders sessions throughout the school year took place on Oct. 19 and saw about 50 participants from a range of schools and in a variety of roles.

Focusing on Daniel Goleman’s Six Leadership Styles, which include commanding, visionary, affiliative, democratic, pacesetting and coaching, a panel of five leaders laid the foundation for discussion and allowed attendees to engage in an understanding of the concepts by giving examples of situations they have used each leadership style in. The panel was made up of five Division leaders including Lori Irvine, Principal at École Oriole Park; Lisa Spicer, Principal at Westpark Elementary; Cam Pizzey, Principal at Don Campbell; Deputy Superintendent Dan Lower; and Vice Principal at Joseph Welsh and Division Wellness Coordinator, Sean Grainger.

“Great leaders reflect on why and the way that they are leading,” said Corrine Thorsteinson, Associate Superintendent of People Services. “Successful leaders are clear about their preferred leadership style, and committed to becoming more agile in how they lead in various situations and scenarios. This session allowed us to hear examples of different leadership styles and gain a better understanding 

of how we each like to lead and be led.”

Following presentations from the panel, attendees were invited to take part in table discussions to help apply their learning to various leadership scenarios, and to reflect on the leadership styles that feel most comfortable in their practice. Participants also had a chance to consider how they can continue to grow in those styles that feel like stretches.

“It was a great way for Red Deer Public employees to connect and share leadership stories of practice with one another,” said Corrine.

More Aspiring Leaders sessions will take place throughout the rest of the school year.

“We encourage staff, who haven’t already registered, to consider signing up for any of our sessions through the remainder of this school year,” said Corrine. “These sessions are a perfect opportunity for any Red Deer Public employee who wants to explore whether a formal leadership position is right for them; wants to build or enhance their leadership toolkit; wants to lead where they are at; or wants an opportunity to learn from and engage with other colleagues interested in leadership.”