A portrait of leadership in education
Publish Date: Saturday, 2 December 2006

Smith, J.

Publication: Journal article - New Zealand Journal of Adult Learning, 34 (1), 69-129.

As an emergent leader in educational practices in the field of massage therapy it has been my grandfather’s leadership role modelling that I look to. His influence has been infused into my many roles as a learner, teacher, innovator, programme developer and implementer in the tertiary education sector. It is his influence, support and sound leadership practices that impel me forward to write about my grandfather’s qualities in leadership. I play a leadership role in my class, my department, my profession, my environment, and to myself. But how do I lead? What is important in leadership? What is my own model of leadership? And what can we learn by viewing the biography of a leader?

This paper portrays part of my journey towards answering these questions. By studying Eric Clark - a real life leader, a pioneer in adult education, and a leader that I know well and admire - a portrait of leadership is painted. Aspects of his leadership style are relevant to adult education today, and form the foundation for a model of leadership that illuminates leadership within relationships, the function of fluidity and the vitality of context.