Leadership 4 Learning - #ASK - WHY ASK

Plans are only as good as the action they inspire. Thus they have to be clear, specific, communicable, “sticky,” linked to action, and above all internalised by the vast majority of people. The test is whether people use the language of the plan as they do the work.
— Michael Fullan (2011)

So how do we achieve that?

Change leaders who ask - grow great cultures in a school. Encouraging contribution and taking the time to ask leads to clarification and creates such levels of ownership in your teams that you will no longer need to wave the accountability stick at people to get action. Being a leader who asks energises your team to action, and you will get accelerated growth in your change process.

Interestingly, I have seen - and experienced - many change processes in schools that have not started with Ask. What I see is a change project that is stagnated and stuck. Change is slow if at all and it is happening in pockets across the school at best.

Essentially the effective change leader activates, enables, and mobilises human and moral purpose and the skills to enact them.
— Michael Fullan (2011)

To leverage your change process up and into the clarity, coherence and ownership zone, the change initiative needs to start with ask. A method of collaboration and creativity that invites contributions from the team, contributions that build the change you are seeking and identifying what it can be at its best. With that clarity, you will be able to see what will be the best way to get there. In so many cases this "ready" step of the Ready-fire-aim component of a good change process is skimmed over - if engaged with at all, and the change project lacks legs and fails in the early stages of implementation.

Asking leads to ownership of the change process by all and that ownership will accelerate your change initiative.
Being a leader who asks during the ready stage of - ready - fire - aim - leadership aspect of change leadership grows your leadership capability and you begin to see change happen, and you feel like you are getting some traction (Fullan, 2011).

In short, leaders who ask increase intrinsic motivation and identity. Increased motivation and identity results in collective ownership and commitment to keep going. Leaders who generate new energy within the group to reach new heights which are achievable because individuals, the group, and its leaders collectively want more, and know that it can be had.

Leaders who ask activate, enable and mobilise human and moral purpose; therefore things get done, and change happens.

How do you start your change initiatives? Is it a case of telling and hoping for the best? Or do you build them as a team, which is what happens when you are a leader who asks?

Go Well....



Fullan, M. (2011). Change Leader. Wiley. Kindle Edition. 

Hargreaves, A. (2012).  Professional Capital:  Transforming Teaching in Every School. Teachers College Press. Kindle Edition.

Herold, D., & Fedor, D. (2008). Change the way you lead change. Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press.

Pink, D. (2009). Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us. New York: Riverhead Books.

Wagner, T. et al. (2006). Change Leadership: A Practical Guide to Transforming Our Schools. Wiley. Kindle Edition.



Fullan, M. (2011). Change Leader: learning to do what matters most. Wiley. Kindle Edition. 


Wagner, T. et al. (2006). Change Leadership: A Practical Guide to Transforming Our Schools. Wiley. Ca

The power of ask instead of tell. - To Create Change, Leadership Is More Important Than Authority - Greg Satell