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Educational leaders have been defined as teacher leaders, department leaders, school leaders, subject area leaders, district leaders, etc. The common element among this list of leaders is that their sphere of influence has always been limited to their school community or district. Very few of these leaders ever had an opportunity to expand their influence. Over the last few years this has changed with the use of social media by educators from around the world.

Today educational leaders can be global leaders by promoting, engaging in and displaying leadership outside of their current sphere of influence. As education and communication evolve it is essential that all levels of educational leaders become global.

Here are 5 reasons why global leadership is necessary for today’s educational leaders:

1. Collaboration – Just as the sphere of influence was limited in the past for leaders so was their ability to collaborate. That barrier no longer exists. Teacher leaders can now collaborate on a science experiment being conducted between classrooms a continent away. School leaders can collaborate on recruitment resources in different states. District leaders can collaborate on engaging community members in their district schools even though they are 3 time zones apart. Collaboration has never been more available or easier among leaders as it is today, and leaders must learn to be excellent collaborators. Using social media provides many opportunities to collaborate and improves this vital leadership skill.
2. Support – Leadership can be lonely. Engaging in global leadership allows a leader at any level to develop a support network of colleagues to bounce ideas off of, assist when times are difficult, and give/get advice when needed. Social media for global leaders makes leadership less isolated and more engaging.
3. Exposure – Often outstanding leaders never get an opportunity to share their ideas with others outside their community. Using social media exposes others to the global leader’s ideas. As a result ideas and concepts being discussed by the global leader can be debated and/or attempted elsewhere which provides the leader with the global exposure he/she would never have experienced in a traditional leadership experience.
4. Community – Global leadership builds community. In the social media realm this is known as a Professional Learning Network (PLN) but expands beyond the PLN when those in your community discuss your leadership with those outside it. The community that global leadership develops is ever expanding and continually provides opportunity for interaction, collaboration, support and exposure.
5. Future – One sign of a good leader is someone who helps others become leaders. Becoming a global leader provides many opportunities to help future leaders develop and find their place in this new leadership world. Mentoring up and coming leaders becomes easier as access to the global and future leaders is as easy as a tweet or text message. This opportunity for contact through social media assures future leaders will have the access to the current global leaders which I hope will empower more educators to become leaders in this connected world.

Global educational leaders leadership are all around us and the group is growing every day. Find your place in this expanding environment so others can learn from your expertise and you can learn from them.

Join #satchat on Saturday, October 13, 2012 @ 7:30am EST and PST to discuss Global Leadership. Our East Coast chat will be live from the Edscape Conference. Join the global conversation.

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