The problem I keep coming up with is where do you find the balance between those things? I contrast two administrators I've admired: one understood and believed in some of the best things about how education should and could work but was not widely accepted by teachers as most of the teachers view this person as a tyrant who made decisions based on personal desire than best interests. Indeed, I can see how this raises the question: when does an administrator make a stand that everyone "get on board or get off the ship"? I do believe there are somethings that are in the best interests of students and waiting around for everyone else to accept that and embrace it, isn't always an option. You can't always make everyone happy. But where's the line that can be crossed that makes you a dictator instead of a leader?
The contrasting example did an excellent job of making people feel appreciated, respected and competent. However, status quo was always accepted. There was never a push to be more or do more unless it was necessary (i.e. - mandated from higher up). Occasionally, teacher leaders would step up and move forward with something (and growing teacher leaders was a specialty of this one), but those ideas could be shot down just as easily as fostered if they required any major overhaul to the status quo. Isn't a leader supposed to be inspiring? motivating? encouraging? Developing strong feelings of respect and appreciation are important - especially for teachers, but shouldn't a good leader (like a good friend), always be there to tell you that you could be doing better and encourage you to always be growing to be your best?
From these questions, I've began classifying administrators in my mind as fitting into one of two categories: those who lead ideals, initiatives, budgets and reforms, and those who lead people. I don't think a good leader does either - a good leader does both. There are times where leadership means taking an unpopular stand and holding people accountable. But there has to be an equal measure of time when leaders remember that they have no one to lead but people who have lives and families of their own. Those must be respected as well.
What I know is that no one is perfect, even leaders. As I study the examples of great leadership from my experience with administration to the great leaders from the history classes I teach, I hope to pull the best qualities of each into what I do. I hope to better define what real leadership means as I go.