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strategy to promote social justice because education can be a great equalizer. In
addition, once a person has an education, it cannot be stolen.
Thus, a knowledgeable leader works to further social justice by creat-
ing high-quality programs for children, principally for children from under
resourced communities in urban areas. The goal is to provide resources to
people who historically have not had a fair chance to succeed academically,
socially, or economically.
Good leaders strive to uphold social justice for all types of people. The eight
leadership qualities in this book apply across the board with all people. How-
ever, furthering social justice typically involves giving a voice to those who are
underrepresented or have no voice in the community.
And this isn’t just for children. Great leaders strive to empower teachers
and upcoming leaders by helping them see their educational work as the socially
responsible actions of a good leader.
Competence is about what you do with your knowledge. It is knowledge put
into actionable behaviors that become a part of your leadership practice.
Competence is related to human potential as well as knowledge. Without
living up to one’s potential and continuously seeking knowledge, a person can-
not be a great leader. This is because part of being a great leader comes from
having enough confidence in one’s own potential and breadth of knowledge to
take action toward a greater goal.
As mentioned under the knowledge leadership quality, a great and knowl-
edgeable leader is always on the cutting edge of his or her field. A great leader
knows the newest approaches to workforce or human development. A great
leader knows what tools are available to help other individuals reach their full
potential. However, great leaders also have the uncanny ability to take all of
these winning qualities one step further—their competence enables them to
translate theory into practice. They are able to push the agenda of doing the
right thing for children forward by actually making things happen.
Personally, I have always valued competence. I believe that a leader must be
at the top of his or her game to further social justice effectively. A leader must
deliver high-quality programs for children and high-quality training for teach-
ers and aspiring leaders. These are the acts of competence that have the power
to effect transformational change for children.
The Leader’s Core: You Are What You Believe 15