How to prepare
The LEAD Tool is a framework that begins with reflection on current practices supported by evidence and leads to planning, establishing targets, changing systems, and monitoring progress through data and evidence. Preparing to do this collective work calls leadership teams to closely examine the rubric and situate their current practice and progress within the 10 equitable practices.
We recommend spending no more than an initial single meeting to reflect on and supply evidence on current practices. (It takes more time to establish targets that include data and evidence). You will subsequently go deep into additional high-leverage practices, and your assessments will provide a baseline for your work and a “snapshot” of your collective leadership practice. It will also initiate an ongoing dialogue and learning process that will enable your team to engage more deeply with each practice over time.
Decide the format that works best for your team. Would it be best to spend a couple of hours per practice at a regularly scheduled team meeting? Should a full inservice day be used to work through a few selected practices?
We suggest gathering your team in a meeting room with a computer and large monitor so that you can work through the practices together rather than individually. In addition, teams will need to have school and district plans, data and artifacts, and evidence reflective of your current outcomes.
Remember that collaboration and consensus are key components to your success, and plan ahead to make sure to follow up on actions identified in your LEAD Tool team discussions.
Root causes, goals, strategies, and tactics
After your team identifies items in the rubrics that reflect current practices, you can download a worksheet that captures your responses and can help you sort through the root causes of the status quo and determine goals (desired outcomes), strategies (activities that you will be trying to accomplish) and tactics (how you are going to accomplish your goal) to help start your work toward making your aspirations into reality.
Background for your team
Some of your team members will bring deep experience and understanding of how privilege, power, and oppression operate in school and society. Others will have less background. It is very helpful to use protocols to guide the necessary and often uncomfortable dialogue.
To help your team come to agreement on key terms and concepts, consult our resources section. Each practice has a set of readings that help provide background for that practice. Review the selections and decide which readings might serve as "homework" and a catalyst for deeper and more productive dialogues that can help your team that can help your team get started on the right track.
You can also consult our glossary for additional background on how the LEAD Tool applies its key terms.