Leadership that lacks inspiration is likely to fail because people are looking for more in their leaders than simply organisational competence. To tick all the right boxes to prove we are doing a job well is not in practice a sign that a job is being done well. It's only a sign that it is being managed well, but there is a big difference between management and leadership.
So when Sir Michael Wilshaw, the head of Ofsted says there is an 'urgent need for good leaders in our schools, he is not wrong but he is short on the full truth of what makes an inspirational leader.
I agree that if we want to discover great people to lead our schools then we should pay the right money in order to attract the best candidates but this should not be the only motivator for attracting people to important roles. People need more than simply cash to commit: they need a fuller grasp of what it means to live and work vocationally, since this is the route to discovering inspirational leadership.
Living vocationally is about creating a culture that allows individuals to flourish and to feel the contribution they bring is adding value to the community. The challenge is that as communities crumble and the sense of togetherness is lost it leads to a more individualistic way of living which means we are less likely to live sacrificially for the whole because the whole is no longer clear to see. In such a society we are likely to take a view of success in terms of what we accumulate for ourselves as equal to or above what we give to the community and this, in part, has got to be one of the challenges society faces.
Great leaders are not created on the basis of pay scales - they are rather released into environments where their tenacity for change and inspiration to see a better future can be out worked in contexts and environments and this includes education, business, health care, faith communities, etc.
If we want to see great leadership then yes, let's pay for it. If we value education then yes, let's champion the cause. But if we want to raise up a new generation of leaders who can provide direction for the future then let's teach the values that makes for great leaders like: resilience, foresight, courage, generosity and hope. Such things can not be bought but actually add value that is difficult to quantify and almost impossible to monetise, but that, in reality is what sets inspirational leaders apart.