What are the characteristics of an innovative leader? In his book, The Innovator’s Mindset, George Couros provides eight characteristics of an innovative leader. They must be visionaries that can take their vision and apply it to the classroom allowing teachers to take small steps toward that vision as they build confidence and competence. Innovative leaders are empathetic and consider the learning environment from both the teacher and student view. They should model learning and be risk takers to show their willingness to be the “guinea pig” and try out new things. They must be networked with the world beyond their school’s walls and connect with others to discover and observe new ideas in action. They should then be able to bring those ideas back to their school and be a team builder, working with their school community to filter, add to and build a better idea that fits their shared vision. Through all of these characteristics, however, the innovative leader must always remain focused on the relationships so that the teachers, staff, students and community know that they are valued and appreciated. I don’t know about you, but I think innovative leaders deserve a cape!