STRONGE - 9. Leadership Skills in School and Business....

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9. Leadership Skills in School and Business. STRONGE, JAMES H. "Leadership Skills in School and Business." School Administrator 55.9 (1998): 21. General OneFile . Web. 16 June 2011. Document URL http://find.galegroup.com.research.smpl.org:2048/gtx/infomark.do?&contentSet=IAC- Full Text: COPYRIGHT 1998 American Association of School Administrators What theorists say about applying leadership attributes from the corporate world to the school arena? Research on the principalship identifies multiple and varied roles: defining the school's vision and mission, managing curriculum and instruction, promoting positive climate, fostering healthy school-community relations, serving as change agent, promoting high expectations, managing fiscal resources, and contributing to the overall effectiveness of the school. While merely a partial list of duties and responsibilities, the words vividly paint a portrait of the lofty expectations we hold for principals. We expect school principals to be organizational leaders. What I explore here is the leadership role of principals through the lens of the business and general leadership literature. How, if at all, do the leadership attributes described by popular writers and theorists apply to school leaders? And more to the point, does effective leadership as conceived and practiced in the business community apply equally well to the school community? Defining Leadership It's important to realize that no commonly accepted definition nor set of attributes exists for leadership. While any dictionary may offer a concise definition of the construct, the research and writing on leadership are far less clear. Warren Bennis, in his 1994 work On Becoming a Leader, wrote that leadership is like beauty: It's hard to define, but you know it when you see it. "Of all the hazy confounding areas in social psychology, leadership theory undoubtedly contends for top nomination. Probably more has been written and less is known about leadership than any other topic in the behavioral sciences," he wrote 35 years earlier. The pre-eminent historian and political scientist James MacGregor Burns once stated that our shortcomings in making sense of leadership aren't from a lack of effort. "Leadership is one of the most observed and least understood phenomenon on earth," he wrote in his 1978 work Leadership. Despite the vagrancies, common strands run through the leadership literature. In an effort to summarize this literature, I applied Robert Katz's classical framework from his Harvard Business
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Review article, "Skills of an Effective Administrator," to the key organizational leadership concepts and themes described by several influential writers (see table, page 22). Desirable Skills
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STRONGE - 9. Leadership Skills in School and Business....

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