Getting Rid of the Sloppy Assistant Principal: a Case Study

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Key Issues
The key issue in the case study is leadership and leadership styles. While it appears that the assistant principal was reassigned due to his appearance, the assistant principal’s appearance reflected a leadership style that the superintendents felt was not in the best interest of the school and chose not to support. In addition, the reassignment of the assistant principal sends a message to the school principal to pay closer attention to the leadership messages of his staff as they are a reflection on the school and its leadership including the principal and superintendents. Clawson (2009) notes that going through the day without really observing or thinking about what’s taking place around them is a common habit that people lapse into. In this case the principal appeared to “go with the flow” in regards to the assistant principal, which in the superintendents minds may have signaled a laissez-faire leadership style toward the assistant principal. Northouse (2009) explains that some have labeled that style “nonleadership.” More, under laissez-faire leadership, subordinates have freedom to do pretty much what they want to do whenever they want to do it. The major effect is that very little is accomplished because people are directionless, find the atmosphere chaotic, and are at a loss to know what to do. So, they tend to do nothing. While in some situations, people will thrive on this direction-less freedom, laissez-faire leadership will be unsuccessful and unproductive (pp. 45). Challenging the status quo is an important leadership skill (Kouzes & Posner, 2007).” In their action, the superintendents were alerting the principal that he was leading a group of people, not just himself, and should have greater concern about what those who are following are doing. Furthermore, people are not only watching the leader. They are watching everyone in the organization, and so should the leader. Consistency between word and deed is not just created...
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