Lean on Me

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"Lean on Me"

Joe Clark initially shows himself to be a fine organizer, whose leadership style can be best described by Authority-compliance management. Clark is a self-assured, forceful, strong willed principal, perfectly confident of the rightness of personal decisions. Sometimes he demonstrates aggressive, overemotional behavior, with his energy being directed at sweeping away everything and everyone standing in his way. The scene when he fires the school music teacher illustrates how he fails to show enough respect and concern for people when pursuing the objectives of effectiveness as he sees it. He tends to get rid of people whose behavior he views as harmful to the common good. Those who disobey him are considered saboteurs, and he happens to fail to distinguish between people who are truly harmful and those who are merely more independent and less compliant then others. One of the first scenes in the movie when we observe the school corridors filled with the violent, aggressive, uncontrollable teenagers, and the teachers, driven into a corner, unable to deal with this utter chaos, illustrate vividly both the hostile environment and lack of incentive. The atmosphere at school is frustrating, the set goals and expectations concerning students’ performance can hardly be reached. The working environment lacks policies and regulations badly. Clark was also motivated by desire to deliver a good service. His objective number one is to make those school teachers educate effectively and those students learn successfully. In no way can he allow himself to be in charge of a school students of which are considered to be inferior. In his first speech as a school principle he declares: “This is an institution of learning. If you can’t control it, how can you teach?” and goes on concluding “You’ve tried it your way for years. Your students can’t pass a minimum basic skills test. That means they can hardly read! They’ve given me less than one year, one school...
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