Effective School Leadership
The elements of effective school leadership combines a variety of attributes. Although all these attributes are important, four are critical and essential in the success of a school leader. The first essential attribute is that a leader must model character by being principle-centered. The second essential attribute is that the main role of the school leader is to be an instructional leader. The third essential attribute is to align people. Finally, the fourth essential attribute is to establish direction for the school. These four attributes work in conjunction to promote the goal of the effective school leader: student achievement.
An effective school leader models character by being principle-centered. Principles are guidelines for conduct that have demonstrated lasting value (Covey, 2004). Specifically, an effective leader exhibits integrity, fairness, and acts in an ethical manner. Knuth and Banks (2006) assert in their Essential Leadership Model that first and foremost, effective leadership is character dependent. They go on to explain that to be able to effectively lead schools, authentic leaders with strong character display fairness, integrity, and ethical behavior. A highly effective leader builds the character of their staff by being a role model (McEwan, 2003). A leader must develop their own voice and then be clear about their own guiding principles to effectively model the behavior they expect of others (Kouzes and Posner, 2008). Covey (2004) describes integrity as an interdependent reality, that each individual is treated by the same set of principles. A leaders fulfills expectations and creates a foundation of trust. Integrity encompasses fairness and ethics. Effective leaders who have integrity function fairly and in an ethical manner. Leaders committing to these virtuous principles maintain an enduring responsibility to student success,
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