“1. The position or office of a leader; 2. Capacity or ability to lead; 3. A group of leaders; [and,] 4. Guidance, direction.” At best, the descriptors are convoluted and do not provide any meaningful insight into the nature of leadership. Definitions for lead, although a bit more descriptive, still do not facilitate an understanding of leadership as a theory. Many have offered constructs and models to define leadership. Primarily these ideas have been developed and assessed in the business community. Two such theories, The Leadership Challenge (Kouzes and Posner, 2003c) and Principle-centered Leadership (Covey, 1990) offer compelling designs for leadership application. Professional educators can also benefit from knowledge of leadership theory and applications to the profession as well as the classroom. Both The Leadership Challenge and Principle-centered Leadership models are based on transformational leadership theory. In transformational leadership theory, it is the role of the leader to develop a vision and align constituents around the vision by using persuasive communication, inspiration, and empowerment (Lavezzoli, 2001). A second tenet of transformational leadership suggests, that the leader might develop a collective vision of a group and create an environment that provides connections between aspirations and work and provides constituents with the necessary resources, encouragement, and support needed to achieve the common goals. The concept of transformation leadership is “raise one another to higher levels of motivation and morality (James, 1996).” The Kouzes and Posner Leadership Challenge model subscribe to the visional leadership concept, while Covey’s Principle-centered Leadership model also incorporates the concept of leadership as an ethical and historically-based discipline. Kouzes and Posner (2003c) paint an image of a leader almost as a
References: Bennis, W. (1988). On becoming a leader. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley. Brown L.M. and Posner, B.Z. (2001). Exploring the Reflection between Learning and Leadership. xxxx Covey S.R Covey S.R. (1989) Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. New York: Fireside. Enger, J.M. (2001). Leadership Practices Inventory-Individual Contributor. In B.S. Plake and J.C Franklin Covey Profile Center. (1999). The 4 Roles of Leadership 360º Profile. Salt Lake City: Franklin Covey Company. Fields, D.L. and Herold, D.M. (1997) Using the Leadership Practices Inventory to measure transformational and transactional leadership. Educational and Psychological Measurement 57(4):559-579. Goleman, D., Boyatzis, R., and McKee, A. (2002). Primal Leadership: Realizing the power of emotional intelligence. Boston: Harvard Business School Press. Houghton Mifflin Company. (2000). The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. James, J. (1996). Thinking in the future tense: leadership skills for the new age. New York: Simon and Schuester. Kouzes, J.M Kouzes, J.M. and Posner, B.Z. (2003a). Leadership Practices Inventory Observer 3rd ed. San Francisco: Pfeiffer. Kouzes, J.M. and Posner, B.Z. (2003b). Leadership Practices Inventory Self 3rd ed. San Francisco: Pfeiffer. Kouzes, J.M. and Posner, B.Z. (2003c). The Leadership Challenge. Third Edition. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Lavezzoli, S. (2001). Leadership Theory: An Historical Perspective. Retrieved January 14, 2004, from http://www.popldr.org/fellows/docs/LeadershipTheory2.doc National Research Council Smith, W.F. and Andrews, R.L. (1989). Instructional Leadership: How Principals make a difference. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.