by Marie Whelan, Ed.D.
chief HR officer, Hillsborough County Public Schools & adjunct professor, National Louis University
The role of the school principal has evolved over the past century from school manager dealing with the status quo to innovative instructional leader. The role has shifted from following up on requirements and keeping order to demonstrating collaborative instructional practices that ensure all learners demonstrate mastery of rigorous learning benchmarks. 1
Today’s new leaders are expected to be equipped with a new skill set to ensure our new generation of learners will be competitive in a global society. 2 The adjectives to describe the effective principal is an exhaustive list that leaves only the fearless to meet the challenge.
Numerous studies have been conducted and millions of dollars spent studying these new leadership expectations and how to best support these evolutionary leaders to meet the daily challenges in the role as effective school principal.
by Susan Moxley, Ed.D.
adjunct professor, National Louis University
The new normal for a school district is to operate and progress in a world of constant change. In fact, it is coming at leaders at a rapid pace which makes it challenging to keep up and maneuver through the change process in a proactive way. Too many times, leaders find themselves in a spiraling circle of reaction after reaction, trying to get out of the reactive mode. Wrapping your arms around the change process is challenging as best. This deals with a management process that is critical to getting the right work done.
by Jonathan Grantham, Ed.D.
deputy superintendent of Marion County Public Schools and adjunct professor at National Louis University
A topic that has always fascinated me within leadership is power. I know that might sound a bit strange, but I always wanted to know how power was earned and how leaders can use their positions of power to truly make positive change.
I have witnessed people, throughout my 21-year career, misuse their power. I have watched it corrupt people. I have seen power destroy organizational culture. I have observed power destroy personal relationships. However, I have seen people use power beautifully as well.
I have worked for people who truly understood the significance of their position and enabled others to lead and think freely. I have been fortunate enough to closely witness district leaders honor their colleagues and share their power. I have watched superintendents trust in their people and empower others around them. This brief discussion is intended to define power, to identify where power comes from, to discuss the ugly terms of power, to embrace the appropriate ways to use power, and to use power to lead and guide others to positive success.
by Jim Schott
professor emeritus, National Louis University
Seven years ago, I decided to write a book about the leadership and management competencies superintendents and other top school and district leaders might need to be successful in today’s world. And the first thing I did was contact Dr. Linton Deck.
Deck was one of most intelligent and knowledgeable educational leaders I had ever met. He was a voracious reader who knew so much about almost any subject or topic one might raise. He was always interesting and ready to tell a great story—as well as some good clean jokes. And he continuously was on a mission to discover new information and ways to use it.