Just how many types of school leader are there?


Once there were but two …

“To further summarise their behaviour, two management styles — instructional leadership and administrative leadership — were defined (Figure 6.1). They characterise more comprehensively principals’ approach to their leadership approach. 
“Principals scoring high for the first management style are significantly involved in what is referred to in the research literature on school management as an instructional leadership style. This index was derived by averaging the indices for the first three management behaviours, management for school goals, instructional management and direct supervision of instruction in the school.
“The second management style can be best referred to as an administrative leadership style and was derived by averaging the indices for the management behaviours accountable management and bureaucratic management. This style of management focuses on administrative tasks, enforcing rules and procedures, and accountability.”


Then three …

“Instead of idealized leadership styles signifying variations in practice, the differences between types of principals were defined by the degree of principal and teacher leadership. Further, the school and principal context, such as school size, urbanicity, accountability performance, and principal background, predicted the three significantly different principal types: controlling, frequent principal leadership; balkanizing, high degree of leadership shared with teachers; or integrating, frequent principal leadership as well as a high degree of leadership shared with teachers”


No, wait, four …

“There are four major styles of leadership which apply well in the educational setting. While each of these styles has its good points, there is a wide berth of variation, and in fact transformational leadership is truly an amalgamation of the best attributes of the other three. Let’s explore how servant leadership, transactional leadership and emotional leadership compare to transformational leadership.”


Many people think there are six …


Possibly eight …

“My own approach to leadership assessment is based on observational studies of real leaders, mostly at the strategic apex of their organizations. … 
As these influences play out over time, one typically sees a number of recurring patterns of behavior that influence an individual’s effectiveness within an organization. I think of these patterns as leadership “archetypes,” reflecting the various roles executives can play in organizations and it is a lack of fit between a leader’s archetype and the context in which he or she operates is a main cause of team and organizational dysfunctionality and executive failure. The eight archetypes I have found to be most prominent are:”


Sixteen! …


Or as many as twenty …

“When developing your leadership skills, you must soon ask yourself, “What leadership style work best for me and my organization?” To answer this question, it’s best to understand that there are many from which to choose and as part of your leadership development effort, you should consider developing as many leadership styles as possible.”


But we now know there are five types of school leader.

Jones identifies five styles drawn from theory and research on leadership that he thinks are important for all leaders to have in their toolkit


Oops … sorry, that’s obviously wrong; these five:

We interviewed these 411 leaders, as well as those who work for them, analyzed their education, background, and experience and recorded their actions and impact using 64 investment variables and 24 performance measures over seven years.

… but perhaps there should be only one:

Architects are the only leaders with any real long-term impact, as they quietly redesign the school and transform the community it serves. They typically studied History or Economics at university (68% in our study) and acquired an understanding of how past leaders created the societies and economies we live in today. They didn’t set out to be teachers, but decided to initially work in industry (rather than education) as they like to “get things done rather than sit around drinking coffee” as one Architect explained.

So … glad that’s settled. Put down that coffee cup and get to work!


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