Outstanding School Administrators: Their Keys to Success

By Frederick C. Wendel; Fred A. Hoke et al. | Go to book overview
8. Creates a climate for innovation and change.
9. Gives clear directions for actions to be taken when needed.
10. Maintains a high level of integrity.

The search for quality extends over time; the goal cannot be reached without long-term commitments to improving communication patterns, shifting power and authority ( Naisbitt and Auburdene, 1985). maintaining constancy of purpose ( Levering, 1988), and focusing upon organizational patterns, relationships ( Schmoker and Wilson, 1993), and processes ( Byham, 1989; Covey, 1989; Kilmann, 1988). Administrators may need to examine the nature of their relationships with subordinates and seek to build relationships that create trust among them ( Schmoker and Wilson, 1993), energize them to seek solutions to problems cooperatively, and enhance their self-respect ( Jablonski, 1991; Levering, 1988). Habits of administrators (i.e., typical ways of thinking about and treating subordinates) must be consistent with ways of establishing and maintaining effective, efficient, and productive working environments. Administrators who are seeking to improve conditions can examine five tracks: (1) the organization's culture, (2) the administrator's skills for solving problems, (3) the group's approaches to making decisions and taking action, (4) strategic choices and structural arrangements for reaching those choices, and (5) the purpose and nature of the reward system ( Kilmann, 1988). Administrators who are successful in bringing about changes and improvements, in installing innovative projects, in changing their organization's culture ( Kaufman and Zahn, 1993), and in continuing the search for quality have learned to apply human motivators that tap employees' needs for fairness, honesty, quality, self-esteem, and potential. In the end, quality consists of doing the right thing (what) in the right way (how) consistently over time.


SUMMARY

Successful administrators are in line with key administrative and organizational targets of the 1990s--innovation, quality, and improvement. They seek continuous improvement of programs in their schools so that educational opportunities can be further extended to all learners. Successful administrators resist holding fast to the status quo that is, at best, the mark from which to begin to launch new endeavors. Instead, administrators foster change, enlist support from others to effect substantive change, and focus upon the future by encouraging experimentation, developmental growth of staff members, and innovative efforts. Over the years, successful administrators have developed strategies for building a quest for improvement into the climate of their schools because they acknowledge the inevitability of change.

The writings of W. Edwards Deming and his followers contain many points that school administrators embrace. For example, they believe the "most efficient and effective route to change is through participation of everyone every day," as expressed by an elementary school principal from Iowa. She did not refer to quality

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Outstanding School Administrators: Their Keys to Success
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction ix
  • 1 - Educational Philosophy 1
  • Summary 43
  • References 44
  • 2 - Values 45
  • Summary 57
  • References 58
  • 3 - Visionary Leadership 60
  • Summary 68
  • References 69
  • 4 - Institutional Leadership 71
  • Summary 79
  • References 79
  • 5 - Commitment 80
  • Summary 86
  • 6 - Interpersonal Relations 87
  • Summary 107
  • References 107
  • 7 - Innovation and Quality 108
  • Summary 127
  • References 128
  • 8 - Risk Taking 130
  • 9 - Communication 138
  • Summary 155
  • References 155
  • 10 - Selection 157
  • 11 - Personal Development and Professional Organizations 165
  • References 173
  • Index 175
  • About the Authors 182
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