Transformational Leadership and Risk Taking to Improve Student Achievement - Essay Example

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Educational leaders are facing challenges in their organizations that will require them to manage, change, and transform their organizations. According to Leithwood (2008), leadership is not so much a stand-alone function as a catalyst for other functions. …
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Transformational Leadership and Risk Taking to Improve Student Achievement
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Download file to see previous pages To be successful, schools must develop a clear sense of purpose, strong commitments on the part of their staffs, and productive working relationships with their communities. In a study conducted by Hillard (2009), the effectiveness of professional interactions on teachers and administrators as a faculty group in school improvement practices and educational reform to improve instruction and learning were the main findings of the research. To create long-term solutions for systemic change in a learning environment there was an intense emphasis on practical methods. If leaders focused on previous aspects or formulas, it is considered a reasonable or a practical approach. But conquering today’s difficult problems and ultimately achieving success requires creative leadership (Palus & Horth, 2005). In the case of complex challenges, an organized and a planned approach becomes essential; the alignment of structure paired with energy and support, and a commitment to a mission and vision comes from creative leadership (Palus & Horth, 2005). The task of change is difficult because of the many variables that contribute to the growth of educational leaders. As stated by Bass (2007), many challenges face the strategic leader who must deal with both the need for continuity and the need for change. In addition to the need for continuity, a strategic leader puts an emphasis on setting direction for the organization.
Given the turbulent environments that organizations work within, continuous learning is a key driver of their ability to remain adaptive and flexible - that is, to survive and effectively compete (Zagorsek, Dimovski, and Skerlavai (2009). Creating value and purpose for the organization is an essential part of leadership. However, creating goals and creating value is not enough; the leader must ensure that such change is sustainable. Remaining faithful to the direction set forth by an educational leader is key to the development of his or her staff (Jacobson, Johnson, Ylimaki, & Giles, 2009). Leadership can be related to the interaction between the leader and the follower. However, the numerous facets of such interaction and the intensity of the working relationship influence the outcome – accomplishing the goals set. Effective leadership can be observed when organizations develop all members’ skills and values related to organizational learning (Collinson, 2008). Many leaders become effective due to the quality of the followers. Some researchers maintain the traditional views of a leader as a taskmaster and as one who relies on situational variables and contingency approaches produced by previous factors that guide their performance (Antelo, Henderson, & St. Clair, 2010). A transformational leader conducts him or herself in ways that are different from the convention or norms; leaders pay more attention to the needs of others, not just as elements of the workplace, but as people (Trapero & de Lozada, 2010). An analysis of the theory of transformational leadership as it relates to new principals from the leadership academy and student achievement will be studied. According to Cowie and Crawford (2008), given the significance of the post of principal and the complex changes in the principal's role in recent years, the extent to which principals’ preparation relates to what is expected of them once they are in post and what it is that they actually do is critically important. School districts and other educational agencies are dispensing money and manpower in the development of leadership for their organizations. As stated by Barnett and Shore (2009), instead of having to create change efforts, organizations should be built to change. In an attempt to understand what ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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Various authors have suggested that different theories in leadership such as trait theories, behavioural as well as contingency theories have been developed to explain the impact of leadership styles on the performance of the organisation as a whole. However, recent studies have shown that transformational leadership is more ideal during the contemporary period since it is adaptive to change.
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