The author argues that in many respects leadership has failed us. Not that we should be overwhelmed by this. We just need to know, so we can work on it. There are, I believe, three reasons for the failure of leadership. First, we’ve come to view leadership as behaviour, rather than action; as something psychological rather than spiritual; as having to do with persons rather than ideas. Second, in trying to understand what drives leadership, we’ve overemphasised bureaucratic and personal authority, neglecting professional and moral authority. In the first reason we separated the hand of leadership from the head and the heart; and in the second reason we’ve separated the process of leadership from its substance. The result has been a leadership practice that often borders on being vacuous — a leadership practice that’s based on the existing literature but may not be leadership at all. The third reason is that in viewing schools as formal organisations – like banks and shopping malls, instead of social organisations like families and congregations – we’re using the wrong theory. And the wrong theory equals the wrong practice.
Recommended CitationSergiovani, Thomas J., "Perspectives on school leadership : taking another look" (2005).