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ERIC Number: EJ1118590
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: N/A
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0145-9635
The Tacit Dimension: The Inner Life of School Leaders
Holmes, David
Independent School, v76 n1 Fall 2016
School leaders are expected to be visibly in charge, always on top of their game, doing the right things to advance the school, and exuding confidence and command. For these traits, leaders have extensive resources to draw on to foster their professional growth. The National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), the regional and state independent schools associations, a plethora of consultants, a cohort of ­leadership coaches, and various professional organizations provide abundant avenues for aspiring and in-place leaders. Most school heads are exposed to an array of excellent professional resources, are socialized to the demands of school leadership, and learn how to deal with pressing issues confronting schools. NAIS statistics show, however, that there is a high turnover rate among heads. Moreover, observations of accreditation teams and school consultants suggest that an abbreviated tenure (five or fewer years) is not optimum for a school. Continuity of leadership and staying the course are crucial factors for successful schools. Countless conversations with school leaders and observations of schools suggest that unexamined stress, anxiety, or unhappiness can affect leadership behavior in various ways. Some of the pervasive challenges that heads of schools face include: (1) anxious, demanding parents; (2) pressures on family and marriage; (3) conflicting opinions, fleeting triumphs; and (4) evolving, imperfect partnership with the Board. How can a school leader cope with these sources of stress and continue to function with confidence, enthusiasm, and satisfaction? This article discusses useful "inner rules of leadership" which can help school leaders deal with the challenges of the job and the inevitable stresses and strains. The rules are derived from professional literature, personal experience, and the insights and wisdom of colleagues.
National Association of Independent Schools. 1620 L Street NW Suite 1100, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-793-6701; Tel: 202-973-9700; Fax: 202-973-9790; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A