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ERIC Number: EJ842220
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jun
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0036-6439
Connecting to the Messy Reality
Teitel, Lee
School Administrator, v66 n6 p28-29 Jun 2009
The Massachusetts story is about persistence. Instead of jumping from one fad to the next, the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents (MASS) developed a comprehensive and focused plan and stuck to it for several years. It is clearly a story about people--the trust and connections that developed among networks of superintendents that have held it all together. But the story is also about Adaptive Leadership, an intellectual framework and approach that resonated for superintendents, and about the protocols that helped to change how superintendents talked to one another. This article describes the Adaptive Leadership approach which helps individuals and organizations distinguish between adaptive and technical aspects of the challenges they face. Widely used in business, government and nonprofit settings, the Adaptive Leadership framework resonated immediately with the messy reality of the professional lives of Massachusetts superintendents. A key part of the Adaptive Leadership program created for MASS was the use of superintendent-developed cases to practice the concepts and apply them to the real work of the school districts. The reliance on the Adaptive Leadership framework and the protocol reverse the usual pattern of superintendent advice-giving to one another. They focus more on diagnosis and root causes than quick solutions. The format pays attention to the blend of leadership and authority needed to solve problems and requires superintendents to be vulnerable with one another in considering their own contribution to their situations.
American Association of School Administrators. 801 North Quincy Street Suite 700, Arlington, VA 22203-1730. Tel: 703-528-0700; Fax: 703-841-1543; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Massachusetts