What Traits Does an Effective Leader Need?

Apple on DeskA leader who challenges the status quo must seek innovative ideas for improving the school and take risks despite the threat of failure (Kouzes & Posner, 2012). Challenging the status quo is necessary for positive change (Marzano, 2006). Humility and learning from one’s mistakes are essential characteristics of an effective principal. These traits are especially important when a responsible risk fails. A strong principal positively impacts all aspects of the school.

There are other characteristics that may help the principal be an effective leader:

  • being flexible
  • thinking on one’s feet
  • listening genuinely to others ideas and feelings
  • inspiring others to join the mission
  • exhibiting trustworthiness

What other characteristics do you think are necessary for an effective principal? 

—-Stephanie Scott  http://effectivek12schools.com—-


Kouzes, J. M., and Posner, B. Z. (2012). The leadership challenge: How to make extraordinary things happen in organizations. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers. Available from http://www.amazon.com/Leadership-Challenge-Extraordinary-Things-Organizations/dp/0470651725/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1345057723&sr=1-2&keywords=the+leadership+challenge

Marzano, R. (2006, April). What Works in Schools. Speech presented at School Improvement Conference Michigan Department of Education, Lansing, MI. Retrieved from http://michigan.gov/documents/What_Works_in_Schools_Marzano_cover__handouts_157021_7.pdf

One thought on “What Traits Does an Effective Leader Need?

  1. Great post! I feel that having the courage to be flexible and say yes when your first instinct is to say no to a new idea. Change is the basis for improvement and a great leader should always look for ways to improve themselves as well as their staff.

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