One of the critical factors that separate great organizations from good organizations is leadership (Collins, 2001). To support this statement, find a school that consistently has high performance, regardless of the students’ socio-economic background, and there will be present a talented, highly effective leader. Effective school leadership is a major, if not the major, key to our overcoming the morass of failure in our schools. School leadership, especially in independent charter or autonomous schools, is complicated by the fact that schools are irrational organizations (Patterson, Purkey, & Parker, 1986) that require legislative (relational) rather than executive (direction from the top) leadership (Collins, 2001). For many years, the author has been examining school leadership through his experiences: as a leader, reading, studying leaders, and producing tools to select talented people to lead schools. It has become apparent to the author that the key to successful leaders is not found in personality or style but originates in something much deeper – the leader’s core values or mental models (Covey, 1990; Senge, P. (1990). The Fifth discipline: The art and practice of the learning organization. New York, NY: Doubleday) and how these translate into transformative leadership beliefs and behaviors or attributes. In this chapter, the author will share some of the attributes he and others have found to set great school leaders apart. The rationale for, and implementation of the structured interview in a charter school setting are described. Challenges and outcomes of the implementation of the structured interview are detailed as well.
Pillsbury, P. (2014), "The Unique Aspects of High Performing School Leaders", Pathways to Excellence: Developing and Cultivating Leaders for the Classroom and Beyond (Advances in Educational Administration, Vol. 21), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 139-159. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1479-366020140000021018
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