Sergiovanni's Moral Leadership

Moral leadership

by

Thomas J Sergiovanni


Reinventing Leadership

Diana Lam (1990), superintendent of Chelsea, Mass schools wrote: "leadership is an attitude which informs behavior rather than a set of discrete skills or qualities." Understanding how kids & adults learn to build a community of learners. What kind of leaders do we need?
  • Can't change someone's heart.
  • Talk of attitudes, values, building learning communities is a new kind of leadership talk.
  • Probably more has been written and less is known about leadership than any other topic in the behavior sciences.
  • study of leadership
  • has dwelt on issues of style and levels of decision making.
  • assessing the consequences of their variations for followers' satisfaction
  • individual compliance and performance
  • organizational effectivenss
  • Which style is better: warm or cold; autocratic or democratic; task or relational; directive or participatory; initiating structure or consideration; production empahasis or personal emphasis?
  • 2 reasons for the failure of leadership:
    1. view leadership as behavior rather than action; psychological rather than spiritual; persons rather than ideas.
    2. trying to understand what is driving leadership, have overemphasized bureaucratic, psychological, and technical- rational authority, seriously neglecting professional and moral authority.

    The Managerial Mystique

  • Abraham Zeleznik (1989) sees failure of leadership as "managerial mystique." which was to be embroiled in the process and less with people, ideas, emotions, and direct talk. It deflected from the schools for those who believed in mystique.
  • doing things right at the expense of doing the right things.
    • improvement plans become subs for improvment outcomes
    • teacher-appraisal systems become subs for good teaching
    • inservice becomes sub for changes in practice
    • congeniality becomes a sub for collegiality
    • cooperation becomes a sub for commitment.
    • compliance becomes a sub for results.
  • trained incapacity: doing only your job in isolation as opposed to as a team.
  • goal displacement: is loss of goal.
  • These last 2 represent a conspiracy of mediocrity.

    The Head, Heart, and Hand of Leadership

  • person's interior world
  • reflection, combined with personal vision and an internal system of values
  • mindscapes

    A Questionof Values

  • use self as model
  • six models by which we arrive at knowledge
    1. authority: faith in
    2. deductive logic: testing oneself
    3. sense experience: gaining thru 5 senses
    4. emotion: feeling right
    5. Intuition: unconscious rational thinking.
    6. Science: synthesis of above 1-5.

    Official and Unoficial Management Values

  • secualr or sacred?
  • without discretion, there is no leadership.
  • developing a nose for things
  • what constitutes a result
  • understanding materials and how they affect everything else.
  • knowing when to do what or what to do when.
  • a sense of process.

    Moral Authority as a basis of Leadership

  • giving more credence to experience and intuition
  • accepting sacred authority
  • emotion is fully legitimate way of knowing.
  • this kind of leadership can transform schools into communities, and make our schools unqualed among society's institutions.