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3/18/2017 The7CharacteristicsofaGoodLeader|Edutopia

TE ACHE R LE ADE RS HI P

O RI G I NA L LY P UB L I S HE D: A P RI L 4 , 2 0 11 | UP DATE D: JA NUA RY 4 , 2 0 1 4
ByMauriceJ.Elias,Prof.ofPsychology,Director,RutgersSocialEmotionalandCharacterDevelopmentLab(www.secdlab.org),
Director,theCollaborativeCenterforCommunityBasedResearchandService(engage.rutgers.edu)
Howcanwedeterminenotonlywhoisacompetentleader,butagoodleader?
Some,likeTomLickona(http://www2.cortland.edu/centers/character/staff.dot)of
theSmartandGoodSchoolsInitiative
(http://www2.cortland.edu/centers/character/resources/SandG/index.dot),believe
theproperdistinctionisbetweenmoralandperformancecharacter.Theformer
typicallyreferstohavingsoundvalues,tobeorientedtowardanethicalwayto
behavethelatterreferstotheessentialimportanceofhavingtheskills
Imagecredit:Thinkstock
particularlySELskillstocarryoutone'svalues.

Whatdoesthismeanforleadership?Fromasocialemotionalandcharacterdevelopment(SECD)perspective,it
meansthattheskillbasedperformanceofleadersmustbejudgedalongwiththecharacterofthatperformance.
Andhowshallwejudgethatcharacter?

SargentShriver(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sargent_Shriver),whoseleadershipcredentialsareunrivaledin
Americanpublicservice,believedleadersmustactandinfusetheirorganizationswith:

1)Asenseofpurpose:Thevaluesofanorganizationmustbeclear,membersoftheorganizationshouldknow
them,andtheyshouldexemplifyandupholdthemintheirownactions.

2)Justice:Everyoneinanorganizationshouldbeheldtocommonstandards,withrulesandproceduresthatare
clear,firm,fair,andconsistent.

3)Temperance:AleadermuststrivetomaintainaproperbalanceofemotionsShriverdidnotmeanthatleaders
shouldbedispassionate.Quitethecontrarybuttherearetimeforpassionateadvocacyandtimesforquiet
reflectionandreconsideration.Balanceisthekey.

4)Respect:Thedignityofeachindividualistheconcernofanyleader,andthisispreservedbytreatingall
membersoftheorganizationwithrespectandensuringtheytreatoneanothersimilarly,regardlessofdifferences.

5)Empowerment:Leadersarejustthatleaders.Mostofwhathappensinorganizationsiscarriedoutby
individualsotherthanthoseinformalleadershippositions.Therefore,themoreskilledtheyare,themoretheyfeel
confidentintheirabilitiesandcompetenttomakedecisions,raisequestions,seenewpossibilities,anddisagree
respectfullywithothersatalllevelsoftheorganizationalhierarchy,thestrongerandmoresuccessfulthe
organizationwillbe.

https://www.edutopia.org/blog/successfulschoolleadershipsocialemotionallearningmauriceelias 1/2
3/18/2017 The7CharacteristicsofaGoodLeader|Edutopia

6)Courage:Leadersarepaidtosetdirection,notwaitfordirectiontoemerge.Theyhavetobewillingtofollow
theirconvictionsandbringtheirorganizationtonewplaces.Ineducation,thisismostsorelyneededinresponse
tothetestbasedregimenthathastakenoverourschoolsattheexpenseoftrueeducationandsocialemotional
andcharacterdevelopment.

7)DeepCommitment:Leadersmustnotbepolishingtheirresumes,butrathershouldhavedeepcommitmentto
theirorganizations,theadvancementoftheorganizations'missions,andthewellbeingofeveryoneinthem.Itis
thisdeepcommitmentthatmakesleadershipinschoolssochallenging,becauseitrequiresacommitmentto
everyemployee,student,andparent.

Theperformanceofaleadermustbejudgedbyhisorherskillsandthecharacterofhisorherperformanceinthe
manyandcomplexrolesthatleadershipdemands.Usingthesevencornerstonesofleadingwithcharacter,
derivedfromthelifeandworkofSargentShriver,educatorsandthoseconcernedwitheducationhaveatoolfor
bothevaluatingandimprovingleadershipcompetenciesalongbothmoralandperformancedimensions.

Source:www.edutopia.org/blog/successfulschoolleadershipsocialemotionallearningmauriceelias

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