Honest, you can be an effective leader

Honesty, morals, and ethics play a big role in effective leadership. This article provides the reader with a simplfied "road map" that, if followed, will encourage leadership traits that will promote school district progression. White (2013) points out that the best leaders recognize that trust impacts all within their sphere of influence, all the time; every relationship, every communication, every work project, every organizational venture, and every effort in which they are engaged.

It is reasonable to expect if mission, philosophy, goals, and objectives are in alignment, coupled with honest and trustworthy behavior, the collective intelligence of the organization will, in fact, rise and children will find themselves in an educational environment that truly meet their needs.


Despite years of education, a sincere desire to succeed, and a consistent process of self renewal, for a school superintendent to be successful, a requirement for extensive and relevant experience in pollcymaking, organizational planning, public relations, student services, school finance, curriculum, school law, teacher and staff relations, communication, transportation, and perhaps, most important, exceptionally good people skills. The complexity of decision making and constant pressure to "do more with less" place today's superintendent in a position of potential failure on a daily basis.

The authors stress that leadership is judged based on actions and behaviors. The leader can be a school visionary but, if one of these core elements (values, ethics, trust, and honesty) are missing within the actions and behaviors of the superintendent, the creation of an intollerable environment is close at hand. The most effective teams respect and identify with core values. Where conflict and animosity arise, it is usually because a team member's values gets trampled upon and a core value of respect for others' opinion is lacking.

White and Reynolds (2013) believe it is important to understand that members of a team cannot see into the heart of the leader to determine thoughts and feelings. Thus, a leader is left with what actually occurs, what actually is said, and what perceptions are established...for better or worse.

Trust, honesty, and strong core values are inanimate and cannot be seen by the staff or community, but they know what they are...the feel them...and is unmistakable if trust, honesty, or core values are broken. If actions and deeds match thoughts and attitudes, trusworthyness emerges, and constituents are the beneficiaries.

Publication Type: 
Journal Article
Dr. Dennis White and Dr. Greg Reynolds
Year of Publication: 
Journal, Book, Magazine or Other Publication Title: 
The Illinois School Board Journal
No. 81
No. 1
January-February 2013
Illinois School Board Journal
Date Published: 
Thursday, January 10, 2013
Place Published: 
Springfield IL
Publication Language: 
ISSN Number: 
Ms. Linda Dawson

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