Introduction Developing a change plan was important in determining if a curriculum leader (principal) will provide the organization the necessary skills, tools, services and knowledge to promote academic success. The role of the principal in American schools has been in a constant state of change since its emergence. The issue has been mostly around whether the principal is a manager of the building or a leader of the school. Additionally, there has been discrepancy in the expectations of the principal in regard to curriculum and instruction.
Using Hall and Hord (2006) stages of concern, newly hired curriculum leader (principal) has to use a different way of thinking about the employees’ (teachers) morale and the perception about change, as well as Hall and Hord (2006) level of use, management exhibited from the employees (teachers) some different behaviors, when a new change was implemented. Olson (2008) writes one of the primary reasons many changes efforts fail is because leaders (new curriculum leader) do not step back and look at the change process and the transitions that are required from the perspective of the individuals (teachers) involved.
Principals have the power to influence the teacher morale in their school by the actions or daily practices they exhibit (Hunter-Boykin & Evans, 1995). Morale is not an observable trait; rather it is an internal feeling or set of thoughts. Often teachers feel they are not treated as professionals, are not appreciated, or are overworked, thus causing low teacher moral which are Hall and Hord (2006) stages of concern. On the other hand, some teachers with a high moral level may say their principal is very supportive or that they are able to teach instead of having to perform an abundance of clerical tasks.
In addition, to the many roles of the position, principals must also understand they have a tremendous influence on the moral of the teachers. Simply getting rid of people – or allowing them to stagnate – is the easy way out. Sticking with your teachers’, and encouraging them to advance themselves in the process is inspiring and effective. What many organizations apparently don’t get is the necessity of involving people who will be affected by change, helping them understand the importance of the proposed change, and giving them time to make the essential transitions to successfully implement change (Olson, 2008).
It is also a wise economic decision when you consider the cost of training new people from scratch. Hall and Hord (2006) writes that there are different stages of concern that people typically move through when asked to change. The authors say that by understanding these predictable concerns and how to address them, leaders can be proactive about change and minimize the risks behind unaddressed concerns undermining a change effort. The “leading people through change” is built on the observation that at any given time, different people are at different stages of concern relative to change.
Good leaders are able to adopt differing leadership styles with different people, or with the same people, but at different times. The key factors which are likely to influence the style of the leader adopts at a particular time include the nature of the work to be done, the skill level of the person being asked to do the work and the ongoing needs of the leader’s relationship with that person. Principals have the power to influence many factors of a school. They have a myriad of roles included in their job.
One of the most important and influential is the effect the principal has on the teachers of the school. A good teacher will be successful in spite of a bad principal. This good teacher knows how to handle the pressures of the profession and ignores the incompetence of this principal. This teacher is interested primarily in what is good for the individual students in the classroom. When an organization is concern with implementing a change, the situational leadership method from Kenneth Blanchard and Paul Hersey holds that managers must use different leadership styles depending on the situation.
The model allows you to analyze the needs of the situation you are in, and then use the most appropriate leadership style. Blanchard and Hersey Leadership Model is based on the amount of direction (task behavior) and socio-emotional support (relationship behavior) a leader must provide given the situation and the “level of maturity” of the followers. Godin (2009) includes depending on employees’ competences in their task areas and commitment to their tasks, your leadership style should vary from one person to another.
You may even lead the same person one way sometimes, and another way at other times. Kenneth Blanchard and Paul Hersey see four leadership styles growing out of combinations of supportive and directive behavior: directing style, coaching style, supporting style and delegating style. According to Erven (2001) the leading style, the emphasis on control and close supervision of the worker. In the coaching style, the leader provides more explanation of what the job entails and solicits suggestions while still staying in control of the situation.
With the supporting style, there is a team approach between the leader and follower with the leader emphasizing support of the follower rather than control. Clearly, the principal can raise the morale of the teachers by providing personal and professional support, and recognizing teacher efforts and accomplishments. Finally, in the delegating style, the leader turns over responsibility to the worker. In delegating a leader (principal) simply gives the follower (teacher) the responsibility to make decisions and implement the decision (Hackman & Johnson, 2000).
Olson (2008) writes to determine the appropriate leadership style to use in a given situation, the leader must first determine the maturity level of the followers in relation to the specific task that the leader is attempting to accomplish through the effort of the followers. As the level of followers’ maturity increases, the leader should begin to reduce his or her task behavior and increase relationship behavior until the followers reach a moderate level of maturity (Olson, 2008).
As the followers begin to move into an above average level of maturity, the leader should decrease not only task behavior but also relationship behavior (Olson, 2008). Olson (2008) concludes once the maturity level is identified, the appropriate leadership style can be determined. Conclusion The key for the successful curriculum leader is to know which of the four styles to use in a particular situation with a particular person.
The curriculum leader bases the choice of a leadership style on the competence and commitment of the person being led rather than on the leader’s usual or preferred style. This style of leadership is important when organizations are implementing a change plan. The organization will have different stages of concern when it comes to the employees. Success in leadership comes when the leadership style is matched with the characteristics of the employee (follower). Problems with leadership come when the leadership style does not fit the employee (follower).
Reference Erven, B. L. (2001). Becoming an effective leader through situational leadership. Ohio State University. Retrieved July 29, 2010, from http://www. infed. org/leadership/traditional¬_leadership. htm Godin, S. (2009). Situational leadership by Kenneth Blanchard and Paul Hersey. Retrieved July 29, 2010, from http://www. sayeconomy. com/situational-leadership-by-kenneth-blanchard-and-paul- Hackman, M. Z. & Johnson, C. E. (2000). Leadership: The Communication Perspective, Prospect Height, ILL. Waveland Press.
Hall, G. E. & Hord, S. M. (2006). Implementing change patterns, principles, and potholes (2nd ed. ). Boston: Pearson/Allyn & Bacon. P Hunter-Boykin, H. S. , Evans, V. (1995). The relationship between high school principals’ Leadership and teachers’ morale. Journal of Instructional Psychology, 22(2), 152-162, Retrieved August 1, 2010, from Academic Search Premier database. Olson, M. L. (2008). Controlling the perils of change. Training and Development. Retrieved July 29, 2010, http://www2. stetson. edu