The case highlights a crisis of leadership that arises from a culture of leadership that does not involve the stakeholders in planning. The problems highlighted in the case study began when the stakeholders voted for a strategic plan without developing it. The teachers appear appalled by the suggestion to take part in developing a strategic plan ( Kowalski). They view the exercise as a meaningless exercise that is made to make the school look politically correct. Sheila Adams was selected as the Monroe Elementary school leader. Although she was competent and had acquired a principal license, she did not involve the primary stakeholders in developing the strategic plan for the school. The previous school leader did not comply with the guidelines from the state and school district ( Kowalski). The vision statement she developed was ambiguous and did not reflect the values of the school. Besides, he dismissed calls to engage in stakeholder-guided strategic planning for the school. Principal Sheila Adams then realized the mistakes she had made. She tried to involve the stakeholders, but some of them resisted arguing that developing a strategic plan was an administrative responsibility. After facing constant resistance from the teachers, she finally realized she had to convince all the stakeholders to participate in strategic planning.
The main problem is the belief of teachers and some stakeholders that strategic planning and visioning is a meaningless assignment done by the management to remain politically correct. Easlow, the previous school leader, espoused the same belief and copied the strategic plan from a school in the district. Principal Sheila needs the support of the teachers, and the teachers do not want to do what they consider administrative work ( Kowalski). Although Sheila Adams is the school leader, she views the negative comments coming from her colleagues as intimidation because she was younger and less experienced. Principal Adams also had a limited understanding of strategic planning.
A school leader should take into consideration the state constitution, school districts rules, and regulations before the decision is made. This is a primary requirement to ensure that the school does not attract negative press coverage for violating the law. The second factor that a school leader should consider are the emerging issues that are concerned with the particular decision he or she is about to make. This will create a conducive learning environment and encourage higher graduation rates.
The principal should engage all the stakeholders in the decision-making process. By involving the parents, teachers and the support staff, this ensures that the strategic plan is fully known and owned by the stakeholders because they took part in crafting it ( Kowalski). The opinions of the students should also be taken into consideration since they are the primary beneficiaries of the strategic planning process. This will give the administration insight into the issues of importance to the students.
The first step would be recognizing that there are different opinions on how to resolve the issue. The second step would be having a candid conversation with the stakeholders and highlighting why it is essential to develop the strategic plan as a team. Failure of the stakeholders to understand their role in developing the strategic plan. The failure of some of the key stakeholders to participate in the process citing that their exercise is meaningless. The stakeholders may give a sluggish response to the assignment because they believe that strategic planning is a pointless endeavor
Understanding your strength and using them in strategic planning. Motivating the staff and other stakeholders to take an active role in strategic planning for the betterment of the community. As a school leader, you can take the lead in directing the stakeholders in developing the strategic plan.
Micro-managing tasks assigned to employees gives the impression that the leader does not trust them. It lowers the morale of the employees ( Kowalski). Another action that diminishes your leadership is taking credit for work done by the team. By angrily reacting to negative comments and taking criticisms personally will undermine and diminish your leadership.
The case stud complies with the First ISLLC standard that requires education leaders to collaborate with stakeholders in developing a shared education vision for the school. The success of every student is guaranteed when the interests of ever the community and all the stakeholders are captured in strategic planning for the school. Principal Sheila Adams realized that the previous school leader had adopted a strategic plan developed by another school ( Kowalski). Shocked by this realization, she embarked on mobilizing the strategic plan that captures the goals and aspirations of the school with the participation of all stakeholders.
In a K-12 setting, it is challenging to implement a unique vision for every school. Schools, under the K-12 system, can develop a view on critical skills that students have to learn. The stakeholders can also collaborate in ensuring that the students achieve the pass mark under the K-12 setting.
Kowalski, Theodore. Case Studies on Educational Administration (6th Edition). New York: Pearson, 2011.