Role of Leader in Educational Management
Keywords:Leader, Educational Leadership, Skills, Role
This article’s main objective is to describe a leader’s role and define its importance in educational management. The role of a leader in educational management is critically important to make the educational institution provide high-quality education to students, to create an effective management system and to motivate the staff to go towards the aim. (Eacott, 2015) 
In the educational context, leadership influences the process, which finally leads to the achievement of the desired purpose. A good leader should develop a vision of the values of their educational institutions on personal and professional sides. A successful leader makes the staff love their job and is determined to succeed. Educational leadership is a process where a leader takes the initiative to facilitate the following conditions for implementing change in teaching and learning. (Surya, 2011) 
The leader in educational leadership is responsible for setting the vision and mission of the educational institution, which serves as a guiding principle for all stakeholders, including students, teachers, and staff. Moreover, the leader must ensure that the educational institution environment is conducive to learning, which includes creating a safe and respectful atmosphere for students and teachers. What is most important is that leaders should set and implement the most effective way of leadership to provide students with a high education level and motivate staff to work.
In this article, I will discuss the types of a leader and the role of good leadership in educational management.
Keywords: leader, educational leadership, skills, role
Styles of Leadership
Martin M. Chemers in Hoy and Miskel said that leadership is a process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in accomplishing a common task. (Chemers, 2014) 
According to Peter Drucker (Drucker, 2006) , leadership is lifting a person’s vision to high sights, raising a person’s performance to a higher standard, and building a personality beyond its usual limitations. Leadership style is a behavioral approach of leaders to influence and affect their employees. A leadership style directs leaders in setting, designing, and implementing plans and strategies to achieve the educational institution’s objectives.
While discussing the role of a leader in educational leadership, it is essential to discuss leadership styles.
I would like to highlight (8) leadership styles, which are described shortly later in this article.
Firstly, it is autocratic leadership skill or authoritarian leadership style. This leadership style focuses more on the final results, and they often make decisions alone or with a tiny group of people. Usually, they expect their employees to do exactly what they require.
The bureaucratic leadership style is more based on strictly following the written procedures and regulations. The bureaucratic style focuses more on specific duties within a hierarchical system, where each staff member has responsibilities and duties, and there is little need for collaboration and creativity.
The third and one of the effective leadership style is the Coaching Leadership style. A coaching leader identifies the strengths and weaknesses of employees to help each employee improve. This type of leadership gives a chance to team members to set smart goals and then provide them with feedback to promote growth. Usually coaching leadership creates positive and motivating environment.
Laissez-faire leadership is accurately defined as the most independent and free style of leadership. This type of leader delegates tasks to team members and gives them freedom of work with no or little supervision as this type of leader is mostly busy with other projects rather than supervising their employees. This type of leadership is effective for creative and highly experienced employees.
The democratic style is where the input received from team members is a basis for decision-making by a leader. In a democratic leadership style, leaders are oriented to ask their team for input and then take the feedback from the team into consideration to make a decision further.
Transformational leadership involves a leader who inspires and motivates their team to achieve a shared vision, often by providing support, encouragement, and personal development opportunities. Transformational leaders' expectations from their team are high, and usually, this style of leader encourages their team members to work and live through a transformation or considerable improvement.
Servant Leadership skill is another style of leadership where leaders live by a people-first mindset. This style of leaders believe team members will be more effective and produce great work if they feel personally and professionally fulfilled. Emphasis on employee satisfaction and collaboration is what makes servant leaders more respected by the team members.
The last leadership style discussed in this article is transactional leadership, which is considered more short-term and sometimes it is described as a give-and-take kind of transaction. In this leadership style, leaders reward their employees for exactly the work they would have performed. This leadership style is quite often used in sales and marketing jobs.
According to the United Nations and UNESCO, strengthening school leadership to improve teaching and learning is one of the strategies put forward to achieve target 4.c of the Education 2030 Agenda, which addresses the need to increase the supply of qualified teachers (UNESCO, 2016; United Nations, 2015). The School Leadership aims to get the best out of teachers and students. Effective school leadership needs various skills, including communication, problem-solving, decision-making, and interpersonal skills. A school leader should collaborate with faculty, staff, parents and students to create a positive and inclusive school culture. School leadership also involves setting goals and procedures and monitoring and evaluating student progress and teacher performance. The ultimate goal of school leadership is to promote academic achievement, social-emotional development and overall well–being of students and employees.
It is essential to distinguish educational leadership from educational management. To describe it, I will summarize it as follows: (Waters, 2022) 
Leading concerns vision rather than the implementation, which is more managing concern. Also, leadership includes strategic issues, transformation and ends, while managing concerns more operational issues, transactions and means instead of ends. Also, it is important to notice that if leading concerns more people, managing is more oriented on systems.
The need for the distribution of leadership is caused by the increased responsibilities and accountability within and across schools. Distribution of leadership in schools refers to sharing leadership responsibilities among various stakeholders in a school community, including teachers, students, parents, and administrators. Schools may receive a lot of benefits from the distribution of leadership. School effectiveness may be improved by distributing leadership among people and organizational structures. (CSAS, 2021) 
Distributive Leadership in schools is one of the most effective leadership approaches where decision-making and responsibility are shared among a team of leaders rather than being centralized in the hands of one individual. This leadership model recognizes that expertise and leadership potential exist at all levels of an organization and that collaboration and collective decision-making can lead to more effective outcomes. School distributive leadership involves various strategies such as collaborative planning and decision-making, professional development opportunities for all staff members, monitoring and coaching programs, and delegating leadership responsibilities to different individuals or teams. (Tomlinson, 2004) 
Basic characteristics of distributive leadership may include collaborative planning. Distributive leadership promotes collaborative planning among school leaders, which allows for a more comprehensive and coordinated approach to school improvement. It is important to notice that collaborative planning involves the cooperation of the staff in one specific department, which is preparing the plan, but collaboration across different departments, too. This approach can also lead to cooperation across different fields in school and finally will lead to the correct and effective planning for the whole educational institution. (Surya, 2011)
Another important characteristic is shared decision-making. Distributive leadership involves decision-making as shared among a team of leaders rather than being centralized in the hands of one individual. The process involves bringing together a group of individuals with different expertise and perspectives to work together to make decisions that affect the school community. Decisions may be much more effective if the group of decision-makers consist not only of leaders but of teachers, head teachers and representatives from different departments. A leader can’t always know the depth of any department and staff’s point of view; that’s why decisions will be much more efficient if the group of decision-makers include representatives from different departments. Moreover, collaborative decisions raise a sense of responsibility, and people who are involved in the process will be much more motivated to make their decisions goal-oriented and achieve success.
Professional Development is another important feature of distributive leadership. By sharing leadership responsibilities and encouraging collaboration, educators can learn from one another and develop new skills and perspectives. Lessons, peer observation, workshops and collaboration with different departments will increase knowledge and collaboration and develop new visions.
Finally, distributive leadership in schools is flexible and adaptable to changing circumstances. Schools and educational institutions need to be able to adapt to different external and internal factors. Covid-19 Pandemic was a good example of forcing educational institutions to adapt to online education. Some of them survived in this new environment, and some did not.
To sum up, distributive leadership may be considered one of the most effective leadership styles for educational institutions and schools. Moreover, distributive leadership is a leadership style that allows teachers to have a voice and choice in decisions. This, hence, affects quality of the organizational institutions working process.How Leaders Can Develop and Support Distributive Leadership (DL) Teams
School leaders need specific knowledge to respond and deal with all the challenges occurring in educational institutions and their duties and responsibilities. Leaders play a crucial role in developing and supporting a distributive leadership team in their school.
No school leadership is without building a shared vision. The role of a leader is to work with their team to develop a shared vision for the school and ensure that everyone understands and is committed to this vision.
Leaders should have clear and clarified roles and responsibilities to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of employees’ work. It is important not to have them only written but also ensure that everyone knows what is expected of them. This can help to avoid confusion and conflicts and promote a sense of ownership and accountability among team members. Clarifying roles and responsibilities can also help staff members identify areas where they can develop their skills and knowledge and, hence, have a possibility of self-reflection and professional development. Moreover, collaborating becomes much easier and more comfortable when roles and responsibilities are clearly distributed and not doubled. (Lathan, 2021) 
In addition, a good leader should provide professional development for their team members to help them develop the knowledge and skills they need to be effective. Many leaders fear when their employees start professional development outside of the educational institution when they invest in their development and do not wait until their leaders provide them with training. Leaders fear these employees will leave the educational institution as they grow and find a better workplace. This thought of leaders is quite common and, certainly, is wrong. Good leaders assist their employees to grow professionally and encourage them to use their knowledge to develop the educational institution. Good leaders motivate trained and professional staff to share their knowledge with other employees, and they do not overwhelm a good employee because they can do better than others but assist them to become better leaders. (Slack, 2019) 
Laurie says that a leader should have the ability not only to lead effectively but also to build relationships with the employees. The leader should consider team members as employees whom the leader needs to fulfil the aim and realise that employees' self-awareness, health and well-being are all important for employee engagement. Good leaders encourage their employees and make them happy at work rather than turning the work environment toxic. This can lead to high-performance teams of engaged and motivated employees who are loyal, culturally aligned with the organization, and united by a shared sense of purpose in their work.
A lot of work and studies are written and done on the motivation of employees; however, the most important is for leaders to understand how to motivate their staff. Motivation affects employee’s success and has a huge role in employee satisfaction. Taking motivation into account, it is important to notice that intrinsic motivation plays a vital role in how team members may feel about their jobs and how involved and happy they are with their work. All this leads to the quality of the employees’ work.
A good leader should be able to motivate employees and help them achieve their goals.
Leaders need to understand what motivates their employees to best meet their needs and engage them with their work. They should think about how to make appropriate conditions for the team members to encourage them to work effectively.
Nowadays, educational leadership is becoming more and more important, and the role of a leader is crucially increasing. Good leaders are people who set a vision for educational institutions, set a plan to achieve the goals and motivate employees to go towards the aim together and with success.
A good leader is one who works with approach I follow, therefore I lead. Leaders should demonstrate that they can be followers who are ready to become a member of the employees’ team and start working with the team members to achieve the aim. A good leader can increase productivity by 89% by supporting team members.
Good leaders know that support, professional feedback and recognizing employees’ hard work are among their most crucial tasks. However, great leaders know how to set a good example for their employees to encourage them to follow.
- Eacott, S. (2015). Educational Leadership Relationally . Rotterdam: Sense.
- Surya, P. (2011). Educational Management.
- Chemers, M. M. (2014). Integrative Theory of Leadership . Psychology Press.
- Drucker, P. (2006). The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done (2006). Harper Business Essentials.
- Waters, S. (2022, February 26). What is a leader, what do they do, and how do you become one?
- CSAS. (2021, June 28). https://www.studentachievementsolutions.com/distributive-leadership-in-schools-how-to-develop-dl-teams/. Retrieved from www.studentachievementsolutions.com: https://www.studentachievementsolutions.com/distributive-leadership-in-schools-how-to-develop-dl-teams/
- Tomlinson, H. (2004). Educational Leadership. Sage.
- Lathan, J. (2021). 10 traits of successful school leaders. San Diego.
- Slack, t. a. (2019, February 27). 4 ways effective leadership inspires employee engagement.
Copyright (c) 2023 Globalization and Business
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.