Term of Award

Spring 2009

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Education Administration (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Department

Department of Leadership, Technology, and Human Development

Committee Chair

Barbara Mallory

Committee Member 1

Paul Brinson

Committee Member 2

Sharon Brooks

Abstract

Business and social sectors have identified characteristics of exemplary leaders. In 2006, the Georgia Department of Education established criteria for a Georgia High Performance Principal, which was based on student achievement instead of leadership performance; however, Collins' description of exemplary leaders in the business sector as Level 5 leaders was based on individual performance not solely on the organization. Level 5 leaders showed characteristics of personal humility and professional will as well as the following characteristics: modesty; calm determination; supporting established standards; training successors; giving credit to others; creating excellent results; supporting change; unwavering resolve; modeling expectations; and never blaming. Collins asserted that Level 5 leaders existed everywhere. Thus, the purpose of this study was to examine the similarities of middle school Georgia High Performance Principals and Level 5 leaders. The multiple case study approach allowed the researcher to observe three middle school principals in their school settings, to interview assistant principals and others in the schools, and to review documents related to their leadership characteristics. The researcher also assessed the personality profile of these principals, using the True Colors personality profile. Additionally, data form Collins' description of a Level 5 leader was collected and analyzed. Common themes and patterns obtained from the data yielded the following leadership characteristics found in all three Georgia High Performance Principals: modesty; calm determination; supporting established standards; training successors; giving credit to others; creating excellent results; supporting change; unwavering resolve; modeling expectations; never blaming; promoting professional development; clear vision; good communication; trusting; inspiring others to reach goals; supportive leader; and serving as a role model. According to the findings of this study, Georgia High Performance Principals share common leadership characteristics of Collins' Level 5 leaders. In conclusion, high performance principals can be described to possess personal humility and professional will. Additionally, the Level 5 principals had a long-term relationship with the school they lead. Thus, this relationship was a major benefit to growing your own leaders. Therefore, recommendations from this study included, school systems should provide training to prospective and current leaders on topics related to Level 5 leadership, personal humility, and professional will.

Share

COinS