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Leadership Teaming

Leadership Teaming
The Superintendent-Principal Relationship

January 2009 | 152 pages | Corwin
Every superintendent wants a high performing school district, but orchestrating this accomplishment can be daunting. Responding effectively to this type of challenge requires that superintendents build a partnership with their school principals. Principals, in turn, face the same challenges and most learn quickly that their effectiveness is tied directly to their relationship with their superintendent.

This insightful resource shows superintendents and principals how to develop the communication and strong collaboration that are essential for mutually supportive professional relationships. The authors detail how secure relationships combined with a team approach can significantly strengthen an administrator's leadership performance.

In Leadership Teaming: The Superintendent-Principal Relationship, superintendents and principals will find research-supported concepts, novel strategies, and vivid examples that point the way towards productive, successful, and enduring professional relationships.

Superintendent's Perspective

Principal's Perspective

About Our Book
About the Authors
Part I. Leadership Teaming
1.The Superintendent's Perspective: Characteristics of High-Quality Teams
Leadership Teams Work in Harmony

Vision of a Leadership Team

Develop an Affirmative Orientation

Take-Away Message

Closing in on Key Concepts

Extending Your Thinking

2. The Principal's Perspective: What Phenomenal Teams Look and Feel Like
Teamwork Defined

The Right People

The Right Work

The Right Way

Take-Away Message

Closing in on Key Concepts

Extending Your Thinking

Part II. Leadership Qualities
3. The Superintendent's Perspective: What Superintendents Want in a Principal?


A Caring Heart

Take-Away Message

Closing in on Key Concepts

Extending Your Thinking

4. The Principal's Perspective: Superintendents Principals Want to Work For
The Transformational Leader

Emotionally Intelligent Leadership

Superlative Superintendents

Take-Away Message

Closing in on Key Concepts

Extending Your Thinking

Part III. Leadership Team Essentials
5. The Superintendent's Perspective: The Importance of Trust in Communication
Message Madness

The Importance of Trust

Portraits of Trust

Take-Away Message

Closing in on Key Concepts

Extending Your Thinking

6. The Principal's Perspective: Communication Expectations and Relationships
Critical Attributes

Principals' Perspectives

Superintendents' Perspectives

Expectation Development

Take-Away Message

Closing in on Key Concepts

Extending Your Thinking

Part IV. Leadership Learning
7. The Superintendent's Perspective: Cultivating Team Capacity
The Learning Team

Applying the Professional Learning Community Concepts

The Arlington Leadership Professional Learning Community

Lessons Learned, Points to Ponder

Take-Away Message

Closing in on Key Concepts

Extending Your Thinking

8. The Principal's Perspective: Perfecting Principal Performance
Ensuring Success

Perfecting Performance

Principal Performance Impact

Perfecting Superintendent Performance

Take-Away Message

Closing in on Key Concepts

Extending Your Thinking

Leadership Teaming Key Concepts

Resource A: Code-Building Exercise 1

Resource B: Code-Building Exercise 2

Resource C: Code Review Activity

Resource D: Principal Entry Plan

Resource E: Principal Professional Goal Plan

Suggested Readings


“This book has wonderful resources to help principals and superintendents build strong collaborative teams.”

Elaine McEwan, Educational Consultant
Author, Ten Traits of Highly Effective Schools

“This thoughtful book on how superintendents and principals can collaborate as effective teams to form professional learning communities is cutting edge.”

Margaret Grogan, Professor and Chair of Educational Leadership
University of Missouri, Columbia

“This book goes to the heart of the matter. It breaks new ground in its clarification of contemporary leadership literature and how both superintendents and principals can create a truly collaborative model in their schools.”

Joanne Rooney, Codirector
Midwest Principals’ Center

“As a former high school principal and school superintendent, I found myself wishing I had had access to a book like this when I began my administrative roles. The book provides ample resources based on contemporary research and literature and is filled with practical, field-based suggestions and activities that will assist school administrators in building cohesive, goal-oriented, successful teams.”

Marcus J. Haack, Clinical Associate Professor
University of Iowa

"The authors have been in the trenches, yet their book represents a hopeful message that schools can be high-performance organizations as well as healthy and supportive places for adults and students."

Susan Printy, Associate Professor of Educational Administration
Michigan State University

"Relationships are key, and this book beautifully provides the necessary highs and lows of positions, how they relate, and the successes of a productive relationship.”

Teresa P. Cunningham, Principal
Laurel Elementary School, Mountain City, TN

“While based on clearly described leadership theory, this book is filled with practical ways to improve teamwork in any school district."

William Bushaw, Executive Director
Phi Delta Kappa International

“At last, a book that adds value by bringing principals and superintendents together in a new kind of partnership.”

Thomas J. Sergiovanni, Lillian Radford Professor of Educational Leadership
Trinity University

For instructors

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