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Leading From Below the Surface

Leading From Below the Surface
A Non-Traditional Approach to School Leadership

September 2004 | 112 pages | Corwin
`Theodore Creighton gets leaders to look further and more deeply at what is going on within an organization. He clearly demonstrates that looking 'below the surface' at motivations, struggles, and challenges is imperative' - Pamela Flood, Assistant Professor, Florida State University

Having served as teacher, principal, and superintendent before moving into higher education, Theodore Creighton is acutely aware that theoretical leadership theories often lack direction for working with the immediacy necessary for practical decision making in schools and on campuses. Often decisions are made from behind the scenes, under the radar, and occasionally require the bending of rules. The book presents a new model of school leadership that addresses and makes room for the more functional, real-world considerations that principals face, which includes understanding data and factors that are also "below the surface." The book also demonstrates practical examples, leadership practices, building political capital, e-communication, and time management, while continuing to emphasize leadership in the context of the "blurry" lines of practice

What This Book Is Not About


About the Author
1. Introduction
First, What Is the Surface?

OK, Now What Does "Below the Surface" Mean?

Leadership Is Both Objective and Subjective

2. What Does Traditional Leadership Look Like, and
How Did We Get Here from There?
Behavioral Leadership

Situational Leadership

Contingency Leadership Theory

Path-Goal Theory of Leadership

Transformational Leadership Theory

A Conceptual Framework for Leading From Below the Surface

3. What Is Leading From Below the Surface?
Bending the Rules Without Breaking Them

Managing Your Portfolio of Political Capital

Bourdieu and Capital

4. Evidence-Based Decision Making
Below the Surface: Data- or Evidence-Based?

Data-Driven vs. Evidence-Based Decision Making

Attendance Rates vs. Absence Rates

Narrowing the Achievement Gap

Dropout Rate: 2% or 28%?

Concluding Thoughts

5. Institutional Effectiveness vs. Strategy
A Closer Look at Strategy

How Does Strategy Relate to School Leadership?

Describing the Strategy

Identifying Positive and Negative Forces

6. Cooperation vs. Collaboration
Closing Thoughts

7. Looking Beyond the Obvious
From Superintendent to Secretary of Education

The SAT Story

Not Settling for Embroidering the Edges

Concluding Thoughts

8. Creating Leadership Behaviors: A Leadership Practice Field
OK, On to a Leadership Practice Field

Defining a Practice

A Practice Field Further Defined

Practicing Leading From Below the Surface

Practicing Listening

Practicing Respecting

9. Implications for Practicing School Administrators

Leading From Below the Surface

The Disjuncture Between Societal Use and School Use of Technology

The Virtual Classroom


"Creighton gets leaders to look further and more deeply at what is going on within an organization. He clearly demonstrates that looking ‘below the surface’ at motivations, struggles, and challenges is imperative."

Pamela Flood, Assistant Professor
Florida State University

Sample Materials & Chapters


Chapter 1: Introduction

For instructors

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ISBN: 9780761939535
ISBN: 9780761939528