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Making a point but it begs the question

Posted By: Avraham Cohen on October 18, 2004
I agree with the author's perspective that vesting all the standards of leadership in the school leader is probably a bad idea. However, I would completely disagree that changing the standards is going to solve anything. The hierarchical structure is still going to place someone on top and even with different standards the leader must be able to allow and facilitate the implementation of the standards. Of course, another option would be to remove the structure and replace it with a 'flat' structure. This, of course, has been tried. The problem with relatively few exceptions is that no one is in charge and unless by some miracle very cooperative individuals with excellent innate conflict-resolution skills populate the organizations, dis-order will be the order of the day.

We all seem to have hierarchical structure ingrained in our consciousness. I am not suggesting that this is natural or not. I am saying we have all grown up with it and just removing it is usually a prescription for chaos.

An alternative that is possible although difficult is to have individuals in leadership positions who are capable of inner awareness, that is aware of what moves them and what does not, who have facilitation skills, and who have a process orientation that is able to evaluate the group that is being led, how to help it to become cohesive, and how to eventually facilitate him or herself into a position of less 'authority' as the individuals and the organization are able to take over the functions that the authors advocate for.

I know that my suggestion is possible based on experience and research. I also know it is not easily reproduced without an immense time and energy investment helping future leaders learn about themselves along with the required skills. I can assure you that the time and energy is well worth the investment.

Avraham Cohen, Ph.D. (cand.)
Peer Advisor
Center for Cross Faculty Inquiry (CCFI)
Faculty of Education
2125 Main Mall
University of British Columbia
Vancouver, B.C. V6T 1Z4

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 Making a point but it begs the question by Avraham Cohen on October 18, 2004
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