A year ago my wife took a leave from teaching middle school to enter a graduate program in school administration. I soon noticed that she and her colleagues were being assigned lots of reading on the topic of leadership, especially on the role of a leader in times of institutional change. A fair amount of this material was literature to which I also had paid attention over the years, including the work of such scholars as James MacGregor Burns, Ronald Heifetz and Margaret Wheatley. One thing was clear: the directors of her program thought that leadership mattered—that a principal made a difference in a school.
Anthony B. Robinson is president of Seattle-based Congregational Leadership Northwest and coauthor, with Robert W. Wall, of Called to Lead: Paul’s Letters to Timothy for a New Day (forthcoming from Eerdmans).