The purpose of this research was to analyze the leadership experiences of beginning students in an Educational Administration preparation program.
One hundred beginning students in Educational Administration were asked to complete the Personal Best Leadership Experience Questionnaire (Kouzes & Posner). All participants were practicing teachers and beginning the master’s course work necessary to become a principal.
The author determined that “even though Kouzes and Posner studied established business leaders and this study looked at neophyte leaders in education, many of the same patterns and themes can be defined” (p. 2). Moreover, “a common theme that emerged was that their personal best made them believe in their leadership abilities” (p. 2).
The author concludes:
The personal best stories of beginning leaders are not as sophisticated as the stories of established business leaders. Once beginning leaders accepted the role of leadership, they activity sought challenges and opportunities to make the vision a reality. Beginning or experienced leaders have a vision of the possibilities and are able to convince others of the rightness of the vision. Beginning leaders realize that leadership means you must have followers and that people willingly follow a leader. Followers are recognized as quality individuals who can be leaders in their own right, given the correct circumstance. Beginning leaders believe that they should be in the trenches working alongside the team. Leaders do not set themselves apart from the team. Beginning leaders found leadership to be both hard work and fun. Their apprehensions are overcome by small wins that lead to larger success. Leaders understand the importance of having a sense of humor and of recognizing the contributions of others (p. 6).