Open Journal of Leadership
2013. Vol.2, No.3, 56-62
Published Online September 2013 in SciRes (
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. 56
Understanding School Leaders’ Characteristics
and Estimating the Future
Ali Sabanci1, Ahmet Şahin2, Gamze Kasalak1
1Faculty of Education, Akdeniz University, Antalya, Turkey
2Cengiz Topel Secondary School, Antalya, Turkey
Received April 17th, 2013; revised May 22nd, 2013; accepted June 8th, 2013
Copyright © 2013 Ali Sabanci et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons At-
tribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the
original work is properly cited.
Responsiveness to the rapidly changing environment and a set of circumstances might be a key argument
for educational leaders. We addressed the following specific questions: 1) What are your school leader’s
weak characteristics as a school leader? 2) What are your school leader’s strong characteristics as school
leaders? And 3) according to you, what kind of characteristics your school leader will need in the forth-
coming twenty-five years as a school leader? The purpose of the study is to determine the strong and
weak characteristics of current school leaders and trying to estimate and draw an overview about charac-
teristics of future school leaders depending on the views of teachers. The study was conducted by qualita-
tive interviewing. The study group in the research was determined by two types of purposeful sampling: 1)
convenience sampling and 2) maximum variation sampling. The study group consisted of 56 teachers
from various European countries. In the analysis, NVivo 10 was used and the data were analyzed by con-
tent analysis technique. The results illustrated that weak, strong and estimated characteristics as they were
stated by the respondents were consistent in that they provided three kinds of data including weak and
strong the characteristics of current school leaders, estimated future characteristics and a picture of the
criteria to evaluate leadership Educating people undoubtedly will be based on “human relations”, “face to
face” and “in the classrooms teaching” while technology and its all kinds of derivatives are presumed
only to be the means to reach the goals.
Keywords: Leadership; School Leader; Characteristics of Leaders; Leadership in Future
In this study, we discussed current state of school leadership
theoretically and tried to find answers to the characteristics of a
school leader today and the characteristics which will be re-
quired in the near future regarding uncertainty of the future.
Coates (2010) argues that the past is open to interpretation, the
present to perception and the future is inevitably about specula-
tion. Fink (2005) argues that leadership in recent years has
become a growth industry. Politicians demand more of it, aca-
demics decry the lack of it, and potential school leaders are
deciding “to hell with it”.
In the OECD publications, it has been stressed that there is a
growing concern that the role of school principal, has not
evolved to deal with the complex challenges that schools are
preparing children and young people to face in the 21st century.
So the major attention must be first on the need to improve
teaching and learning, secondly, the change in pedagogy,
thirdly, the shift in the centres of autonomy and accountability,
fourthly, policy and practice coherency, and finally, schools are
confronted with an increasingly complex environment. In this
process the key elements for an effective school leadership
needed were suggested to 1) be a more active role in instruc-
tional leadership, 2) providing a more powerful form of active,
constructivist learning, 3) be sufficient autonomy to make im-
portant decisions about the curriculum and teacher recruitment
and development, 4) getting coherent governmental policy and
practice with school-level processes, systems and priorities and
5) enabling teachers and students to deal effectively with the
processes of change (OECD, 2009).
In the first section of this paper we raised some important
questions on the current state of school leadership based on
literature in order to create an impression of the flow of the
logic of the paper. Later we tried to discuss how school leader-
ship has been seen today and what kind of estimations about the
characteristics of future school leaders have been suggested in
the related literature. In the second section, the methodology
has been explained. In the third part, the findings about first, the
current state of leadership by means of strong and weak char-
acteristics and secondly, findings about estimations for future
leadership were given. In the final we discussed the findings
and concluded.
Literature Review
The argument, on whether the principals are in the least fa-
vourable position to provide proactive leadership or not, lies
behind the fact that “principals find themselves locked in with
less and less room to manoeuvre (Fullan, 1998). The answer
may be “yes” for many countries depending on the amount of
principal’s autonomy on the school policy. For example Leith-
wood et al. (2002) reported that the majority of the teachers and
managers believe that the government’s policies about im-
provement of teaching and learning do not reflect their own
professional goals. If so, as Steinbach and Jantzi (2002) sug-
gested further questions need to be addressed to seek for the
reasons behind the fact and draw outcomes for the future of
school leadership such as: Are the principals surrounded by a
tight costume made of regulations? Is their unfavourable posi-
tion because they are arrested by their psychological guards? Or
is that because they are led by a conservative social pressure?
And finally, how flexible are they to react to change demand?
On the other hand, how rapid turnover or in other words insta-
bility in school management positions effects leadership char-
acteristics and creates significant barriers to educational change
(Fink & Brayman, 2006). Each question is vital in that the pos-
sible convincing answers to each of them will help us to under-
stand the characteristics of leadership today and provide inspir-
ing clues to estimate how leaders will be in the future.
Grogan and Andrews (2002) noted that the changes in educa-
tion, and the nation as a whole, could present an entirely dif-
ferent set of challenges about leadership in the future. As in
Coates (2010) similitude “The established route of the train
journey gives way to the flexibility of the car” Fullan (1998)
claims that school leaders need a new mindset and guidelines
for action to break through the bonds of dependency that have
entrapped those who want to make a difference in their schools.
Responsiveness to the rapidly changing environment and set of
circumstances might be a key argument for educational leaders.
Twenty-first century schooling necessitates a shift away from
vertical, policy-driven change to lateral, capacity building
change. Schools are becoming more complex places. In the fu-
ture they will need to be more responsive to a rapidly changing
environment and set of circumstances. They will need to be
highly adaptable structures that are versatile and responsive to
shifting needs and priorities. Therefore the leadership practice
has to also be adaptive, flexible and highly responsive to exter-
nal and internal imperatives for change (Harris, 2010; Leith-
wood et al., 2008). Barendsen and Gardner (2006) proposed
that the best leaders to adjust to rapidly changing times need to
exhibit three distinct meanings of good: 1) an excellent techni-
cal and professional quality and competence, 2) an ethical ori-
entation, and 3) a completely engaged sense of fulfilment and
meaningfulness. According to Coates (2010) a future thinking
engages individuals and teams with innovation and there is a
move from replication to regeneration, from predictability to
possibility. Sandmann and Vandenberg (1995) asserted that lea-
dership development for the 21st century is holistic: it is cen-
tred in groups or organizations, rather than individuals, and en-
gages the group in heart, mind, spirit, and energy. The driving
forces of this philosophy, then, are community, the heart of a
group’s leadership; vision, which engages the spirit; learning,
which stimulates the mind; and action, which compels energy.
Mariasse (1985) considered leaders as not to simply maintain
the existing situation. To the writer, leaders are involved in
change, and without change or movement, there is no leader-
ship. To actively change an organization, leaders must make
decisions about the nature of the desired state. Making choices
requires both information about current realities and future
possibilities. According to Reilly (2007) a global leader is a
learner and believes that everyone around him is also a learner
and values innovation. Collay (2006) writes that aspiring prin-
cipals are urged to create democratic organizations and profes-
sional learning communities. These demanding educational set-
tings require bold, socially responsible leadership by both prin-
cipals and teachers, continually expanding the roles and respon-
sibilities each must fulfil. Goldring (2002) concentrates on stu-
dent achievement in explaining effective educational leadership
in the 21st century. He asserts that a leader will require strate-
gies that make it possible for all children to succeed academi-
cally. Day et al. (2001) put a stress on the capacity of leaders to
make a difference. They assert that interpretation of and respon-
ses to the constraints, demands and choices that they face help
leaders to make a difference. Leaders capture their past, present
and future pressures, challenges, and concerns and aspirations
with which they are daily faced and which are reflect the mul-
ti-faceted demands of the role. Slater (2008) thinks that build-
ing leadership capacity or eliciting effort in others requires ef-
fort, unique insight, and explicit skills on the part of leaders.
Leaders may learn to use communication skills and strategies as
a pathway to building leadership capacity. As principals and
other leaders share the lead and the load, the success of their
performance will be determined by their ability to inspire a cul-
ture of empowerment. Leaders’ success then will be measured
not by the number of followers they have, but rather by the
number of individuals that they have inspired to become leaders
themselves. According to Witziers et al. (2003) principals should
not only perform tasks related to coordination and evaluation of
the educational system but also in relation to further developing
the educational system via transformation of the school culture.
One of the main tasks of school principals is to help create a
working environment in which teachers collaborate and identify
with the school’s mission and goals. Murphy and Walberg
(2002) points out to trust and dialogue. To them, new leaders
dedicated to school improvement should gain knowledge not
only about best practices but also about how to foster dialogue
and trust within schools and between schools and the commu-
nities they serve. Moreover, school staff should be given the
knowledge about new leadership concepts and scientific evi-
dence that they need to accept innovative leaders. Grogan and
Andrews (2002) point out to critical characteristics of a prepa-
ration of aspiring educational leaders programme such as colla-
borative instructional leadership, practice based knowledge, op-
portunities for novices and experts, selection of aspiring prin-
cipals, assessment of development, contribution to standards,
ethical and moral obligations, long term internship and learning
opportunities in diverse settings and address to successors.
Problem Statement
The purpose of this article is to determine the strong and
weak characteristics of current school leaders and trying to es-
timate and draw an overview about characteristics of future
school leaders depending on the views of teachers. For this rea-
son the following specific questions were addressed to them:
1) What are your school leader’s weak characteristics?
2) What are your school leader’s strong characteristics?
3) What kind of characteristics your school leader will need
in the forthcoming twenty-five years as a school leader?
Our research was based on phenomenological approach
which is a qualitative research design. The data were gathered
by qualitative interviewing using standardized open-ended in-
terviews (Kus, 2007; Mason J., 2002; Patton, 1990; Rubin &
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. 57
Copyright © 2013 SciRes.
Rubin, 1995; Yildirim & Simsek, 2006). cation. The sample comprised of 23 kinds of teaching subjects.
The participants had 1 year to 32 years of experience.
The interview form consisted of two parts. In the first part
questions about demographic information took part with an ex-
planation about the purpose of the study. In the second part, the
respondents were addressed three specific questions to in order
first to understand the current state (strong and weak character-
istics of current education leaders) and secondly to explore
some clues for future leadership characteristics.
The data were gathered in 2012 spring semester. Turkish par-
ticipants were interviewed face to face but e-mailing was pre-
ferred for the other participants. The data were analysed by
content analysis technique in two ways. First, the interviews
were read through in order to get a feel for what is being said,
identifying key themes and issues in each text, then coded and
categorized in themes. Secondly, in the analysis, NVivo 10,
computer software package was used for further analysis. The
respondents were coded as “T” and given a number” (Ex.T1)
(Patton, 1990; Yildirim & Simsek, 2006). In order to improve
the validity and reliability transparency, consistency-coherency,
and communicability were considered (Rubin & Rubin, 1995).
The study group in the research was determined by two types
of purposeful sampling: 1) convenience sampling was used for
the countries other than Turkey because of the difficulty in
interviewing the respondents and 2) maximum variation sam-
pling was used for Turkish respondents considering gender,
marital status, instruction type of schooling, school type,
teaching subject and seniority (length in teaching position)
(Patton, 1990; Yildirim & Simsek, 2006). As a result the study
group consisted of 56 teachers including 44 teachers from An-
talya, Turkey, 1 from Austria, 1 from Germany, 2 from Norway,
1 from Portugal, 1 from Romania, 3 from South Cyprus, 2 from
Spain and 1 from United Kingdom. 41.1% (23) of the partici-
pants are male and 58.9% (33) are female. 60.7% (34) of the
teachers are married; 39.3% (22) of the sample group are single.
75.0% (42) of the teachers work in full day education schools,
the others, 25.0% (14) work in schools with half day education.
30 (53.6%) of the teachers participated the study work in pri-
mary schools, 12 (21.4%) in high schools, 4 (7.1%) in seconda-
ry schools, 4 (7.1%) in vocational high schools, 2 (3.6%) in
upper secondary schools, 2 (3.6%) in Anatolian high schools, 1
(18%) in pre-education schools and 1 (1.8%) in informal edu-
In this section, first coding similarity was discussed, and then
results of teachers’ views on current state of school leaders’
characteristics and their estimations about future characteristics
were presented in the sub-headings presented in medium italics.
According to Figure 1, the way the respondents understood
and answered the questions were in the scope of research ques-
tions and quite similar.
Referring to teachers’ views about principals’ weak leader-
ship characteristics twenty-two themes given in Table 1 were
identified. Some quotations representing the themes have been
presented in the following lines. In relation to the first theme
one of the respondents said “Our school principal states that he
Figure 1.
Coding similarity of teachers’ views on educational leaders (three dimensional).
had a democratic mentality, is open to criticize, accepts his/her
mistakes (as a person and administrator). However, he is not
consistent in addressing people, and his behaviours” (T26). In
relation to second theme one respondent stated that “Deficit in
communication skills that lead to a lack of transparency on the
reasons” (T55). The third weakness has been exemplified by
two representative quotations. The first respondent points out to
“Their lack of foresight for the future in personal and organiza-
tional level” (T6). And the second example stresses on vision
and mission terms clearly saying that “He is not idealist as a
principal. He does not assign targets. He does not also manage
the mission and vision of the school” (T31). The following
quotations exemplify rude side of a human being. One respon-
dent stated that his school leader “Never hesitates to criticize
and humiliate teachers in front of the students” (T38). In rela-
tion to theme five one respondent said “He warns successful
staff as well as unsuccessful ones. Therefore, successful and
unsuccessful staffs are not distinguished” (T3). Weakness re-
ferring the term “technology” was stated by a respondent
as“They are unable to follow technological innovations” (T9).
Another respondent stressed on “Insufficient technological know-
Table 1.
Principals’ weak leadership characteristics according to teachers’
Items n
1) Having attitudes such as inconsistency, self-centredness, pedantry,
showing off, impatience, unfairness, loosing temper, arrogance. 23
2) Inefficiency in communication such as preference of one-way
communication, lack of empathy, lying, unwillingness, language
disability, using inconsistent expressions and impatient listening.
3) Coercing the staff for his traditional way of thinking, vision an
goals which is not clear. 11
4) Defects in human relations such as insulting, excluding an
threatening teachers with dismissing. 11
5) Lack of theoretical and practical information on evaluating
performance of the staff. 9
6) Limited skills in applying educational technology and meeting
opportunities. 8
7) Referring preferably dominative (authoritarian) leadership style
on students, teachers and all other attendants. 8
8) Being reluctant in involving the stakeholders to strategic decisions
about the school. 8
9) Incompetency in coaching problem solving skills of the staff. 7
10) Dissociating the staff with oral and behavioural ways such as
gestures, mimics, etc. 5
11) Contenting themselves with bureaucratic routines. 5
12) Distrusting that the staff has the potential to contribute creatively
and innovatively. 4
13) Disability to understand, analyze and set a positive school
climate. 4
14) Far from understanding human nature, needs and wishes. 4
15) Pretending as if he has the power to solve every problem (feeling
of excessive power). 4
16) Limited talents in developing objective instruments to evaluate
achievement 4
17) Not being aware of referring to excessive repression on the staff.4
18) Violating the borders of private life and gossiping about. 3
19) Engaging the staff with redundant issues. 3
20) Obeying the rules strictly. 3
21) Not to have the ability to create new projects for the school
improvement. 3
22) Lack of managing meetings. 2
ledge” (T55). The quotation about authoritative tendency is also
noteworthy. The respondent said that “I don’t think he has lea-
dership characteristics. He is only an administrator came with
the examination. He does not understand human relations. He is
rude and inconsistent in his speeches and he does not know
where and what to say” (T39). In relation to eighth theme one
respondent stated that “He doesn’t like consulting to others
much” (T29). Another one said “He ignores others’ opinions,
actually is not willing to listen to us” (T44).
Table 2 shows principals’ strong leadership characteristics
depending on the analysis of teachers’ views. Two quotations
have been presented to exemplify the first theme. The first re-
spondent stated that one of his school leaders’ strong character-
istics is to be “good-minded and fair” (T11). In relation to the-
me two one respondent said about his school leader that “He is
hardworking, sharing, gentle, and democratic” (T20). Another
respondent also stated that “Our principal is very good, some-
times a little moody.” (T54). The third theme stresses on the
bases of human relations. One respondent said that “Our school
principal gives moral support to people to provide team work
when necessary” (T26). The fourth theme was inferred from
such ideas as “Our principal encourages teachers in every field.
He supports teachers in every task” (T6). In relation to school-
environment relations one respondent said “our school leader
communicates with other stakeholders to increase the success in
school. Establishes good dialogue with parents” (T42). In rela-
tion to theme six one respondent said that one of his school
Table 2.
Principals’ strong leadership characteristics according to teachers’
Items n
1) Have honest, fair, open minded, democratic, valuable, equal,
considerate and objective treatment to the staff. 12
2) Hardworking, gentle, friendly, polite, emotional. 9
3) Positive human relations, creative motivation strategies and moral
support. 9
4) Support and encourage self development needs of the staff. 8
5) Specialist on school-environment relations including parental,
governmental and non governmental institutions. 8
6) Reflect both self-confidence and trust to the employee. 8
7) Reflect personal communication style. 8
8) Manage school budget successfully and talented in creating
financial supports. 6
9) Encourage and facilitate team and group works. 6
10) Skilful in integrating the staff by creating group activities. 5
11) Skilful in chasing new opportunities in technological
developments. 5
12) Competent in management profession and pedagogy. 5
13) Practical and time saving in applying the final decision. 5
14) Inspiring in problem solving and crisis management. 4
15) Reflecting a role model in creating a school culture based on
learning. 4
16) Adapt participative decision making. 4
17) Creative on adjusting physical facilities with learning needs. 4
18) Reflect good command of regulations. 4
19) Achievement oriented and student centred. 3
20) Reflect creative and inspiring managerial initiatives 2
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. 59
leader’s strong characteristics is “to have a self confident way
of estimating the events and a trust in awareness of his follow-
ers including attendants, teachers and students” (T8). The quo-
tations representing theme seven stresses “to have a self-way of
expressing his ideas and wishes”. One respondent said that “one
of my school leader’s strong characteristics lies always using
the word “our” (T10). Another participant said that “what is
strong among his characteristics is that the way he uses appro-
priate speaking styles which suits the person and the case”
(T26). Some participants stated that one of their school leaders’
major characteristics is the creative ability about financial is-
sues. About these themes, a participant said that “My principal
is successful in finding necessary sponsors for schools’ de-
mands” (T2).
Table 3 shows the findings about estimated characteristics of
school leaders’ in the fourth coming near future based on tea-
chers’ experiences and views. The first theme, given in Table 3,
has the highest frequency which shows that the main focus is
on the issues about information and communication technolo-
gies. In relation to these theme one participant said “To have a
good command on ICT resources and know how to use them in
order to use a school more effectively and according to the
advances in technology” (T52). In relation to the second theme
a respondent said that a school leader must have the ability “To
follow up change and analyze changing aspects of organization
continuously” (T1). Another respondent contributed the theme
adding that “A school principal must be educational leader. He
should pursue innovations, developments closely. He should
also create atmosphere where those innovations will be run. He
should be pioneer” (T28). The third theme which is about mo-
tivational issues was derived out of the statements such as “A
school leader will be expected to know how to appreciate tea-
chers by putting his ego aside” (T22). The fourth theme given
in Table 3, seems to have a focus on cooperation and commu-
nication in describing the characteristics of a school leader in
the future. One participant stated that “He must provide an op-
portunity for open dialogue/access to parents to foster coopera-
tion at home and in the community. He should be a model for
his staff and a motivator” (T46). In relation to theme five a re-
spondent said that “Our principal has a personality which ne-
cessitates renewal and adaptation to developments regularly.
According to me, he must be one step ahead in front of us, be-
cause, he is the person who is expected to represent willingness,
intelligence and academic proficiency” (T19). Several respon-
dents contributed theme six as in the following quoted terms:
“Being a benevolent man” (Tcase 12 > Reference 3), “Being
gentle” (T12), “they must first be leaders of good, strong and
honourable character” (T17), “they must be intelligent” (T17),
“Should not show inconsistent and contradictious behaviours
and attitudes” (T22), “reliability and openness” (T21), “intelli-
gence and academic proficiency” (T19) , “Having dynamism to
follow up changes and developments” (T36). In relation to the-
me seven a respondent said that “A school leader should create
positive school atmosphere” (T28). Another one added that
“Principals should provide teachers with comfortable work con-
ditions and work effectively” (T35). Some respondents seem to
focus on vision and mission abilities of a school leader’s char-
acteristics in the future. In relation to the theme, one respondent
said that “He should have an overall vision for his school”
(T46). Another one stated that “In general principals should be
clear about their goals, be fair to all teachers and not behave in
favour of some, be transparent in their decision making process,
Table 3.
Principals’ estimated leadership characteristics according to teachers’
Items n
1) Should be able to supply the school with technological resources,
and encourage teachers to use technology effectively. 20
2) Must be able to analyze change process, pursue innovations and
adapt to change demands. 15
3) Must have effective motivational strategies for all parties of
school. 15
3) Should foster an effective cooperation by setting effective
communication among teachers, students, parents and other parts
of the community.
4) Should have enough knowledge and experience in school and
public management and self development strategies. 13
5) Will have objective, honourable, benevolent, gentle, reliable, open
minded, consistent and dynamic character. 10
6) Must have the ability to create a competitive, innovative an
positive school culture and climate. 7
7) Should have an overall clear school vision, mission and ability to
communicate them effectively. 7
8) Will have close human relations with the staff. 6
9) Will be transparent in making strategic decisions with the
employees for effective innovation and change continuously. 6
10) Should have a good command on the mother tongue and a
second language and inspire teachers to learn and use a second
11) Will encourage and facilitate teachers’ development. 6
12) Will be professional in both areas pedagogy and management
profession. 6
13) Creates and insists on building a team spirit including each
individual in the whole organization. 5
14) Should be an alternative developer and problem solver. 5
15) Will be able to measure and evaluate the staff performance with
objective criteria. 5
16) Must be sensitive and respectful to diversities. 5
17) Will be student centred and achievement oriented. 4
18) Will reflect democratic attitudes and behaviours. 4
19) Good follower of contemporary educational agenda and the
related developments. 3
20) Will adapt coaching role. 3
21) Will be more talented on financial issues of the school. 3
22) Will reflect less tendency and dependency on bureaucracy. 2
23) Should reflect value and moral based management. 2
value opinions, have an open ear for all teachers” (T54).
Table 4 shows some additional critical issues found in the
process of content analysis which is likely to open a new dis-
cussion on the debate. In the first theme given in Table 4, the
respondents concentrate on the relationship of nature of the
system and effective leadership. The idea stems from the prem-
ise that centralized systems limit leadership initiative. The sec-
ond theme shows that competency of the school leaders and
appointment procedures accordingly should be revised accord-
ing to the needs of the new age which is shaped by unlimited
information processing. The third theme stresses on finding
ways for providing dynamism in the management positions.
The last critical issue found in the analysis is the unfavourable
results appear because of inconsistent decisions and changes
made by policy makers and educational authorities. The respon-
dents refer to the premise that if the educational systems are
successfully transformed to have consistent, constant and flexi-
ble characters in relation to local, national and global needs
Copyright © 2013 SciRes.
Table 4.
Some additional critical issues in the future of leadership.
1) Decentralization strengths the leader.
2) Principals competencies must be redefined and principals should be
appointed accordingly
3) School principals should often be rotated or alternative ways should be
considered in appointment.
4) Often changes made in state policy makes a barrier in front of effective
then, the future leaders are likely to be more effective.
Discussions and Conclusions
The results demonstrated that the most common leadership
characteristics was expected and estimated on the issue of
processing information using computer based technology. More
respondents stated that current leaders had limited skills in
using the latest technologies adapted to educational needs than
these who thought that current principals were skilful in chas-
ing new technology for innovative opportunities. On the other
hand, almost half of the respondents estimated technology to be
of first priority of a leader’s characteristics. The respondents’
second expectation which reflects transformational character is
consistent with the first, in that the underlined terms such as
meeting change demand, the need to pursue innovation and
keeping conscious to improve are likely to be the major char-
acteristics required to help a leader to keep alert for revising his
competency in rapidly developing technological issues. Among
one of the most mentioned leadership characteristics for future
by the participants were about motivational strategies. This
finding is significant in that although technology was blessed
first for future leadership, later we understand that the human
side of the educational organizations has been still seen as the
core of the issue. Soon after the motivational strategies com-
municative skills were reported by the respondents to be an
expected leadership characteristics in the future. This finding
also leads us to think that human resources were thought to
remain as the most important part of the educational organiza-
tions whereas, technology as the mean not the end. Among the
later characteristics for future leadership the focus was on inte-
grating personal characteristics, such as experience, reliability,
and consistency; professional characteristics such as, having a
clear vision, decision making and organizational characteristics,
such as providing a positive school culture, evaluating perfor-
mance etc.
An overview of the themes common to three facets of the
study, given in Table 1-3, show that technology, public man-
agement skills, personal characteristics, vision, human relations,
transparency in decision making, communicability internation-
ally, competency in teaching profession, team management ca-
pacity, problem solving skills, performance evaluation and
achievement orientation, respectability to diversities, attitudes
in relation to democratic and value based management, finan-
cial issues, flexibility in applying bureaucracy, a leader’s iden-
tity and its effects on the organizational processes, the ability to
communicate, whether exerting authoritative or democratic
style, trust or vice versa to the staff contribution, respecting
human rights, ability to conduct meeting, motivation strategies,
self-developmental issues, providing school-environment rela-
tions, talents in creating belongingness, skills to effect school
culture and climate, providing maximum benefit from physical
environment and undertaking managerial initiatives are likely
to be inferred as the major domains in dealing with leadership
issue. It can be asserted that all of these subjects are one of the
most significant finding of this study because they are in nature
seem to represent the criteria that teachers used in their evalua-
What we can also learn from the findings is that the respon-
dents of this research have in their minds the idea that educat-
ing people undoubtedly will be based on “human relations”,
“face to face” and “in the classrooms teaching” while technol-
ogy and its all kinds of derivatives are presumed only to be the
means to reach the goals. So, we can infer that although infor-
mation and communication technologies have caused to some
degree confusion in the minds about the role of teachers in
educating students and the role of the school leaders in this
paradigmatic shift, it seems that teachers and school leaders do
not reflect any kind of tendency to substitute the means with the
ends. On the other hand, the findings given in Table 4, calls for
decentralization of the education system and deciding on how
schools will be managed accordingly; how school leaders will
be trained and in what ways they will be appointed arise a
comprehensive debate which includes policy makers and edu-
cational authorities in.
Consequently, the purpose of this study was to get teachers’
perceptions about current state of their school leaders’ charac-
teristics, identifying and classifying them in weak and strong
facets and trying to get a picture of future leadership character-
istics depending on their estimations. The results illustrated that
weak, strong and estimated characteristics as they were stated
by the respondents were consistent in that they provided three
kinds of data. The first kind provided us the characteristics that
teachers related to leadership and how they evaluate their lead-
ers accordingly. The second kind of the data provided us what
characteristics teachers estimate to a school leader in the future.
The third and perhaps the most significant data were to get a
picture of the criteria which were used by teachers in evaluating
their current state of school leaders derived out of the coher-
ency in stating the weak, strong and estimated characteristics.
Further qualitative analysis can be carried on by comparing
current state of leadership in centralized and decentralized edu-
cation systems and how teachers picture the future of school
leadership. Furthermore, further qualitative analysis regarding
demographic variables can also help to understand the issue
This study was supported by the University of Akdeniz, the
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