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Ten Traits of Highly Effective Principals

From Good to Great Performance

How can principals raise achievement levels, energize teachers, and get results? How can you remain productive and effective in this age of accountability?

Ten Traits of Highly Effective Principals contains a built-in facilitator's guide, ideas, reflections, behaviors, habits, and stories from the trenches to guide and inspire you as you seek to increase your own effectiveness. A highly effective principal is:

  • A communicator who listens and connects
  • An educator who motivates intellectual growth
  • An envisioner focused on the vision
  • A facilitator who builds strong relationships
  • A change master—flexible and futuristic
  • A culture builder who models a viable vision
  • An activator with motivation and enthusiasm to spare
  • A producer who builds intellectual development
  • A character builder who values trustworthiness and integrity
  • A contributor to the success of others

Full description

Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12
  • ISBN: 9780761946199
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Year: 2003
  • Page Count: 312
  • Publication date: February 27, 2014

Price: $45.95

Price: $45.95
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Request Review Copy

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"I feel that this is a book that principals will be interested in purchasing and reading. It has practical advice and relevant examples of how the advice can and has been implemented."
Phillip Silsby, Principal
Belleville West High School, Belleville, IL

"I could hear the voices of some of the principals who were interviewed speaking to me. The author clearly knows how to gather information and present it in a meaningful way."
Bonnie Tryon, Zone 2 Director
National Association of Elementary School Principals

"This is a powerful guidebook for new principals. More than that, it also contains valuable insight and examples to assist veteran principals in growing and improving professionally."
Kimberly Kay Janisch, Principal
Watertown High School, Watertown, SD

How can principals raise achievement levels, energize teachers, and get results? How can you remain productive and effective in this age of accountability?

Highly effective principals have strong communication skills, high levels of knowledge about teaching and learning, and the ability to provide instructional leadership. This excellent, new resource provides principals, administrative teams, and educators with tremendous resources to hone these skills and traits.

Ten Traits of Highly Effective Principals contains ideas, reflections, behaviors, habits, and stories from the trenches to guide and inspire as you seek to increase your own effectiveness. Each chapter in this resource describes an essential component of personal effectiveness. A highly effective principal is

  1. A communicator—listen, empathize, and connect
  2. An educator—with a depth of knowledge; motivates intellectual growth
  3. An envisioner—focused on the vision of what schools can be
  4. A facilitator—building strong relationships
  5. A change master—flexible, futuristic, and realistic, and can motivate change
  6. A culture builder—communicating and modeling a strong, viable vision
  7. An activator—with motivation, energy, and enthusiasm to spare
  8. A producer— building intellectual development and academic achievement
  9. A character builder—whose values are trustworthiness, respect, and integrity
  10. A contributor—whose priority is making contributions to the success of others

Transform your school into a community of learners, set high academic and behavioral expectations, and create a culture where children feel special and safe.

Key features

The book features a unique section at the end of the book that is intended as a staff development facilitator's guide. The section comes at the end of the book in gray-scale pages for easy recognition and use.



Elaine K. McEwan-Adkins photo

Elaine K. McEwan-Adkins

Elaine K. McEwan is an educational consultant with The McEwan-Adkins Group, offering professional development for educators to assist them in meeting the challenges of literacy learning in Grades Pre K-6. A former teacher, librarian, principal, and assistant superintendent for instruction in several suburban Chicago school districts, Elaine is the award-winning and best-selling author of more than three dozen books for educators. Her Corwin Press titles include Raising Reading Achievement in Middle and High Schools: Five Simple-to-Follow Strategies for Principals, Second Edition (2006), Seven Strategies of Highly Effective Readers: Using Cognitive Research to Boost K-8 Achievement (2004), Ten Traits of Highly Effective Principals: From Good to Great Performance (2003), Making Sense of Research: What’s Good, What’s Not, and How to Tell the Difference (2003), Seven Steps to Effective Instructional Leadership, Second Edition (2003), Teach Them ALL to Read: Catching the Kids Who Fall through the Cracks (2002), and Ten Traits of Highly Effective Teachers: How to Hire, Mentor, and Coach Successful Teachers (2001).

McEwan was honored by the Illinois Principals Association as an outstanding instructional leader, by the Illinois State Board of Education with an Award of Excellence in the Those Who Excel Program, and by the National Association of Elementary School Principals as the National Distinguished Principal from Illinois for 1991. She received her undergraduate degree in education from Wheaton College and advanced degrees in library science (MA) and educational administration (EdD) from Northern Illinois University.
Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Who This Book Is For

Overview of the Contents



A Matter of Defintion

The Origin of the Ten Traits

The Ten Traits of Highly Effective Principals

Chapter 1: The Communicator

Chapter 2: The Educator

Chapter 3: The Envisioner

Chapter 4: The Facilitator

Chapter 5: The Change Master

Chapter 6: The Culture Builder

Chapter 7: The Activator

Chapter 8: The Producer

Chapter 9: The Character Builder

Chapter 10: The Contributor

About the Author


1. The Communicator

Communicator Exemplar: Michelle Gayle

Communicator Benchmarks

1.1 Communicators Attend

1.2 Communicators Listen

1.3 Communicators Empathize

1.4 Communicators Disclose Themselves to Others

1.5 Communicators Get the Whole Story

1.6 Communicators Ask the Right Questions

1.7 Communicators Say What They Mean and Mean What They Say

1.8 Communicators Can Acceptn Criticism

1.9 Communicators Can Give Correction

1.10 Communicators Communicate Creatively

1.11 Communicators Disagree Agreeably

1.12 Communicators Pay Attention to Parents

1.13 Communicators Connect Emotionally and Professionally With Staff

1.14 Communicators Communicate With Students

1.15 Communicators Can Talk to the Boss

1.16 Communicators Connect in Productive, Helping, and Healing Ways

1.17 Communicators Care Enough to Send the Very Best

1.18 Communicators Know How to Schmooze

1.19 Communicators Write, Speak, and Teach

Summing It Up

2. The Educator

Educator Exemplar

Jean Hendrickson, Elementary

Educator Exemplar: Alan Jones, High School

Educator Benchmarks

2.1 Educator Principals Believe That All Students Can Learn, and They Develop Programs to Help Them Succeed

2.2 Educator Principals Provide Training and Support for Teachers

2.3 Educator Principals Create Cognitive Dissonance

2.4 Educator Principals Establish, Implement, and Achieve Academic Standards

2.5 Educator Principals Focus on Instruction

2.6 Educator Principals Model Continuous Learning

2.7 Educator Principals Develop Teacher Leaders

2.8 Educator Principals Pay Attention to What Matters Most

2.9 Educator Principals Create Learning Communities

Summing It Up

3. The Envisioner

Envisioner Exemplar: Larry Fieber

Envisioner Benchmarks

3.1 Envisioners Are Hedgehogs

3.2 Envisioners Feel Called

3.3 Envisioners Have Resolve, Goals, and Lifevision

3.4 Envisioners Can See the Invisible

3.5 Envisioners Know Where They Are Headed

3.6 Envisioners Have Compelling Visions

3.7 Envisioners Can Articulate Their Visions and Then Make Them Happen

Summing It Up

4. The Facilitator

Facilitator Exemplar: Doug Pierson

Facilitator Benchmarks

4.1 Facilitator Principals Bond People Into a Community of Leaders

4.2 Facilitator Principals Tap the Potential of People

4.3 Facilitator Principals Say "We" Instead of "I"

4.4 Facilitator Principals Favor People Over Paperwork

4.5 Facilitator Principals Build Up Emotional Bank Accounts

4.6 Facilitator Principals Cultivate Their Own Well-Being

4.7 Facilitator Principals Value Diversity

4.8 Facilitator Principals Share the "Power Pie"

4.9 Facilitator Principals Accentuate the Positives

4.10 Facilitator Principals Promote Parental Involvement

4.11 Facilitator Principals Celebrate

4.12 Facilitator Principals Spend Time With Students

Summing It Up

5. The Change Master

Change Master Exemplar: Marjorie Thompson

Change Master Benchmarks

5.1 Change Masters Can Handle Uncertainty and Ambiguity

5.2 Change Masters Respect Resisters

5.3 Change Masters Are Futuristic

5.4 Change Masters Use a Situational Approach

5.5 Change Masters Know That the Power Is Within

5.6 Change Masters Value the Process

5.7 Change Masters Plan for Short-Term Victories

5.8 Change Masters Procure Resources

5.9 Change Masters Trust Their Teams

5.10 Change Masters Are Willing to Change Themselves

5.11 Change Masters Are Motivators

5.12 Change Masters Understand the Change Process

Summing It Up

6. The Culture Builder

Culture Builder Exemplar: Gabe Flicker

Culture Builder Benchmarks

6.1 Culture Builders Understand and Appreciate the Power of Culture

6.2 Culture Builders Know What a Good Culture Looks Like

6.3 Culture Builders Facilitate the Development of Core Values

6.4 Culture Builders Communicate These Values Clearly

6.5 Culture Builders Reward and Cheer Those Who Support and Enhance the Culture

6.6 Culture Builders Build Cultures That People Choose

6.7 Culture Builders Know the Small Stuff Is Really the Big Stuff

Summing It Up

7. The Activator

Activator Exemplar: Clare Maguire

Activator Exemplar: Todd White

Activator Benchmarks

7.1 Activators Mobilize People

7.2 Activators Are Entrepreneurial

7.3 Activators Don't Wait to Be Told

7.4 Activators Are Risk Takers

7.5 Activators Ask for Forgiveness Rather Than Permission

7.6 Activators Run to Daylight

7.7 Activators Don't Micromanage

7.8 Activators Make Things Happen

7.9 Activators Are Outrageous

7.10 Activators Are Cheerleaders

Summing It Up

8. The Producer

Producer Exemplar: Dale Skinner

Producer Benchmarks

8.1 Producers Believe That Achievement Is the Bottom Line

8.2 Producers Never Mistake Activity for Achievement

8.3 Producers Are Data Driven

8.4 Producers Pay Attention to Individual Students

8.5 Producers Have Academically Focused Missions

8.6 Producers Make Research-Based Decisions

8.7 Producers Hold Teachers Accountable

Summing It Up

9. The Character Builder

Character Builder Examplar: Tom Paulsen

Character Builder Benchmarks

9.1 Character Builders Are Human

9.2 Character Builders Are Trustworthy

9.3 Character Builders Have Integrity

9.4 Character Builders Are Authentic

9.5 Character Builders Are Respectful

9.6 Character Buliders Are Generous

9.7 Character Builders Are Humble

9.8 Character Builders Hire Staff Members With Character

9.9 Character Builders Are Consistent

9.10 Character Builders Lead by Example, Not by Exhortation

9.11 Character Builders Seek to Develop the Character of Students

Summing It Up

10. The Contributor

Contributor Exemplar: Lola Malone

Contributor Benchmarks

10.1 Contributors Lead by Serving Others

10.2 Contributors Are Self-Aware and Reflective

10.3 Contributors Are Good Stewards

10.4 Contributors Have Strong Wills

Summing It Up


Professional Conclusions

How Can You Use This Book

Resource A: List of Contributing Highly Effective Principals

Resource B: Ten Traits of Highly Effective Principals

Resource C: Complete List of Benchmarks



Facilitators Guide

Who Should Use This Guide?

How Is the Guide Organized?

What Materials Are Needed?

Study Modules




Price: $45.95
Volume Discounts applied in Shopping Cart

For Instructors

Request Review Copy

When you select 'request review copy', you will be redirected to Sage Publishing (our parent site) to process your request.