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Leadership Literature Theory Review

Johnny Hughes

Capella University

Dr. Salha Jeizan

ED5542 – Masters Capstone in K-12 Studies in Education

November 4, 2018

Leadership Literature Theory Review

Schools serve perhaps the most important role in society, which is caring for and shaping

future generations of citizen. The educators in the schools need direction to work toward those

goals and need leaders to help them go the right direction in the most efficient manner. The

follow essay will entail four major styles of leadership used in educational settings.

Servant Leadership

A servant leader is one who is working for the betterment of others or toward a goal with

no interest in personal gain. This type of leader puts complete trust in his or her followers and

assumes the organization has the correct vision and methodology to reach its goal. While this is a

role to be lauded, it often does not work well in large organizations. When one is focusing on the

individual people in the group, he or she often is not able to reach or get to the larger goal or end

results (Lynch, 2018).

Transactional Leadership

Transactional leaders focus on structure and order, which caters well to large

organizations. This is in contrast to the aforementioned servant leaders, as the end result is the

main focus rather than the individual players in the cause. This is often considered a good choice

for large organizations such as businesses or the military but may be detrimental to educational

organizations where children are the focal points. In this scenario, rewards and penalties are

clearly defined, but that limits creativity, which is an important part of educating children (St.

Thomas University, 2018).

Emotional Leadership

Emotional leadership is a style of leadership where one uses emotions to motivate the

followers to strive for a goal. Positive leaders influence the mood of the workers and general

workplace environment, which leads to motivated workers and ultimately higher success rates

(Lumen Candela, 2018). This is a style of leadership that may fit well in educational settings.

Many teachers did not return for the 2018-2019 school year, which has led to a national

teacher shortage, and colleges have reported a 35 percent drop in students enrolling in education

programs (Picchi, 2018). This would lend to the belief that teachers need positivity in the

workplace. That positivity could directly lead to happier teachers in the classroom, which affects

the students’ grades and achievements.

Transformational Leadership

Tranformational leadership is an amalgam style of leading that blends the previously

mentioned types of leadership. These leaders work to keep the end goal in mind while trying to

lift and support the people in the organization. Transformational leadership also has the added

goal of turning its followers into leaders as well. This may be the best fit for an educational

organization, as these leaders need the following qualities:

 Intellectual stimulation: they encourage creativity from the other members.

 Individualized consideration: they offer support and encouragement to the individual


 Inspiration and motivation: these leaders have a clear vision and lift up the followers,

much like the previously mentioned emotional leaders.

 Idealized influence: they serve as role models. These leaders also show strong ethics and

qualities such as self control, personal interest, inclusiveness, and sensitivity (Lynch,



Every organization has leaders and followers. While this is true, education differs from

businesses. A store or company focuses on the bottom line and final profit margin, where a

school focuses on the safety and education of children. This dictates the preferred style of an

effective leader in an educational organization. With that in mind, the best style of leadership in a

school will be the one that lifts up and empowers the students and educators in the organization

while moving toward the end goal of safety and quality education.


Lumen Candela, (2018). Emotional leadership. Retrieved from

Lynch, M. (2006). 4 major types of educational leadership. Retrieved from

Lynch, M. (2015). The eight principles of ethical leadership in education. Retrieved


Picchi, A. (2018). School’s back in session, but many teachers are not returning. Retrieved from

St. Thomas University, (2018). What is transactional leadership? How structure leads to results.
Retrieved from