The behaviors and disciplines of a trusted school leader who can support a healthy school environment are many, varied, and interconnected. A suspension bridge serves as a perfect analogy for the role and function of trusted leadership. A suspension bridge consists of numerous interworking components, all of which must be in place for the bridge to be operable and trustworthy. Similarly, interworking components are needed with school leadership.
Research reveals that high levels of trust in educational institutions and their leaders result in many benefits, including greater financial stability, fewer behavior management issues, healthier parent and community relations, increased faculty and staff retention rates, and higher levels of student achievement. But despite the positive outcomes related to the level of trust associated with school leaders, few schools intentionally invest time, energy, focus and resources to develop trust in their leaders. Instead they operate in a climate of distrust, provoking adversarial attitudes that ultimately result in diminished achievement levels… [continue reading]