Thursday, 27 February 2014


I am always talking about great leadership and increasingly I worry that we are not building the leadership we need to create brilliant provision for all our children and young people. It is interesting therefore to read and reflect on Maurice Elias' take on the subject. Maurice Elias is Director of the Social-Emotional Learning Lab at Rutgers and this is a truncated version of his brilliant article…

"How can we determine not only who is a competent leader, but a good leader?
Some, like Tom Lickona and Matt Davidson of the Smart and Good Schools Initiative believe the proper distinction is between moral and performance character. The former typically refers to having sound values, to be oriented toward an ethical way to behave; the latter refers to the essential importance of having the skills -- particularly the social and emotional skills-- to carry out one's values. What does this mean for leadership? From a social-emotional and character development (SECD) perspective, it means that the skill-based performance of leaders must be judged along with the character of that performance. And how shall we judge that character? Sargent Shriver, whose leadership credentials are unrivaled in American public service, believed leaders must act and infuse their organisations with:
1) A sense of purpose;
2) Justice;
3) Temperance;
4) Respect;
5) Empowerment;
6) Courage;
7) Deep Commitment.

The performance of a leader must be judged by his or her skills and the character of his or her performance in the many and complex roles that leadership demands. Using the seven cornerstones of leading with character, derived from the life and work of Sargent Shriver, educators and those concerned with education have a tool for both evaluating and improving leadership competencies along both moral and performance dimensions."

If you want to read the whole article you can visit

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