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Sinking ships, emerging leadership: a true story of sustainability (or the lack thereof)

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-16, 17:51 authored by William MulfordWilliam Mulford, Moreno, J
Sustainable educational leadership — leadership which leaves a legacy that lasts beyond the leader’s professional lifetime — is very much in fashion nowadays. A recent edition of this journal was devoted entirely to the topic (Hargreaves 2005a). However, it is important to ensure that, together with leadership itself, the impact of leadership is sustainable. The self-aggrandizement, silver bullets, short-term big-bang approaches, procedural illusions, witch hunts, failures to communicate, and lack of accountability evident in the story of the building of the Swedish 17th century warship, the Vasa, do not sit well with sustainable and effective leadership. In this article, lessons learned from the Vasa are compared and contrasted with those put forward by the contributors to the recent themed edition of this journal. The authors then identify what they believe, on the basis of North American and international research evidence, to be the emerging priorities for sustainable and effective educational leadership.


Publication title

The Educational Forum








Faculty of Education


Kappa Delta PI

Place of publication

Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

Rights statement

Copyright 2006 Kappa Delta Pi

Repository Status

  • Restricted

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