Thursday, June 9, 2011

Practice of Purposing

In his book Moral Leadership, Thomas Sergiovanni describes the stages in the process of purposing: say it, model it, organize for it, support it, enforce it, and express outrage. This process is beneficial when planning for a change within the school. This practice associates with the bureaucratic authority model, because it is management intensive and directed by the leader. However, when implementing a change, this might be the developmental level of the school for accepting a change; thus it seems that it could be the appropriate practice to achieve meaningful change.

The process the leader would use to direct the change would be to make the purpose known by implicitly stating the purpose for the change. Then the leader would model the change by walking the talk. By organizing for the change, the leader insures that resources such as human, monetary, and time resources are available. Once the resources are organized, they are provided as a support for those whom the change would effect. As activities are underway, monitoring of progress needs to be made to insure that the staff are incorporating the change and the leader enforces the process of change. Finally, the leader needs to express outrage at any non-compliance with the change to reinforce the magnitude and necessity of the change, and the importance that it makes to the leader and the organization.

Through the implementation of the practice of purposing, though management intensive, the process can achieve change results that shift the focus of the organization towards a path that can lead towards an intended outcome.

"Leadership for meaning, leadership for problem solving, collegial leadership, leadership as shared responsibility, leadership that serves school purposes, leadership that is tough enough to demand a great deal from everyone, and leadership that is tender enough to encourage the heart -- these are the images of leadership we need for schools as communities." (Sergiovanni, 1996/1997)

Works Cited
Moral Purpose, Community Must Guide School Reform, Says Sergiovanni. (1996/1997, Dec/Jan). The Developer.
 Sergiovanni, T. (1992). Moral Leadership. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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