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The Ethical Line
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The Ethical Line
10 Leadership Strategies for Effective Decision Making

First Edition

Foreword by Douglas Fisher



June 2019 | 168 pages | Corwin

Be the leader your school community needs

The responsibilities of school leaders are increasingly complex. In this book, you will find a problem-solving model to help you think through morally complex situations. These steps will enable you to arrive at innovative solutions that are ethical, logical, culturally sensitive, and in the best interests of students. 

Packed with real-life vignettes, mental exercises, reflections, checklists, and other templates, these strategies will help you

  • Understand how ethical standards and core values drive your leadership choices
  • Approach problems through a lens of equity and care for the students entrusted to you
  • Recognize when urgent action is called for and when it’s better to slow down in order to thoroughly consider your actions and the potential consequences of those actions

As a leader, you face difficult challenges every day. This book will help ensure that the decisions you make are right for your students—and for the whole community.

 
 
Foreword by Douglas Fisher
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Author
 
Introduction
The Ethical Line  
Temptations Lurk Everywhere  
Tough Choices  
How This Book Can Help  
Features You Will Find  
 
Chapter 1: Know Thyself
Strategy #1: Identify and Model Your Core Values  
The New Normal  
Your Ethical Line  
Right vs. Right Situations  
When Moral Compasses Falter  
Strategy #2: Be Curiously Introspective  
Find Kindred Spirits  
Practice Self-Care  
Express Gratitude  
Build Resilience  
Take a Cognitive Time-Out  
Pause to Regroup  
Calm Mental Chatter  
Dare to Imagine  
 
Chapter 2: Examine Your Community’s Values
Strategy #3: Listen Generously  
Characteristics of Outstanding Listeners  
Practice Empathy  
Strategy #4: Create an Inclusive School Climate  
Promote Emotional Well-Being  
Engender Teamwork  
Facilitate Collaborative Leadership  
Recognize the Signs of an Unhealthy School Climate  
Stimulate a Healthy School Climate  
Foster Collective Efficacy  
Strategy #5: Discover Your Community’s Hopes and Dreams  
Explore Community Assets and Examine Your Leadership Privilege  
Take the Pulse of Your Community Regularly  
Empathic Interviewing  
Strategy #6: Unify Around a Collective Vision  
Which Values Guide Your Organization?  
Making Sense of Norms and Codes of Conduct  
Study Colleagues’ Behavior  
 
Chapter 3: Adhere to Ethical and Legal Parameters
Professional Standards for Educational Leaders  
Strategy #7: Consider Moral and Legal Consequences of Decisions  
PSEL Standard 2: Ethics and Professional Norms  
Lead With Moral Courage  
A Framework for Making Ethical Decisions  
The Seven Steps of Ethical Decision Making  
Strategy #8: Ensure Equitable Processes and Outcomes  
PSEL Standard 3: Advocate for All  
Summary  
 
Chapter 4: Promote an Ethical School Culture
Strategy #9: Walk the Talk  
Be an Architect of Equity  
Model Innovation and Empathy  
Provide Clear Rationale for Decisions  
Characteristics of Constructive Dialogue  
Strategy #10: Become a Strategic Influencer  
Defining Moments  
Mental Preparation  
Facilitate Win–Win Situations  
Never Stop Learning and Growing  
 
Conclusion
Implementation Steps  
 
References
 
Index

This is a must read for any school leader. We face ethical decisions every day. This book provides practical and realistic tools to help every leader who is faced with challenging situations and decisions throughout their school year. The author does a superb job of aligning the leaders heart, head, and ethics in the decision-making process of school leaders. The students and staff reap the benefits from a leader inspired by this book.

Holly Leach, Superintendent, Everett, WA
Holly Leach, Superintendent, Everett, WA

This book provides useful strategies and structures, drawn from the field, to assist leaders at all levels better understand the complexities if ethical leadership.

Ray Boyd, Principal; Beechboro, Western Australia
Ray Boyd, Principal; Beechboro, Western Australia

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ISBN: 9781544337883

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