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

First Edition


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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