Annotated Bibliography of Resources for Educational Reform, Coherent Teaching Practice, and Improved Student Learning

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  • Covey, S. R. (1990). Principle-centered leadership. New York: Simon & Schuster.

How do individuals and organizations survive and thrive amid tremendous change? Stephen Covey illustrates a humanistic process for developing leaders that involves promoting circumstances in which leaders can emerge. He begins by outlining key leadership traits from a previous book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People (reprint 1990): be proactive, begin with an end in mind, put first things first, think win-win, seek first to understand, synergize, and sharpen the saw continually. In developing principle-centered leaders, he emphasizes the need for trust and patience as individuals become involved in paradigm shifts. Principle-centered leadership introduces a new paradigm, one founded on the belief that there are certain "true north" principlesÑtrustworthiness, trust, empowerment, and alignmentÑthat should guide personal and interpersonal relationships and form the foundation of effective leadership. Principle-centered leadership and living reaffirms four internal sources of strengthÑsecurity, guidance, wisdom, and powerÑand is practiced on four levelsÑpersonal, interpersonal, managerial and organizational. Characteristics of principle-centered leaders that emerge include: an ongoing quest for knowledge, the thirst to fulfill the mission, a positive image, a belief that all people are good, a life of self-renewal, a life of balance, a synergistic life and a sense of freshness and newness. Covey also states the importance of the abundance manager, one who promotes the achievement of the dreams. In this new paradigm for leaders, it is possible to defuse overloaded bureaucracies and empower staff to participate in a process that leads to quality decision making.

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