What Is Educational Leadership? Importance & Qualities

An educator leader can influence other educators in an organizational setting by giving guidance. On occasion, a team of educational experts may be engaged. Executives in these leadership roles look for ways to improve teaching and learning for students.

In an organizational setting, a leader in education provides direction and has an impact on other educators. It might occasionally be a group of educational leaders.

These executive positions’ leaders search for methods to enhance student education and learning. They work in early childhood education facilities and secondary, postsecondary, and elementary schools. 

 School site leaders, directors, principals, and assistant administrators are employed to work either as the lone educational leader or in small teams.

What Is Educational Leadership?

Good educational leadership is essential because schools constantly seek to enhance their operations and give students the best education possible.

Interestingly, many individuals participating in their community’s educational system must be aware of educational leadership. 

Education leadership is a process that combines the efforts, skills, and expertise of educators, parents, and educators intending to enhance not only the standard of instruction but also the educational system as a whole. 

The major goal of educational leadership is to ensure academic success through improvements to procedures, instruction, and resources.

Sadly, this achievement can only be ensured or even achieved with the assistance and cooperation of all parties concerned, including the children, parents, instructors, decision-makers, and even the broader public. 

Educational leadership is a way of quality assurance and academic administration from a business perspective. Here is how educational leadership works:

Make a plan for all students, regardless of socioeconomic status, to achieve academic achievement.

  • Aspirationally uphold a responsive, healthy, and secure learning environment. Assign accountability to all parties involved. 
  • Enhance curricular content and teaching strategies. 
  • Education systems acquire and adopt modern management methods. 

What Makes An Effective Leader? 

The language used to describe a leader differs from that used to describe a great teacher. A leader working to improve the atmosphere in a school or community can benefit greatly from many of the qualities prized in teachers. 

Education leaders are at the heart of a community, driving student, teacher, school, and even district-wide success, just as teachers are at the center of the classroom, encouraging student achievement.

There are many different leadership styles, from autocratic to participative, and they all have benefits and drawbacks. Several traits are essential for effective school leadership regardless of management style.

Consider adopting the following characteristics when considering how to be an effective leader.

Theories of educational leadership incorporate elements of business management. Leadership models from the business world were modified for use in educational settings in the United States and other developed nations.

Theories about the function and role of educational leaders have also been reformed and remodeled because schools and their communities are diverse and change over time.

Researchers are still studying leadership in various educational settings. No one leadership approach is superior to another. Depending on the circumstances of a leader’s environment, each is more or less effective.

The ideal leadership style is determined by environmental elements like size, school culture, personnel, and personalities.

Why is educational leadership important?

Educational leadership is vital for ensuring that schools and other educational institutions provide high-quality learning experiences for students.

Here are some reasons why educational leadership is so important:

Vision And Direction

Educational leaders help set the vision and direction for the institution, establishing clear goals and objectives that guide teaching and learning.

This helps to ensure that all stakeholders (teachers, students, parents, etc.) are working towards a common goal and that everyone understands the expectations for student achievement.

Professional Development

Educational leaders support the ongoing professional development of teachers and staff, ensuring they have the skills and knowledge necessary to meet the changing needs of students and the curriculum.

This helps to ensure that students receive high-quality instruction and that teachers are equipped to support student learning.

Resource Allocation

Educational leaders are responsible for managing budgets, allocating resources, and making decisions about the use of technology and other tools to support teaching and learning.

This ensures that the institution has the resources it needs to provide high-quality education to students.

School Culture

Educational leaders help to create a positive school culture that supports student learning and development.

This includes fostering a sense of community and promoting values such as respect, responsibility, and accountability.

Student Success

Ultimately, the role of educational leadership is to ensure that all students are successful learners who are prepared for future challenges.

By providing strong leadership, educational institutions can help ensure students are equipped with the knowledge, skills, and values needed to succeed.

Qualities Of Leadership In Education

The majority of theories of educational leadership describe a particular kind of leader or leadership style based on crucial components, including talents, practices, and approaches.

Three categories—leadership characteristics, leadership concepts, and leadership practices—are used to categorize theory components. These three elements aid in comprehending the theory of leadership types.

Qualities of educational leadership include actions, expressions, and markers of leadership management vs. leadership, power, coercion, and conceptual frameworks are some examples of educational leadership concepts; and

Educational leaders’ actions or routines, such as their methods or styles of leadership

You may start to understand yourself as an educational leader and the effects of leadership on student learning by having an essential awareness of these elements.

Traits Of An Effective Leader


Authenticity is acting in a way that represents who we are rather than trying to act like someone else. Leaders who serve authentically show their true selves to their team members; team members trust the leader to behave a certain way over time.

Acting authentically is also an excellent way for leaders to build trust with team members. For example, if one of the leader’s characteristics is patience, they act authentically when that leader shows patience with team members.

The more team members see that the leader is patient, the more they expect that whatever they bring to the leader, the leader will respond with patience.


According to The Predictive Index, while effective communication is essential in the workplace, 18 percent of employers believe their manager’s biggest weakness is poor communication.

Leaders who speak constantly and consistently over time almost become predictable, just like with authenticity. The team is better able to work together when the leader’s words and actions are consistent throughout.

This eliminates uncertainty and worries on the part of the team. Because the team learns to rely on the leader for predictability, trust increases, and workplace stress decreases.

Remain fully present 

When leaders present for their team, they are entirely focused on what they are saying, doing and the work itself. Since they are frequently pushed in numerous directions at once, leaders may find this challenging.

Leaders who appear preoccupied with something else and fail to give their team members their full attention are absent.

Leaders who are present show how much they value the team members. Nothing a leader can give their team is more valuable than their time, which they can provide by being fully present.

Jobs In Educational Leadership 

Students who earn degrees in educational leadership are prepared for various positions in the education sector, including those at colleges and universities and elementary, middle, and high schools. 

Aspiring professionals must pass state licensing exams and earn the necessary degrees because most states require public school teachers’ and administrators’ licenses.

The following careers may be open to graduates of master’s degree programs in educational leadership.


-Assistant Principal 

-University Registrar

-Dean of Students

-Superintendent of School 


This person is in charge of defining, outlining, and directing the educational mission of a specific primary or secondary school. 

They work to create an environment that supports each student’s success and sets an example for the entire student body concerning having high expectations and standards.

Before about 30 years ago, standards of excellence were primarily reserved for students considered deserving of a college education. 

Principals were also viewed as managers in many schools. The expectation of maximum achievement of excellence on the part of every student became a key component of school success by changing the role of the principal to one that was more active and invested.

They are now also in charge of setting up a setting that enables both kids and adults to concentrate primarily on the learning process. 

This entails making a safe and nurturing place, a positive and trusting environment in which each student or teacher can concentrate on upholding the highest standards and giving their best. 

 The so-called “soft skills” needed are the capacity to interact with the faculty and student body, to devote time and effort to structural problem solving, to make use of resources at one’s disposal to enhance the learning environment, to identify external factors that might be problematic, and to collaborate with others within the educational system and the broader community to address these problems.

Effective teachers are those who value their involvement in the community. These people work to build connections, deepen commitments to educational excellence, and lessen student and teacher isolation both within the learning environment and in the larger human community.

They unite all stakeholders and nudge them to direct their efforts toward a shared objective: the academic success and well-being of all students and the attainment of consistently high standards. 

 In addition to merely managing resources and circumstances, they actively work to shape them and foster a stronger sense of community engagement between the school and the surrounding area.

Assistant Principal 

The days when this position was only connected to student sanctions are long gone. Today’s assistant principal performs similar duties as those traditionally performed by principals.

They are leaders in instructional leadership and managers. Assistant principals support their direct superiors in creating a learning environment and upholding student and teacher behavior standards.

They operate as the principal’s point of contact with the greater community and assist in smoothly running student activities and endeavors. 

Also, they may interact with children and their guardians while enforcing the rules to handle behavioral concerns, uphold the attendance systems, ensure the implementation of the principal’s plans for academic accomplishment, and regularly check the execution of these programs as needed.

University Registrar 

One of the most complicated responsibilities in the university system is this one. Course offers, degree audits, curriculum management and registration, credit transfer, and transcript fulfillment are traditionally the registrar’s areas of expertise.

They serve as the actual nerve centers for several vital tasks. Today, however, this role comprises a lot more.

They must discover ways to make student data meaningful and accessible for those who need to use it, including educators and administrators, in addition to protecting it from predators becoming more and more dangerous.

They must also find a middle ground between supporting student-led civic and educational initiatives and giving the right degree of direction and oversight, a strategy known as scaffolding. Finally, they assist.

Dean of Students 

The Dean of Students’ position may be viewed as primarily administrative but requires frequent interaction with students and student service organizations. 

These people organize student activities, deal with individual and collective student problems and issues, collaborate with many departments to maintain smooth operations, and oversee the admissions process.

Similar duties are carried out by a dean of faculty, who concentrates on providing opportunities for faculty.

They control tenure and advancement possibilities, employing new. By keeping an eye on the standards and objectives established by the board of regents and other higher-level entities, they might collaborate with the university’s resources to develop degree programs that best use the department faculty’s skill sets.

Superintendent of School 

Depending on their skill set and background knowledge, this position can work with elementary, middle, or high school students. 

Despite being frequently referred to as serving in a mid-level administrative capacity, these people serve as an essential conduit between the local school board, the individual schools within a district, and the state or federal oversight bodies.

They oversee the implementation of laws, regulations, and policies for the community.

Additionally, they are informed about the financial health of individual schools, school districts, and the resources available to these organizations.

They oversee the political interactions between the local community and the schools and the application and upkeep of all relevant legal requirements at every level. 

They play a crucial role in the educational system and the larger community; dismissing them as mere bureaucrats is to ignore this.

They must critically evaluate the needs and objectives of the complex educational environment they are in charge of and keep up with current financial, political, and legal issues.

Educational Degrees Required To Become An Education Leader

Education leadership degrees

Programs at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree levels are available to candidates interested in careers in educational leadership. 

Although there are some undergraduate programs in educational leadership, these are uncommon since most professions in educational leadership call for graduate degrees.

For teaching positions, bachelor’s degrees are sufficient, but many people afterward decide to further their studies.

Those who enroll in programs for educational leadership often have the option of pursuing a Master of Arts, Master of Science, or Master of Education with a specialty in educational leadership, K–12 administration, religious school education, or school principalship. 

Course themes include communication, community relations, school legislation and finance, and student affairs. Coursework, internships, and research projects are all completed by students in educational leadership programs.

The mindset of an entrepreneur

According to MacMillan, “the world is becoming too turbulent and unpredictable to use conventional leadership strategies,” as stated in his book The Entrepreneurial Mindset. “.

While traditional leadership traits are effective for managing an organization, a leader needs more to grow that organization into something bigger. Entrepreneurial leadership can be seen -at work in this situation.

Considerations Of An Educational Leader

As an educational leader, there are several important considerations to keep in mind:

Student learning

Educational leadership’s primary focus should be supporting student learning and achievement.

Leaders should be knowledgeable about the latest research on effective teaching and learning strategies and should be committed to creating a culture of continuous improvement in their institution.

Stakeholder engagement

Educational leaders must engage with various stakeholders, including students, parents, teachers, support staff, and community members.

Effective communication and collaboration with these groups can help build trust and shared ownership of the institution’s goals.

Equity and inclusion

Educational leaders must ensure that all students have access to high-quality learning experiences, regardless of their background or circumstances.

This means addressing inequities and barriers to learning and creating a culture of inclusion and belonging.

Resource management

Educational leaders must effectively manage resources, including budgets, staffing, and facilities.

They must ensure that resources are used effectively and efficiently to support student learning and achievement.

Professional development

Educational leaders must support the ongoing professional development of teachers and staff, ensuring that they have the skills and knowledge needed to meet students’ needs and the curriculum’s changing demands.

Innovation and change

Educational leaders must embrace innovation and change and take risks to improve teaching and learning.

They must be forward-thinking and adaptable in response to changing trends and technologies.

By considering these considerations, educational leaders can create a culture of excellence and support the success of all students in their institution.

Key Takeaways

  • Educational leadership involves setting goals, managing resources, supporting teacher development, and promoting a positive school culture.
  • Effective education leadership requires strong communication and collaboration skills, the ability to build relationships and engage with stakeholders, and a commitment to equity and inclusion.
  • Educational leaders can promote equity and inclusion by addressing inequities and barriers to learning, creating a culture of respect and belonging, providing opportunities for all students to succeed, and ensuring that resources are allocated in an equitable manner.
  • Educational leaders can support teacher development by providing ongoing professional development opportunities, offering mentorship and coaching, promoting collaboration and sharing of best practices, and creating a culture of continuous improvement.
  • Effective educational leaders are passionate about student learning and achievement and are willing to embrace innovation and change to improve teaching and learning.


You should invest time in developing your practical skills as a leader in education, modifying your approach to fit the complex needs of your community, and attempting to exhibit the traits of influential leaders.

It’s crucial to constantly assess and develop your leadership skills as you work to improve the world around you. 

Effective risk management is a skill these leaders possess. Leaders assist their organizations in avoiding risks and directing them down safe paths, but an entrepreneurial leader takes risks when he is confident they will pay off.

If done well, this could be the organization’s Midas touch for expansion and growth.


What is educational leadership?

Educational leadership involves the management and direction of educational institutions to support student learning and achievement.

It involves setting goals and objectives, managing resources, supporting teacher development, and promoting a positive school culture.

Why is educational leadership important?

Educational leadership is important because it helps to ensure that schools and other educational institutions provide high-quality learning experiences for students.

Effective leadership can help to support teacher development, promote a positive school culture, and ensure that resources are used effectively to support student learning.

What are the essential qualities of an educational leader?

Essential qualities of an educational leader include strong communication and collaboration skills, the ability to build relationships and engage with stakeholders, a commitment to equity and inclusion, strong management and resource allocation skills, and a passion for student learning and achievement.

How can educational leaders promote equity and inclusion?

Educational leaders can promote equity and inclusion by addressing inequities and barriers to learning, creating a culture of respect and belonging, providing opportunities for all students to succeed, and ensuring that resources are allocated in an equitable manner.

How can educational leaders support teacher development?

Educational leaders can support teacher development by providing ongoing professional development opportunities, offering mentorship and coaching, promoting collaboration and sharing of best practices, and creating a culture of continuous improvement.

More To Explore:

Was this article helpful?