School administrators are essential to the success of any school district. They work twelve months a year and their tasks while on the job can range from developing curriculum content all the way to disciplining wayward students. Since school administrators are so critical to the success of the school district, it’s important that they possess the leadership attributes needed to have a positive impact on the students and faculty. 


A strong sense of responsibility is critical in administrative work. This is especially true since it is common for the principal to make decisions that will affect thousands of people, such as their students, the parents of those students and the teachers and faculty at the school. School administrators need to be aware of what is happening in the school and they should be very involved in the education process. This extra involvement can help an administrator to better understand the needs of the school and how his or her decisions are affecting the community. 

Action Oriented 

Leadership AttributesTo set the standard for co-workers and students alike, school administrators need to develop the habit of being action oriented. The saying goes, “if you come to a fork in the road, take it.” Strong leadership requires doing more than it does talking. This type of lead-by-example motivation really works as a trickle down form of leadership. Take the reverse, for example. Anyone who has ever worked for a lazy boss, knows that it’s extremely difficult to stay on task when the boss is sleeping on the job. Having a boss who’s a real go-getter makes all the difference. Not only does everyone work harder, but the whole environment changes to a positive one where learning becomes fun. 

Positive Attitude 

One of the best moves school administrators can learn is how to shake peoples’ hands, smile, and warmly look them in the eye. It’s part of the responsibility of an administrator to be warm with faculty and students alike. Smiling and speaking to people directly makes them feel important and cared about. Ideally, teachers should do this as well so this is another area where administrators can lead by example. 

Planning Ahead 

School administrators need to always be planning for the future and the years ahead. The goal of education is to prepare children and young adults for their own futures after all. Having a solid plan for the future can help to increase efficiency and will set up administrators for a much smoother year. A good plan will generally involve some innovative ideas that can move the school forward and solve any problems the school might have. It is vital that a school administrator always be learning about new ways to improve the curriculum for the school. 

Personal Involvement 

School administrators have a large volume of paperwork at their desks so it is understandable that they cannot be walking around the school all day long. This is not a good excuse for never leaving the office, since walking around the school can be a great way to increase communication with the faculty and the students. While walking around the school, in between getting some paperwork done, a school administrator can take the opportunity to get a feel for what is going on in the classrooms and throughout the halls at the school. This can also be a great opportunity to discover and solve some problems as they pop up. 

A large number of people attempting to earn their masters of higher education hope to one day be school administrators, but simply earning your masters of higher education is not enough to be a great school administrator. A great school administrator takes responsibility for his or her school and has a vision for the future. The school administrators who are heavily involved in the school, walk around, and get to know the faculty and students are the ones who really make a difference in their schools. It is this sense of personal responsibility that sets them apart and makes them truly progressive school administrators who can positively affect change in the students at their schools. 

Leadership AttributesAngela Prickette is a recent college graduate writing on the topic of masters of higher education online. She works for herself as a freelance writer and photographer. Her favorite activities include, skiing, rock climbing, and personal fitness.

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