How Exemplary Educational Leadership Preparation Programs Hone the Interpersonal-Intrapersonal (i2) Skills of Future Leaders

  • Bryan A. VanGronigen
  • Kathleen M.W. Cunningham
  • Michelle D. Young


John P. Kotter argues that business schools continue to prepare leaders for 20th century needs, as they typically teach students how to manage an organization, rather than how to lead one. In this article, we explore how Kotter’s assertion applies to educational leadership preparation programs. We examine the ways a purposive sample of exemplary programs structure and implement learning experiences for aspiring educational leaders. Leveraging our findings from these cases and the literature on transformational learning and leadership, we argue that today’s programs should include “powerful learning experiences” that challenge and coach leadership candidates to build the skills and capacities necessary to both manage and lead organizations. If educational leaders are the “driving subsystem” for school improvement efforts, then leadership preparation must move aspiring leaders beyond technical competence and toward the more transformational aspects of leading.
Conceptual Study