School administrators who are hired to lead and guide schools and districts must possess a number of characteristics that allow them to become successful leaders. The presence or absence of a strong educational leader can make all the difference in school climate and student achievement (Kelley, Thornton, & Daugherty, 2005). Educational leaders need to be cognizant of what constitutes an effective leader and which characteristics have the most effective impact on student achievement. Alford et al. (2011) stated, "while principals are engaged in the managerial tasks of the school, securing the building for safety, ensuring bus routes, student schedules, and the day-to-day management tasks, the instructional needs of the faculty and students compete for attention" (p. 29).



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