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The effectiveness of a training program based on the Hersey and Blanchard leadership model was examined for three groups of principals from public school districts in three suburbs near Chicago. Both principals' self-perceptions and teachers' perceptions of their principals' style range and effectiveness were gathered by means of pretesting and posttesting both principals and their teachers using the LEAD-SELF and LEAD-OTHER instruments developed by Hersey and Blanchard. Although the results were not statistically significant in every case, the results were in the predicted direction for each hypothesis regarding the principals' style range and effectiveness. After the training sessions had been completed, the principals in an three districts were generally perceived by their teachers as more effective leaders and as using a greater number of leadership styles. Similar results were found for the principals' self-perceptions. Thus, the results of the study tend to support the belief that situational leadership training can aid in making principals aware of alternative leadership styles and therefore create the potential for enhanced leadership effectiveness.

Over the many years that the elusive concept of leadership has been examined, several leadership theories have emerged. At the turn of the century, scholars interested in the study of leadership focused on the lives of great men. The goal during these years was to identify a set of personable traits that characterized successful leaders; however, after years of study, the use of the traitist approach to leadership did not appear to yield consistent results (Mann, 1959). During the past few decades several situational leadership theories have evolved. These theories take into account an interaction between individual and environmental factors (Blake & Mouton, 1964; Fiedler, 1967; Hersey & Blanchard, 1977; Reddin, 1970).

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