Leadership Style and Readiness to Lead: Perceptions of Florida Level 1 Educational Leadership Preparation Program Participants
The present study examined the relationship between aspiring school principals’ self-perceived competency regarding expected leadership behaviors as indicated by the domains identified in the 2011 Florida Principal Leadership Standards and their perception of their leadership style as indicated by the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (Bass & Avolio, 1994). The conceptual frameworks of this study included leadership style, as defined and conceptualized by Bass and Avolio’s Full Range Leadership Model and measured by the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ), and leadership behavior, as defined through the domains of the Florida Principal Leadership Standards (FPLS, 2011). Both the MLQ and the FPLS questionnaire served as data collection instruments. The three main leadership styles measured by the MLQ (including transformational, transactional, and laissez-faire leadership) served as the independent variables, and the four leadership domains measured by the FPLS questionnaire (i.e., student achievement, instructional leadership, organizational leadership, professional and ethical behavior) served as the dependent variables.
The research sample included participants currently enrolled in a state-approved Level 1 Educational Leadership Program and were recruited to participate from 3 state universities in Florida. Both survey instruments were administered via a single, anonymous link embedded in an email containing both an introduction and description of the research study and informed consent. Of 200 potential participants, 48 respondents or 24% of the original sample returned completed surveys.
Using canonical correlation analysis, the study found that the degree of respondents’ self-perceived ability to competently perform the leadership behaviors as identified by the four 2011 FPLS domains could be explained to some degree by respondents’ self-perceived leadership style (as identified on the MLQ). Two canonical roots were interpreted. The MLQ predictor variables accounted for 48% of the variance in the FPLS subscale scores (root 1 Rc2 =.48; p < .001). For this root, transformational leadership was the primary independent variable accounting for variance across all 4 FPLS domains. Canonical root 2 (Rc2 = .117) accounted for a moderate amount of the shared variance between the two sets (i.e., 12%) and was not statistically significant (p > .05). The correlation in this root was due primarily to a direct relationship between MLQ transactional leadership and the professional and ethical behavior domain of the FPLS. Additionally, the findings indicated that participants of Level 1 Educational Leadership programs felt confident in their ability to competently perform the expected behavioral indicators of the 2011 FPLS domains.