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On being wounded: implications for school leaders

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Examines stories of school leaders who experienced a serious conflict, dilemma or critical event in their leadership practice that in some way profoundly affected or "wounded" them, a situation akin to an illness that reflects some of the same characteristics: loss of control, predictability and functioning, disassociation, fear, anger. Focusses on the meaning of being wounded and implications for school leaders. Concentrates on not only the content of stories told by so-called "wounded leaders," that is actions, events and responses, but primarily on the kinds of stories that they tell themselves and how these stories address their own "woundedness" and help them, in a sense, to heal. Based on extensive in-depth interviews, we explored three assumptions. First, woundedness is likely an inevitable and necessary part of leadership. Second, for most school leaders, the wound takes different forms and can be a double edged sword. Finally, story can be used by leaders to make sense of their crises of practice and aid their healing and growth.
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Keywords: Conflict; Development; Leadership; Schools; Stories

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2000

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