To prepare to write your leadership platform paper you may want to review chapter 7 of Breakthrough Principals. The chapter and the tools found at the back of the book will help you to think about the leadership characteristics that you want to define your personal leadership style.

For this paper, you must describe what is important to you as a leader. Chapter 7 makes clear that there is no single leadership style or personality type that is most effective. In this platform paper, you are expected to online your beliefs and how they influence your leadership style. Your beliefs are the planks of your philosophy.

A paper that indicates you have decided to adopt only the 5 levers as your plank/platform/philosophy would indicate you have not thought about what matters to you. You must start with what matters to you. Then you can work on developing the qualities described in the five levers.

The leadership platform should address all of the following questions and issues:

Begin with a brief introductory section that describes how the paper will be organized. You may include brief, preliminary insights, or maybe a short quote that inspires you. (This section usually runs a page or less).

Summarize your personal story: In this section, you will summarize the pre-platform paper that you wrote at the beginning of the semester. Be sure to indicate any characteristics of leadership that you identified when writing the pre-platform paper (This section usually runs about a page and not more than of a page.)

Using the materials from this course (books, readings, and videos) and other research-based professional resources you locate, outline what you believe are the 4-5 essential characteristics of effective and successful school leaders that you want to embody.  These are what now make up your developing philosophy and that you would like to internalize, or actualize, in a personal and professional manner. Think of these skills as the “planks” in your platform. These are the things that you, as an educator and leader, stand on. Describe these leadership characteristics in detail, giving support from the source materials. It is likely that these differ from what you identified as essential in the pre-platform paper. If so, include a paragraph or two to describe how your beliefs have evolved. (This section usually runs about 3 pages.)

Assessing your skills: Review part 3 above and the leadership characteristics you described as making up your platform. Explain which of the characteristics are strengths for you and why.  Explain which characteristics need to be strengthened. Explain how you can work to strengthen your areas of weakness as you work toward a leadership role. Obviously, all individuals will have some areas of strength and other areas that need strengthening (Leadership is humbling, often publicly so!). (This section usually runs about 1 page.)

Select a specific challenge, issue or problem in your school that you would like to see solved or improved during an upcoming school year.  Then, proceed as follows: 1) define the issue (what is the problem, how/why is it a problem, who is affected), 2) provide possible specific strategies to improve the issue, 3) select and describe the best solution, and 4) explain how or if the solution “matches” your leadership philosophy described in part 3. Make sure that you are very specific with your solutions and strategies. Broad statements, such as “involve parents” or “provide training” simply aren’t good enough. As the leader, you will be the one responsible for involving those parents or providing that training, so it’s time that you begin thinking about HOW you would actually accomplish that. Describe in detail the specific steps you would take to accomplish what you want to accomplish. (This section usually runs about 2 pages.)

Conclusions:  What insights, new perspectives, concerns, and/or ahas emerge from your leadership platform?  What did you learn about yourselfspecifically, what thoughts changed as a result of this course? (This section usually runs about 1 page.)


The Principal Leadership Platform should be left-hand justified, have one-inch margins and be double spaced in a 12 point font.

It must be at least 7 pages and may not exceed 10 pages, not including any title pages or reference pages.

The platform should include a separate title page and works cited page, in addition to headings and subheadings throughout the text (which function as a logical organizing outline, and hierarchy of heading importance).

Use quotes sparinglythat is, use a direct quote only when you think an author states a point so effectively that you must use his/her exact words.

The platform should include a minimum of 4 works cited references, including the course textbooks.  The references should be noted primarily in part “3” of this assignment.  The references should enrich your knowledge base, insights, and standard of the paper.  The references and your personal observations over the years should greatly influence most of the ideas that you generate in the leadership platform paper.


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