Traditionally school leadership has been that of the top-down approach adopted from business and industrial organizations where the leader leads, makes key decisions, motivates, and inspires. While this approach has been popular in educational administration in the past, it is highly unlikely that a single person can provide the necessary leadership for all issues. Leaders and followers of today need to let go of that expectation and embrace new ways of leading. One way is to emphasis a shift from the formal leader to a shared leadership model. Instead of a single individual leading to success, other individuals, who are partners or group members, take on the responsibility for leadership.
"We no longer believe that one administrator can serve as the instructional leader for an entire school without the substantial participation of other educators"(Lambert, 2002). This formal model has several weaknesses. For example, when the principal leaves any promising change that has been implemented fades away. Under No Child Left Behind, we are under pressure to provide quality learning for all students and quality results on test scores. Instructional leadership must be a shared, community undertaking. Leadership is the professional work of everyone in the school(Lambert, 2002). Teachers have extraordinary leadership capabilities, and their leadership is a major untapped resource for improving our nation's schools (Barth, 1990). When administrators learn to tap this resource, they will have a wealth of knowledge available to them. Often times it is not only the team leader that possesses the leadership capabilities but also the quiet team member that assumes the role of curriculum specialist.