External forces influence the perceptions, actions and expectations of an administrator. School administrators may experience pressure from national and state regulations, community action groups and governmental agencies. The decision making process can be facilitated by using an inclusive approach to address the issue. Consideration of potential political outcomes resulting from the decision making process is characteristic of synergistic leadership behavior. The implementation of standardized testing in many states to address federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) (No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, Pub. L. No. 107 110, 115Stat. 1425) legislation requirements has many implications for building administrators. These implications include but are not limited to school accreditation, student achievement, community satisfaction or dissatisfaction, and teacher accountability.
Building administrators must be the cheerleader that encourages students and teachers to perform at high levels. Effective administrators remove personal agendas and political posturing to address external pressures using a team approach (Hargreaves, 2004). The charismatic building administrator understands that the provision of social and emotional supports is critical to the success of teachers (Groves, 2005). Groves suggests that female leaders have an advantage over men in the area of connecting and providing emotional support. Teachers are expected to build relationships with students to positively affect the teaching and learning process. Just as teachers must address the affective domain of their students, administrators must address the affective domain of their teachers.
Similar to the NCLB act that was established to ensure that children from all economic backgrounds and ethnicities achieve at high levels, England has The Children's Plan: Building Brighter Futures directed by the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF, 2007). The Children's Plan: Building Brighter Futures outlines various goals for addressing specific student and family needs. These goals have tremendous implications and expectations for school leaders. The influence of governmental agencies cannot be ignored and must be embraced as suggested by synergistic leadership theory. Changes in education law encourage leaders to work collaboratively with community stakeholders to achieve mandated outcomes. The leader must abandon the top down approach to harness and channel the collective energy of moral purpose accomplish great things (Munby, 2008).