Warden as Leader

If I were a Warden of a medium sized-correctional facility I will choose to be a Principle Centered Leader, making principles the basis of my actions, rather than being concerned with how much power I have or how much authority I should exercise. Principle centered leadership is leadership in action guided by specific principles – trust and trustworthiness (Seger, 2006) in implementing what the organization is committed to uphold and follow. As a principle-centered leader I will make use of all the other leadership styles (Van Wagner, 2009) as appropriate or demanded by the situation.

Authoritarian leadership is needed at those situations or issues were rule or law is non-negotiable and need to be implemented to the letter. But there are also situations when there is a need to pay attention to the spirit of the law rather than to its letter and therefore I will allow for exceptions to the rule, giving each member opportunity to provide their individual contribution on how to handle situations. At other times, within a certain bound, a laissez-faire approach where any thing goes may even be a better approach.

After giving clear guidelines and directions, I will allow personal initiative in handling of their specific responsibilities. I will encourage participation and inspire confidence in the individual to maintain trustworthiness and to respond creatively to the situations or demands of their work or needs of the inmates they serve, provided the basic principles or established rules are respected. I think this approach will give a definite message to all that I mean business in achieving the organization’s goals and in upholding the rules.

At the same time it will show that I recognize the value of the individual and have concern for the welfare and growth of everyone. I believe this will inspire confidence in them to give their best in doing their jobs and serving others.


  • Seger, Liz. (July 25, 2006). Principle-centered Leadership From the Inside Out: Trustworthiness.
  • Retrieved April 10, 2009, from http://www. esight. org/view. cfm? x=1518. Van Wagner, Kendra (2009). Lewin's Leadership Styles.
  • Retrieved April 10, 2009, from http://psychology. about. com/od/leadership/a/leadstyles. htm.