I like this dissection of what makes a great superintendent, but I think the team is just as important as the single person at the helm:
I love that you have based this upon research and empathy interviews. I believe that you have looked at many different facets of leadership and you have done it by asking the people most affected by that leadership.
In my role within a large urban school district, I have seen the power of a strong superintendent to move a large system forward. However, I only believe that this works when you have a distributed leadership, where the many layers below the superintendent feel empowered to move the district as well. It doesn’t work if every decision has to be pushed back to the executive leadership team in order to change something.
The real question for me is, “How can we create superstars where there are none?” I do believe that any district team must be collectively a “superstar” and that it isn’t enough to have a single person at the helm doing this. We must get to a place where there is a system and a structure of leadership that can do the things you mentioned. If it is left up to a single individual, the whole things falls apart when they leave.