The principal, then, whatever his style, must, like the college president, have something of the Zeusian mind, a vision of things. And it is in his vision that the justice (the virtue) of his leadership lies. Let us go on and say that the principal must be the kind of leader of which Plato speaks in the ”Republic•; he must have a political greatness (an administrative ability, we would say, in this instance) combined with wisdom. But the particular kind of wisdom Socrates spoke of is not the ”possession• of wisdom; rather, it is an awareness of one's own ”lack• -- and a desire to pursue --that ultimate wisdom which, as Socrates put it, "the god" alone possesses. Hence, as Leonard Grob has written ("Leadership: the Socratic Model"), Socrates espoused a "critical [or inquiring] spirit" as the ”moral ground• of all human endeavor. If leadership is not nourished, he says, "by a wellspring of critical process at its center," it "'dries up' and becomes, finally, the mere wielding of power on behalf of static ideals."
Cowan, Donald, "The Tempest" (1990). Principals’ Institute at DIHC. 5.