Like Janus, conformity has two faces. On one face, conformity allows social cohesion to accomplish mission-specific activities. On the other face, conformity in educational leadership can entail a three-part cost against human development. First, education leaders may lose the capacity to ground ethics in objectively valuable sources. This is an effect of formal and informal institutional incentive structures and pressures leaders of virtue to become managers of demand. Second, conformity signals to institutional actors that authentic reform might be too costly to one’s professional career. Third, conformity signals that bureaucracies are not merely locations of special interests, but they are also locations of information dissipation in decision-making. All of these combine to show that the institution of education suffers a significant loss of creativity and innovation, making leadership a difficult occupation. A discussion of reliable remedies for practice follows.

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