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Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume II, Issue 1 2013 education. The literature also has not specified how women reeducate others not to judge them using assigned attributes. It is also important to understand that successful women bring unique and individual identities when promoted to administrative positions. Attributes ascribed to administrative positions, in all likelihood, have been designed to fit only men and may not be a good fit for most women. Therefore, improving the norm and increasing diversity through the hiring of successful women is a difficult challenge because it involves changing the ideas of socialized norms. Socialized norms are those that society deems acceptable and by which it expects individuals and groups to abide. However, when the socialized norms are challenged, diversity and new ideas, perspectives, perceptions, and identities can be learned. For example, in educational administration, the leadership positions have mainly gone to men (Grogan, 1996; Ortiz & Marshall, 1995; Skrla, 1999, 2000a, 2000b; Tallerico, 1999, 2000). However, more women have earned the opportunities to lead schools and districts (Grogan, 1996; Marcano, 1997; MendezMorse, 1999, 2000; Ortiz & Marshal; Skrla, 2000b; Tallerico, 1999, 2000) and have changed the norm, which has changed the definition and face of leadership. This change has been a slow process, but the norms are changing as educational leadership slowly becomes more diverse. Chameleon Identity Is there some truth that educational leaders adapt to different situations or scenarios as different persons? In other words, does each person hold different identities that are showcased at different times and at different situations? Furthermore, in the leadership world of education, do leaders hold different identities? The fast and easy answer would be, “Yes!” but there are stipulations to this answer. Take gender, for instance, when thinking about identities in educational leadership: Generally speaking, men and women do behave differently and are perceived differently in leadership positions, just as they are in most positions. Most men are seen as directive and authoritative, while most women are seen as collaborative and compassionate. These identities, then, define that person. However, there are many instances when many men can also be collaborative and compassionate, while many women can also be directive and authoritative. Therefore, identities can be attributed to a leader based on perceptions of others and defined by how a leader deals with a situation. A male leader who is directive and authoritative in one situation, may immediately become collaborative and compassionate in another situation and the same for women. The leaders can change their identities. The term that could encompass this ideal is the “chameleon identity”. However, what should be understood is how this chameleon identity changes, and for what reasons this chameleon identity changes. For educational leaders, this chameleon identity is understandably used because an educational leader must learn to be flexible while performing the job. One parallel that can be made about the chameleon identity is with Anzaldua’s (1987) border identity. Although she focuses on race, the concept is similar. Anzaldua posits that there are borders, both physical and indefinable, where one lives and where one racially identifies with two or more cultures. Her idea of living on the border of two or more cultures, crossing from one world into another, and identifying with the expectations of many cultures closely aligns to the findings of the chameleon identity. Hence, as educational leaders, identifying with a campus culture, a district culture, and a 44

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JTWSE—Volume 2  

JTWSE—Volume 2  

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