Since the turn of the century, if not earlier, leadership has been the dominant focus of research attention in educational administration (Bush, 2004; Oplatka, 2010). I argue that claims as to the explanatory importance and robustness of leadership as a construct go too far, as too many theoretical and methodological matters remain unresolved if this concept is simply accepted at face value. Epistemological dialogue and debate was vast during the Theory Movement, the Greenfield revolution and numerous other interventions such as Bates’ Critical Theory of educational administration and Evers and Lakomski’s naturalistic coherentism. Recently, however, the absence of methodological debate in educational administration has allowed for an under-developed act of human cognition to assume not only ascendency but dominance. This is not to say that leadership has advanced without critique in the broader organisational sciences (e.g. Alvesson and Sveningsson, 2003; Calder, 1977; Miner, 1975; Pfeffer, 1977) and in educational administration (e.g. Eacott, 2013, 2015; Gronn, 2003; Lakomski, 2005), but this critique has been infrequent and not sustained at scale. These alternative stances remain peripheral to the field of educational administration, which, at its core, changes little despite their presence.