This phenomenological study delved on the lived experiences of seven effective school leaders in the Philippines. The seven school leaders/key informants were selected through purposive sampling considering the following inclusion criteria: must be a school head of a college or university from the different regions of the Philippines; leads/ manages at least 500 subordinates; has been a recipient of outstanding award in school leadership; and has been in the administrative post for at least seven years. The systematic investigation made use of a battery of questions inquiring on personal and leadership skills and leadership practices and attributes. There were 15 questions sequenced from a macro-point of inquiry “How were you able to turn the wheel in the right direction?” A free flowing discussion on the experiences of the informant followed based on the thematic interview process. The critical appraisal of the differentiated responses and the emerging patterns were identified and supported by literature which helped bring together all the ideas and the lived experiences of the informants. Objective thematic analysis was employed using the “identify–analyze–synthesize--re-conceptualize” method. The school leaders/ informants were also requested to engage in feedback analysis. The self-acknowledged comments were incorporated in the critical appraisal. From the holistic view of shared lived experiences which were critically appraised and thematically analyzed emerged the comprehensive picture that school leadership is a both social mission and a social responsibility.