Two Great Books that Every School Leader Must Read to Build a Culture of Growth in Their School

Two Great Books that Every School Leader Must Read to Build a Culture of Growth in Their School

Great School Leaders are Avid Readers

Learning and growing as a school leader through reflection, training, and experience is a professional choice. One powerful way to improve is through reading great books, which is why we feature a couple of great books each month. 

Our aim is to link great books to our theme for the month. This month we are focused on school leaders who want to build a culture of growth in their schools. Growth in any given area requires intentionality with time specifically dedicated to supporting personal development.  

For this reason, we chose two books that are must reads for school leaders who want to build environments, for teachers and other staff members, that nurture growth. 

Joe’s Pick: The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business

Featured Author: Pat Lencioni

In this podcast, Joe quickly identifies why The Advantage is a powerful read for growth-driven leaders. Unlike Lencioni’s other books, this is not fable but rather a guide to develop an organization’s health. 

Listen to why an organization’s health is bigger than culture. 

Joe also identifies quick ways to determine how well an organization is functioning. As Lencioni points out in the book, there should be minimal politics and confusion, high morale and productivity, and low staff turnover, which is the purpose of Retention for a Change as well. 

The book is centered on a model, which Joe points out in the episode; see below for a great graphic from Reading Graphics. Please note that the last three aspects of the model focus on clarity. 

13 Hight Trust Behaviors

T.J.’s Pick: Time, Talent, and Energy

Featured Authors: Michael Mankins and Eric Garton

13 Hight Trust Behaviors

T.J. lands on Time, Talent, Energy this month, knowing that if you desire to grow people, then you need to fully understand the impact of time, talent, and energy on what the author’s call “organizational drag.” Not using the three wisely can lead to disastrous results. 

Listen to T.J. describe how these are the scarcest resources that need to be protected in schools. 

He also reveals how the right culture unearths the unique talents within a school and district. Additionally, companies often focus on the strategic goals, financial capital, but fully understanding how to manage your team’s time, talent, and energy is just as, if not more important. 

Technical Tip for Leaders Who Read

We close every Read This Series with a technical tip. This month’s tip is to journal specifically on what you are reading about. Leaders gain results from reading when they take 5 to 10 minutes for free-writing on what the book content means to you and your leadership.

As educators we tout the critical importance of having students synthesize information, and this is one way that we do it that will yield great results. Don’t let the knowledge you gain go to waste. Ideas are fleeting; write them down and grow your own leadership ability exponentially. 

Enjoy both of these books to lead better and grow faster as school leaders. We always appreciate a like, a follow, a comment, or a share. 

Let us know what you’re reading by contacting us at contact@theschoolhouse302.com. And don’t miss our leadership newsletter every week by subscribing on the site. 

 

We can’t wait to hear from you. 

 

Joe & T.J.

Today’s content was brought to you by GhostBed, a family-owned business of sleep experts with 20+ years of experience. With 30K+ 5-star reviews, you can’t go wrong with GhostBed. Their mattresses are handcrafted, and they come with a 101-night-at-home-sleep trial. For a limited time, you can get 30% by using our code — SH302 — at checkout. And, even if you tell someone about GhostBed, you can earn a $100 referral reward. Go to Ghostbed.com today and use SH302 at checkout.

Season 3, Episode 12 of FocusED with Robyn Jackson #FocusED

Season 3, Episode 12 of FocusED with Robyn Jackson #FocusED

This is Season 3, Episode 12 of FocusED, and it features our guest, Robyn Jackson. It was originally recorded live for a studio audience in Delaware, provided as a professional development experience for Delaware teachers and leaders. Don’t miss what Robyn says about building culture as a school leader…and much more. 

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Robyn Jackson Brings Tons of Experience to FocusED Listeners

Robyn Jackson is passionate about building better schools. As the CEO of Mindsteps Inc.®, she has helped thousands of K–12 administrators and teachers develop the clarity and confidence to turn their classrooms and schools into success stories.

Jackson combines her experience as an English teacher and middle school administrator and her work in thousands of schools and districts to help teachers and administrators develop rigorous instructional programs that provide students with the support and motivation they need to reach or exceed the standards and helps refocus vision, mission, and core values to build better schools.

She is the author of 10 books, host of the School Leadership Reimagined podcast, and an internationally recognized keynote speaker and consultant.

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FocusED Show Notes with Robyn Jackson

Robyn talked about the failed leadership models that we all learned but that aren’t working since they are designed to maintain. 

Don’t miss what she says about doing the work of leadership in schools without a new program, without firing people, without adding…by building. 

Don’t miss the 4 things that Robyn teaches in her builders’ lab. 

Robyn talked about vision statements being promises for our students. 

There’s great power in the way that Robyn describes teacher development, growing them one level in one year. Picking one thing to develop and targeting that area. 

We need to know the most critical areas of instruction to set as our focus for teacher growth. 

Robyn talked about this mantra: Bosses say “you go.” Leaders say “let’s go.” Builders say “come.” 

The leader dictates the vision but that staff should put boundaries around their own behavior by setting the core values. This is the purpose stage that Robyn teaches. 

Don’t miss what Robyn says about every teacher becoming a master teacher. 

Listen to what it means to interrogate your teacher evaluation system. What’s one thing that teachers need to do to get to the next level? 

Books mentioned by Robyn Jackson on FocusED

Never Work Harder Than Your Students by Robyn Jackson 

 

Robyn mentions books outside of education, including the book Upstream by Dan Heath. She talked about trying to solve problems at the source. 

Robyn Jackson Quotes 

Being successful is boring. Being really successful is really boring. ~ Robyn Jackson 

The best gift you can give every student is a master teacher in every classroom. ~ Robyn Jackson

We need staff to grow in both their skillset and their willset so that they’re not just better teachers but also that they feel safe to try new things, take risks, and improve practice. ~ Robyn Jackson

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Thanks for listening to FocusED, an educational leadership podcast brought to you by TheSchoolHouse302 @ theschoolhouse302.com where we publish free leadership content. Go to the site, subscribe, and you’ll get all of our content sent directly to your email. 

 

FocusED is your educational leadership podcast where our mission is to dissect a particular focus for teachers and school leaders so that you can learn to lead better and grow faster in your school or district with more knowledge, better understanding, and clear direction on what to do next.

This episode was brought to you by GhostBed, a family-owned business of sleep experts with 20+ years of experience. With 30K+ 5-star reviews, you can’t go wrong with GhostBed. Their mattresses are handcrafted, and they come with a 101-night-at-home-sleep trial. For a limited time, you can get 30% by using our code — SH302 — at checkout. And, even if you tell someone about GhostBed, you can earn a $100 referral reward. Go to Ghostbed.com today and use SH302 at checkout. 

Dan Butler: Leveraging the Support that Is Needed to Prevent Burnout Among Teachers #OneThingSeries

Dan Butler: Leveraging the Support that Is Needed to Prevent Burnout Among Teachers #OneThingSeries

About Dan Butler

Dan Butler serves as the principal of Epworth Elementary School and has been named the next Superintendent in the Western Dubuque Community School District effective July 1. Previously, he was the principal of Epworth and Farley Elementary Schools simultaneously for four years, focusing on positive relationships with all members of the learning community, high impact instructional techniques, building leadership capacity in others, and establishing successful school cultures. Prior to serving as an administrator, Dan taught third and fifth grades in the Western Dubuque District, as well as serving as a baseball and football coach. In addition to his responsibilities as a building principal, Dan works as an adjunct professor in the Educational Leadership department at the University of Northern Iowa where he earned his doctoral degree.

Dan has received numerous awards and most recently was recognized as a finalist for the School Administrators of Iowa Elementary Principal of the year in 2019 and 2020. He received the University of Northern Iowa Educational Leadership Legacy award in 2018 and was a 2017 bizTimes.biz Rising Star in the Dubuque area. For more than six years, Dan served as a co-moderator of Iowa Educational Chat (#IAedchat), a weekly Twitter forum dedicated to the latest trends in education. He recently published his first book, Permission to be Great, and has published various articles to Principal Magazine, focused on digital leadership, literacy, productivity, and educator engagement. Dan and his wife, Johna reside in Iowa with their sons, Mason and Nolan. Read more about Dr. Butler by visiting danpbutler.com or follow him on Twitter: @danpbutler.

What You’ll Find in this Podcast Episode with Dan Butler

Dan talked about the concept of support for the employee in the work environment. Don’t miss what he says about defining what matters most, including core values. 

You’ll want to pay attention to what he says about reactive approaches to support versus proactive approaches to support. 

Dan lists some essential questions when creating the right environment: 

  • What are the things that need to stay? 
  • What are the things that we can remove? 

He reminds us that if everything is a priority, nothing is a priority. 

Dan reminds us of the very powerful Eisenhower Matrix when we are looking to make critical decisions. 

Pay attention to how Dan frames delegation and what you might be doing that takes away from the talents and skills of others.  

When asked about key people who Dan tunes into for inspiration, he doesn’t hesitate to talk about the powerful work of Tim Kight. If you want to learn more about culture, check him out.

Dan says that everyone needs a physical activity routine, preferably in the morning. He focuses on mental clarity and other important results from exercise. 

Listen to Dan eloquently describes the sweet spot of performance feedback.  

We are always intrigued to learn more about people who great leaders turn to for their own growth; Dan describes the work of Greg Deutmeyer and Jenny Hillebrand — School Talk Podcast.

Dan finishes the interview strong and reminds us that as leaders we don’t have to know all the answers. That success hinges on empowerment and collaboration.

We wish Dan the best in his new role as superintendent. 

There’s too much to do and not enough resources to get it done. ~ Dan Butler

Books Mentioned by Dan Butler During the Podcast

The Advantage by Patrick Lencioni 

The Leadership Challenge by Kouzes and Posner 

More Free School Leadership Resources for Principals

As always, let us know what you think of this with a like, a follow, or a comment. Find us on Twitter, YouTube, iTunes, Facebook, & SoundCloud. And, again, if you want one simple model for leading better and growing faster per month, follow this blog by entering your email at the top right of the screen.

TheSchoolHouse302 is about getting to simple by maximizing effective research-based strategies that empower individuals to lead better and grow faster.

 

Joe & T.J. 

This episode was brought to you by GhostBed, a family-owned business of sleep experts with 20+ years of experience. With 30K+ 5-star reviews, you can’t go wrong with GhostBed. Their mattresses are handcrafted, and they come with a 101-night-at-home-sleep trial. For a limited time, you can get 30% by using our code — SH302 — at checkout. And, even if you tell someone about GhostBed, you can earn a $100 referral reward. Go to Ghostbed.com today and use SH302 at checkout. 

Season 3, Episode 9 of FocusED with Joshua Stamper #FocusED

Season 3, Episode 9 of FocusED with Joshua Stamper #FocusED

This is Season 3, Episode 9 of FocusED, and it features our guest, Joshua Stamper. It was originally recorded live for a studio audience in Delaware, provided as a professional development experience for Delaware teachers and leaders. Don’t miss what Joshua has to say about aspiring leadership, leadership development, and so much more. 

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Joshua Stamper Brings Tons of Experience to FocusED Listeners

Joshua Stamper initially used his artistic talent, creativity, and original ideas as a professional graphic designer. He then transitioned to inspiring students to use their imagination and creative expression in public education. Being unsuccessful as a student growing up, Joshua never expected to be back in the classroom as a teacher, athletic coach, or administrator. His struggles as a student spawned a passion to change the education model, push the boundaries of traditional learning, and explore new innovative ideas. Joshua has been a middle school Assistant Principal in North Texas for the past eight years, where he’s served at four campuses in two school districts.

In addition to his current administrative position, Joshua is the host of Aspire: The Leadership Development Podcast, leadership coach, education presenter, and Podcast Network Manager for the Teach Better Team. He’s also the author of the 2021 book, ASPIRE to Lead. Joshua lives in the Dallas, TX area with his wife and five children. You can stay connected by following @Joshua__Stamper on Twitter and Instagram, or by visiting his website www.joshstamper.com.

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FocusED Show Notes with Joshua Stamper 

Josh talked about how leads often obtain knowledge but then rarely do anything with it to grow and change. The “activate” part of self-development is the use of knowledge in practice, especially for leaders who want to move up to the next level. 

Josha talks about how it goes a long way to be able to explain experiences as a leader when interviewing for positions versus just explaining what you might do. 

Josh tells aspiring leaders to seek support wherever you can, even if it’s not on your campus. 

There’s no winning or losing, only learning. ~ Joshua Stamper 

The model came to Josh because he was tasked with building an aspiring leaders program in his district. In his work with aspiring leaders, he was inspired to help others and write the book to add value as a resource in education. 

Josh is working on supplemental material for the book so that readers get more stories and more depth into their journey as an aspiring leader. 

Josh recommended The Ten Minute Leader by Evan Rob and Thrive Through the Five by Jill Siler.

He mentioned the Teach Better Team. Check them out. 

Josh leans heavy into Voxer groups to stay connected with others. 

We talked about the fact that the greatest leaders of all time are always aspiring. Josh talked about simply wanting to make an impact and help education in as many ways as he can. 

Josh talked about a future topic in education, maybe a book called The Necessary Evolution of Education in America. Can’t wait for him (or someone) to write it. 

Thanks for listening to FocusED, an educational leadership podcast brought to you by TheSchoolHouse302 @ theschoolhouse302.com where we publish free leadership content. Go to the site, subscribe, and you’ll get all of our content sent directly to your email. 

 

FocusED is your educational leadership podcast where our mission is to dissect a particular focus for teachers and school leaders so that you can learn to lead better and grow faster in your school or district with more knowledge, better understanding, and clear direction on what to do next.

This episode was brought to you by GhostBed, a family-owned business of sleep experts with 20+ years of experience. With 30K+ 5-star reviews, you can’t go wrong with GhostBed. Their mattresses are handcrafted, and they come with a 101-night-at-home-sleep trial. For a limited time, you can get 30% by using our code — SH302 — at checkout. And, even if you tell someone about GhostBed, you can earn a $100 referral reward. Go to Ghostbed.com today and use SH302 at checkout. 

Joy Kelly: Balancing Care and High Expectations as a School Leader

Joy Kelly: Balancing Care and High Expectations as a School Leader

About Joy Kelly

Joy Kelly has been an educator for more than 25 years. She has served as a high school teacher, 7-12 parochial school principal, and a public high school associate principal, where she was named the Iowa 2015 Associate Principal of the Year. 

After serving as a high school principal, Joy currently serves as the Head of School at Regina Catholic Education Center. Having been a principal in both public and parochial schools, Joy brings extensive knowledge and understanding of student achievement, community building, student and family engagement, and teacher leadership. 

Joy believes that the vitality and success of any school rests in the culture of the school community. It is her belief that positive student achievement occurs as a result of the caring and supportive relationships developed among the adults in the school and with the students and their families. 

Along with Jimmy Casas, Joy co-authored the book Handle with Care: Managing Difficult Situations in Schools with Dignity and Respect. Joy is the proud mother of five children and believes that her journey with them makes her a better school leader to the students and staff with whom she works every day.

What You’ll Find in this Podcast Episode with Joy Kelly

T.J. starts off with a direct question about maintaining high expectations, while creating a culture that helps people thrive, and Joy immediately debunks the myth that accountability is about what you did wrong. 

While describing the power of accountability, Joy reminds us of three human realities: 

  1. Everyone has a story that impacts how they think, how they feel, and how they respond. We have to remember that everyone has suffered trauma, pain, and hardship. 
  2. Outward expressions don’t always align with internal feelings. For example, outward anger is often internal sadness.
  3. The adults don’t always get it right and should be willing to acknowledge so. At the core of relationships is trust

Joe asks Joy to dive deeper into how we can connect better with the people we serve. Listen to how Joy creates a culture where we get to really know your staff:  

  1. Let them know who you really are as a person and not just as a leader.
  2. Staff need to feel valued and heard.
  3. Feedback should be a two-way street

You’ll want to hear the conversation about feedback, discipline, punishment, and how to handle accountability with care. 

Leaders should adopt the sentiment that “we don’t have a monopoly on making all the right decisions.” 

You have to hear Joy’s story about the student who came to the office without his lanyard and ID. Powerful and humbling. 

Learn how Joy gleans a ton from her experiences as a parent, learning from her children. She also describes her powerful relationship with Jimmy Casas and the impact it has on her leadership. You will definitely want to check out the books she mentions: 

Lead with Faith by Sara Johnson

The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon 

Be Excellent on Purpose Sanee Bell

Atlas of the Heart by Brene Brown

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

We’ve heard many of our guests talk about meditation. Joy described her experience with slow and deep breathing. She says that “calm people are breathers.” Additionally, you don’t want to miss the four questions she goes to bed with every night that you could be using today!

You have to hear what Joy says about cooking with herbs and swimming in the deep end–things she still wants to learn how to do. 

Don’t miss the story of the student who called to make amends and what Joy really took from the conversation.

Joy enjoys The Adult SEL Podcast and A Bit of Optimism with Simon Sinek. 

Have you ever had to memorize the Articles of the Constitution? Joy used to be more focused on the content as a teacher and now she realizes that the connection with students has a far greater impact on students than anything in the curriculum. 

More Free School Leadership Resources for Principals 

As always, let us know what you think of this with a like, a follow, or a comment. Find us on Twitter, YouTube, iTunes, Facebook, & SoundCloud. And, again, if you want one simple model for leading better and growing faster per month, follow this blog by entering your email at the top right of the screen.

 

TheSchoolHouse302 is about getting to simple by maximizing effective research-based strategies that empower individuals to lead better and grow faster.

 

Joe & T.J. 

This episode was brought to you by GhostBed, a family-owned business of sleep experts with 20+ years of experience. With 30K+ 5-star reviews, you can’t go wrong with GhostBed. Their mattresses are handcrafted, and they come with a 101-night-at-home-sleep trial. For a limited time, you can get 30% by using our code — SH302 — at checkout. And, even if you tell someone about GhostBed, you can earn a $100 referral reward. Go to Ghostbed.com today and use SH302 at checkout. 

Claim Your FREE Copy to Our Praise Practice- Practical Praise Giving Tips for Principals

Claim Your FREE Copy to Our Praise Practice- Practical Praise Giving Tips for Principals

Learn how you can give practical praise each day as you lead your school to develop a better and more positive culture through this complimentary eBook we use in our workshops to help principals all over the nation and subscribe for more resources like this one delivered to your inbox. 

Congratulations on claiming your copy - you may download it here: https://theschoolhouse302.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Technical-Tip-Praise-Practice-A-Model-for-Specific-Praise.pdf