The Debate Is Over: Two Books You Must Read To Become A Learning Leader

The Debate Is Over: Two Books You Must Read To Become A Learning Leader

Learning and growing as a school leader through reflection, training, and experience is a professional choice.The ironic part of rising to greater levels of leadership is that the skills, traits, and talents that got an individual to the new position, may not be enough for her to excel in the new role. 

 

This idea of being promoted to one’s level of incompetence was coined by Laurence J. Peter in The Peter Principle. The concept is fascinating because we’ve all experienced or have witnessed this in our own organizations–people who rise to great heights due to superior performance in their role, only to find themselves in over their head in the next position. 

 

This begs the question: how do we avoid this situation for ourselves and others? We appreciate the remedy found at Investopedia because it directly aligns with what our featured author, Michael Useem describes in The Edge, which is that leaders must continually learn to keep their organization succeeding.

A possible solution to the problem posed by the Peter Principle is for companies to provide adequate skill training for employees receiving a promotion, and to ensure that the training is appropriate for the position to which they have been promoted. 

The Edge is filled with real stories that leaders can learn from. Useem paints a very detailed picture of the challenges that many CEOs faced and the conditions in which they were operating. From Kroger to Tyco, he reveals what is adversely affecting the organization and how it was handled and how some CEOs evolved and rose to the occasion by realizing they needed to learn more. He willingly looks at both successes and failures, even within the same company. 

 

This is one reason The School House 302 loves his work, whether The Edge or other books like The Leadership Moment, Useem tackles the very difficult realities that leaders face. This is not a feel good book, but rather an instrument of learning if you are willing to invest the time. Additionally, the book has powerful figures like the one below that illustrates how the mighty have fallen. 

As Useem writes, this book is really “…updated leadership for a new era…” We hope you enjoy it as much as we did. And don’t miss our interview with Michael on the site

Featured Author: Michael Useem

Featured Book: The Edge: How Ten CEO’s Learn to Lead — And the Lessons for Us All 

The second featured book this month is an oldy but goody–Gung Ho! Turn On the People in Any Organization. This is a great, easy to read book, with clear strategies on how to raise the performance of individuals in a company. Make no mistake, easy to read and easy to do are not the same thing. Implementation is key, which is why we couple this book with The Edge

Blanchard and Bowles provide a step-by-step way to increase morale and really build a culture that is willing to learn and grow. Andy, the main character, demonstrates the opposite leadership characteristics than the bad behaviors that we wrote about this month

The three principles of Gung Ho are:

  • The Spirit of the Squirrel
  • The Way of the Beaver
  • The Gift of the Goose

You won’t be disappointed as you become Gung Ho! in your own organization. However, the question remains about actually doing the work; having knowledge and using knowledge are two different things.

Featured Author: Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles

Featured Book: Gung Ho! Turn On the People in Any Organization


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.

 

This blog post 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. 

This episode of our ReadThisSeries 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. 

The Debate Is Over: Two Books You Must Read To Become A Learning Leader

Two Books You Have To Read To Make An Immediate Impact On Your Leadership

Growing as a leader is a professional choice. The challenge is that trying to grow during a storm, or in the case of the last year and a half, a pandemic is difficult. Typically, in a storm, we seek shelter and hunker down to wait it out. Although this is great survival behavior, it’s not good leadership practice. Principal leaders, district leaders, and others in leadership roles do not have the luxury of waiting anything out and playing it safe until a time when things are easier. Actually, it’s just the opposite. The leader has to move forward in the storm and brave the elements. 

The two books that we feature this month will help leaders do just that–move forward by braving the elements. Consistent with our theme this month both books can be viewed through the lens of growing through the grind. Our first book, The Art of Woo: Using Strategic Persuasion to Sell Your Ideas, was chosen because leadership success rises and falls on influence. During these times, leaders need the skill set to effectively persuade others to positively move forward, even when they are scared, worried, and uncertain. 

This book really is a relationship book. Richard Shell and Mario Mousa brilliantly break down the four steps to how Woo works.

  • Survey Your Situation
  • Confront the Five Barriers
  • Make Your Pitch
  • Secure Your Commitments

What’s refreshing is that the authors describe the steps in great detail throughout the book and remind us that the four pieces of the puzzle are always a progression. Don’t miss our interview with one of the authors, Richard Shell

Featured Author: Richard Shell and Mario Moussa

 

Featured Book: The Art of Woo: Using Strategic Persuasion to Sell Your Ideas

The second featured book this month is The Culture Engine: A Framework for Driving Results, Inspiring Your Employees, and Transforming Your Workplace. We chose this book because it focuses on culture, and leaders need to constantly tend to the culture of their school or business. Culture building isn’t an event, it’s a full-time experience. This book spends time on you as a leader and how you are responsible for the school’s culture and how you cannot leave it to “chance.” Lastly, the book finishes strong by demonstrating the need to have everything aligned to the overall purpose and vision. Check it out!

Featured Author: S. Chris Edmonds

Featured Book: The Culture Engine: A Framework for Driving Results, Inspiring Your Employees, and Transforming Your Workplace


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.

 

This blog post 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. 

This episode of our ReadThisSeries 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. 

Two Books On Social & Emotional Learning That Are Bound To Make An Impact On Your School

Two Books On Social & Emotional Learning That Are Bound To Make An Impact On Your School

As school doors open this year to welcome back students, successful schools recognize that if they want to reach and teach all students, they need to touch their hearts and their minds. Amid the dual pandemics–Covid19 and the social and civic unrest–students are entering the school year with a host of needs that must be addressed to ensure that they are successful. 

These needs cover the spectrum from a deficit in mathematics to a family hardship. Regardless, in the end, we know that student achievement improves when students feel connected and safe, when relationships flourish in the classroom. There is no substitute for a student having a meaningful connection with a teacher, counselor, paraprofessional, administrator, or other educator at school.

Our blog this month focused on 6 different ways to build SEL in schools, and we hope you found them easy to implement. As educational leaders, we realize that one of the best places to start your learning is by reading great books, which is why we curate our lists of books to help you on your path to leading better and growing faster. 

This month, we recommend two books that we believe can make a difference where it matters the most—in the classroom. The first book is The Formative Five by Thomas Hoerr and the second one is Improve Every Lesson with SEL by Jeffrey Benson.

Featured Author: Thomas Hoerr

Featured Book: The Formative Five: Fostering Grit, Empathy, and Other Success Skills Every Student Needs

The Formative Five focuses on developing empathy, self-control, integrity, embracing diversity, and grit . Each one of the five serves our students (and teachers) well as they strive to deepen their understanding and execution in each area. The five also have a unique way of focusing on the self and others. We found this to be practical for all educators. 

Focusing on others, having empathy, is something that we can all improve upon, and as we seek to understand others, we often learn quite a bit about ourselves. Lastly, Heorr recommends other reads throughout the chapters, which is a great springboard to other books that may be valuable. Don’t miss our interview with Thomas Hoerr. You can find it on our site at theschoolhouse302.com by clicking on the podcast button at the top. 

Key Feature of the Book:

Hoerr created self-assessment surveys for each of the formative five. We appreciate this style of writing that is designed to engage the reader, especially because these are areas that we can continually develop as leaders.

Featured Author: Jeffrey Benson

Featured Book: Improving Every Lesson Plan with SEL

Improving Every Lesson Plan with SEL demystifies the process of weaving social and emotional learning into your lessons. That last thing we want is for SEL activities to be taught in isolation or devoid of the classroom content. The more SEL can find a home within each lesson, the more students will understand the dynamic nature of so many of the topics we discuss. Consider Hurricane Ida that just devastated areas of the east coast, it’s important to know what a hurricane is, the various categories for example, but tying that to the human side of destruction and loss can teach empathy along with the content. 

Key Feature of the Book:

Similar to Hoerr, Benson explicitly outlines specific action steps that are aligned to the content in the book. He also asks the reader to reflect on their lesson plans through what they are learning about how social and emotional learning works for students. 

 

Let us know what you’re reading by contacting us at contact@theschoolhouse302.com. And don’t miss our next live event on this topic. Register here

 

We can’t wait to hear from you. 

 

Joe & T.J.

 

This episode of our ReadThisSeries 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. 

Must Reads to Prepare Every Educational Leader for Leading During Disruptive and Turbulent Times

Must Reads to Prepare Every Educational Leader for Leading During Disruptive and Turbulent Times

Don’t miss this vblog on YouTube or catch our Read This segment of our One Thing Series podcast–books you need to read to lead better and grow faster.

Featured Author: Doris Kearns Goodwin

Featured Books: Leadership: In Turbulent Times

 

Why We Love This Book for School Leaders

We love this book for school leaders, especially now, because Kearns draws on the skills and attributes of four American presidents–Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Lyndon B. Johnson–who encountered times of confusion, fear, despair, and hope. Leadership: In Turbulent Times is destined to be a classic. 

 

Here are just a few reasons to pick it up: 

 

The author points out the specific traits that make for a successful leader in any organization. For example, we learn that not only was Lincoln ambitious–running for the office of the presidency at age 23–he had “the motivation and willpower to develop every talent he possessed to the fullest.” This is something that school leaders can emulate and model to develop a learning culture for themselves and others. 

Reflection Question: What learning experiences do you have lined up for this year that will help to develop your talents to the fullest?

The last four chapters are a ton of fun, including transformational leadership, crisis management, turnaround leadership, and visionary leadership. It’s almost like this book was written exclusively for school leaders, although it’s universal to any organization. 

Reflection Question: How will you communicate your vision for change in your school this year? 

Lastly, this is an incredible book to lead a book study on with other educational leaders. Kearns Goodwin is remarkable about describing each leader’s journey. As we move into our second school year filled with uncertainty and doubt, having candid leadership conversations that go beyond procedures and processes, and into the heart of tough decision-making, can prove to be invaluable. 

Reflection Question: How will you support others this year along their leadership journey?

Becoming a Better School Leader During a Disruptive Time in Education

Another book that we recommend in this ReadThisSeries episode is Leading Schools in Disruptive Times: How to Survive Hyper-Change by Mark White and Dwight Carter. We appreciate this book because it redefines certain aspects of school leadership for those who are experiencing overload and demands beyond control. The authors have a CAT strategy–coping, adjusting, and transforming–strategy that they embed within the conversation about school safety. Safety is no longer just about the physical aspects of school violence but also the psychological safety that students need to be effective learners. This point and many others make the book an important read for all school leaders. Let us know what you think, and don’t miss our podcast episode with Dwight Carter

Let us know what you’re reading by contacting us at contact@theschoolhouse302.com

 

We can’t wait to hear from you. 

 

Joe & T.J.

PS — If you have a topic you want us to cover or need recommendations on books to read in a particular area of leadership, just send us a tweet or an email. 

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. 

Read This To Unveil the Impact of Masterminds and the Exponential Growth You Can Experience as a School Leader

Read This To Unveil the Impact of Masterminds and the Exponential Growth You Can Experience as a School Leader

Don’t miss this vblog on YouTube or catch our Read This segment of our One Thing Series podcast–books you need to read to lead better and grow faster.

Featured Author: Danny Bauer

Featured Books: Mastermind: Unlocking Talent Within Every School Leader

Why We Love This Book for School Leaders

We’ll say it up front and just get it out of the way, Danny is a friend of TheSchoolHouse302, and we are thrilled about his new book. You might say we are biased, and that is impacting our review. Honestly, we would agree 100%. But only because we curate authors as often as we curate books, and Danny’s last book was a hit with us as well.

We carefully select what we read at this point, and each page that we turn is with the expectation that we will learn something new to apply in our roles. This book achieves that for us with a twist. As Bauer quickly writes in the beginning of his book, Masterminds are not a new way to develop leaders. In fact, we first read about the concept of a Mastermind in Napoleon Hill’s classic, Think and Grow Rich. Before we go on, if you have not read Think and Grow Rich, pause right now and buy it. Don’t let the title fool you. The riches Hill describes are far beyond material wealth and include what many educators truly desire–making a difference for the betterment of this world.

Back to Danny’s new book. Here’s why we consider this book a must read:

  1. Danny tackles several taboos that limit our growth as school leaders.
  2. The book uncovers the A, B, & C of successful professional learning.
  3. It is written almost as a testimony to how Masterminds have changed leaders for the better. The case studies are fantastic.
  4. The book dives into the power of emotional intelligence, which is needed now more than ever.

A Better School Leader

To be a great leader we have to be willing to venture out and experience learning in new and different ways that can stretch and challenge our thinking. Reading is a great way to do that if you build a system to implement what you read. Another great way is to join a community of individuals who don’t want to be average leaders and who truly want to do something great for their community. 

The second best thing you can do right now is to take the time to learn about the power of masterminds and how they can transform and unlock your thinking. The first best thing you can do is to enroll yourself today. 

Let us know what you’re reading by contacting us at contact@theschoolhouse302.com.

We can’t wait to hear from you. 

Joe & T.J.

PS — If you have a topic you want us to cover or need recommendations on books to read in a particular area of leadership, just send us a tweet or an email. 

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.

Read This To Learn from One of the Most Influential Thinkers and Educators in the 20th Century

Read This To Learn from One of the Most Influential Thinkers and Educators in the 20th Century

Don’t miss this vblog on YouTube or catch our Read This segment of our One Thing Series podcast–books you need to read to lead better and grow faster. 

Featured Author: John Dewey (October 20, 1859–June 1, 1952)

Featured Books: Experience and Education and How We Think

Here’s Why Every Principal Leader, Administrator, and Educator Should Read These Books by John Dewey

Leaders are busy. Educators are always running short on time so it is of the utmost importance to select the right books, ones that will take your leadership skills to another level. 

Think about the following reflection questions as educators:

  • Do you want to think more clearly about thoughts, balance of mind, and how to think critically? 
  • Do you want to understand how to analyze your school and thoughtfully determine what decisions will lead to the greatest gains for students? 
  • Do you want to better understand how to lead change, maintain high standards, and not suppress individuality? 

If you answered a BIG YES to these questions then take some time and enjoy these two incredible books by one of the most influential educational reformers in history, John Dewey.

Experience and Education

  • We’ll start with Experience and Education. Honestly it’s tough to choose what books to select since John Dewey was such a prolific writer. However, these two do a great job encapsulating the guiding thoughts of John Dewey. 
  • Experience and Education is a relatively short work in which Dewey analyzes education. This is one lens to read this book from–not only to learn what John Dewey thought and believed in but to also understand how he critically examined our profession as a philosopher. This is a very important skill for any administrator. 
  • What we find sobering is that when you delve into this work and read how Dewey contrasts traditional and progressive education, you almost can’t believe that it was written so long ago. It reads like a present day reform effort. There is no doubt that education has advanced, but the system itself has not fundamentally changed

How We Think

  • The second book we chose was How We Think (free download), partly because it shines an amazing light into what it means to be human, and, also, because we are educational leaders, we must understand the importance of how we operate as people. Our thoughts and our actions are what define us as leaders; by understanding ourselves better, we create greater potential for success in others. 
  • An example of how Dewey delves into our inner workings is in Chapter 2 with our need to train our thinking. This is a concept that has spanned many works from Tony Robbins, Awaken the Giant Within, to books on Emotional Intelligence. Check out Dewey’s quote below.

Let us know what you’re reading by contacting us at contact@theschoolhouse302.com

We can’t wait to hear from you. 

Joe & T.J.

PS — If you have a topic you want us to cover or need recommendations on books to read in a particular area of leadership, just send us a tweet or an email. 

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