More Less New

More Less New Whilst working with our staff on our school’s strategic plan evaluation about three years ago, I became stuck on how we would move ahead. Our staff had spent a lot of time across the previous six months, pulling apart our data in every conceivable way trying to effectively evaluate our impact. They…

If you only read one educational leadership book in 2017 make it this one

Leading Teaching and Learning Stephen Dinham If you are only going to read one educational leadership book in 2017, then make it Leading Teaching and Learning by Stephen Dinham (and then get your priorities in order and read more books!). This book is an excellent summary of the broad range of educational research and evidence,…

You should read this if you want to be a Superboss

Superbosses – Sydney Finkelstein Superbosses is an amazing piece of research, summarised into outstanding lessons for leaders of organisations and schools, that ultimately works better as a short article than a book. I came across this book in an HBR article (HBR – January-February 2016), which summarised the main findings of author Sydney Finkelstein’s research….

You should read this if you want to understand everything wrong with leadership

Leadership B.S. – Fixing Worplaces and Careers One Truth at a Time by Jeffrey Pfeffer – Stanford Graduate School of Business   I have written often about the great work of Bob Sutton from Stanford University, and now his faculty colleague and sometimes writing partner Jeffrey Pfeffer has given us Leadership B.S. – Fixing Workplaces and…

Batfleck and Change Management

Batfleck and Change Management Dealing with change – The Ben Affleck as Batman case study Change is hard in schools, and it is ever present. Schools are constantly dealing with a moving educational and political landscape, classroom teachers are constantly dealing with dynamic classrooms and change initiatives within their schools and Principals are constantly dealing…

Closed loop classrooms – Tom’s Restaurant vs. Scotty’s Diner

Closed loop classrooms – Tom’s Restaurant vs. Scotty’s Diner A couple of questions have been tormenting me for a few weeks now, regarding teachers and leaders for whom things on the surface seem to be going well. We all know that there are teachers out there who seem to make things look easy. Their classes…

Give and Take

              Give and Take Adam Grant I’ve been circling this book for a while, waiting for the right time to jump in and absorb it. Finally I’ve pushed the rest of my reading list to the side to tackle it and it hasn’t disappointed. Adam Grant’s Give and Take…

Leadership Transitions

Earlier this week I co presented a workshop for aspiring leaders within my school and local school network. The workshop was the first of three for the year, and was designed to get participants to actively and honestly engage in self-reflection, as a foundation for leadership development. The workshops are designed to assist leaders at…

Leadership books you may have missed in 2014

Leadership books you might have missed in 2014 Regular readers of this blog will know that I am a sucker for a good list, and the New Year’s period always provides some worthy list fodder such as Top 5 Movies of 2014, Top social media fails of 2014 and other such nonsense. So I thought…

Collaboration for improved student learning

Collaboration for improved student learning Recently my school welcomed Dr. Ben Jensen from the Grattan Institute. Dr. Jensen presented a summary of his findings into top tier Asian schools, based on his 2012 report. One of the more revealing aspects of Dr. Jensen’s report (and a little reported on aspect) are the collaboration strategies employed…

You should read this if you are leading change

Switch – Chip and Dan Heath Chip and Dan Heaths excellent ‘Made to Stick’ has already been reviewed here, now their next major book, ‘Switch, How to Change Things When Change is Hard’ is a standout read in the ever growing canon of change management books. Drawing from a wide array of research in psychology…

You should read this if you want to become a true instructional leader

Leverage Leadership Paul Bambrick-Santoyo Paul Bambrick-Santoyo is managing director of the high performing North Star Academies in the US and an instructional leader to be admired. He is also the author of Leverage Leadership, a practical, hands on guide to leading school improvement, which demonstrates clearly and decisively the actions school leaders should be taking to…

On the humanity of leadership and legacies

On the humanity of leadership and legacies Recently the foundation Principal of my school Mill Park Secondary College, Adrian Bennetto passed away at the age of 74. I was tasked with writing the notice for our College newsletter. Opening in 1992, I count myself lucky to have been one of the original cohort of students…

You should read this if you want double the capacity of your team

Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter – Liz Wiseman with Greg McKeown Across your career in teaching, there have probably been school leaders that you have loved working with and others that you have loathed working for. With some leaders you will have felt smarter, valued, supported, challenged and loved your work while…

You should read this if you want to make better decisions

Decisive – How to make better choices in life and work Chip and Dan Heath Leading a school is complex, and the multiple decision making choices we are faced with are no less so. In the same day we may have to make a strategic decision like which teacher to hire on an ongoing basis,…

The Bookshelf

Our You Should Read This bookshelf to get you started on some reading. Click image to enlarge. Click here to view the bookshelf as a PDF  the bookshelf youshouldreadthis Further reading: For more on the Bookshelf, read these reviews → ‘Think’ Edward De Bono, ‘Tribes’ Seth Godin, ‘So Good They Can’t Ignore You’ Cal Newport, ‘Made…

You should read this if you want to be a better boss

Good Boss, Bad Boss Robert L. Sutton Following on from his hugely successful, zeitgeist-grabbing book “The No Asshole Rule”, Robert Sutton delivers again with his book “Good Boss, Bad Boss”. The genesis of this book is in the hundreds and thousands of emails Sutton received after the publication of “The No Asshole Rule”. Startlingly  many of…

You should read this is you want to sharpen your skills as a classroom teacher

Teach Like a Champion – 49 Techniques that Put Students on the Path to College Doug Lemov Doug Lemov has fast become a leading name in educational practice. His instant classic ‘Teach Like a champion’ provides teachers and school leaders with over 40 simple, yet highly effective strategies that can be incorporated into any classroom,…

Rules for analysing your student learning data @ysreadthis

Rules for analysing your student learning data From youshouldreadthisblog.wordpress.com    Data causes teachers to react in many strange ways. Many teachers gleefully dive into reams of data, poring through pages intent on finding every nuance, detail and wrong answer. Some put their head in the sand, hiding their data in the dark recesses of a…

Top 5 Short Reads for Educational Leaders

You Should Read This Top 5 Short Reads for Educational Leaders We all know that teachers and principals are constantly pressed for time. We also know that a 300 or 400 page tome on leadership such as Jim Collins ‘Good to Great’ may not make everyone’s nightstand. The allocation of teacher work time is one…

Top 5 books for aspiring educational leaders

Top 5 books for aspiring educational leaders Who can resist a top 5 list? Well certainly not me. Here’s a top 5 list of books for aspiring leaders in education. If you are at the stage of your teaching career, where you are considering applying for responsibility positions or leadership positions, there are far worse…

You should read this if you want to see how Obama built an election winning team

Game Change* John Heilemann and Mark Halperin Halperin and Heileman’s definitive account charting the course of the historical 2008 US Presidential election campaign may seem like an odd choice to include on an educational leaders reading list. However, the lessons from the candidates, their teams and their strategies are highly relevant to educational leaders. Many…

You should read this if you want to lead in a civilised workplace

The No Asshole Rule – ‘Building a civilized workplace and surviving one that isn’t’ Robert L Sutton The No Asshole Rule is an outstanding read and a must for anyone looking to improve the culture of their schools and staffrooms. Perhaps the subheading best sums up the nature of this book, ‘Building a civilized workplace…

You should read this if you want to lead but don’t have a title

Seth Godin Tribes True leaders don’t need a title, and true leaders don’t wait to be asked to lead are just two of the key messages which shine through in ‘Tribes’ by Seth Godin. Seth Godin is a force of nature. Author, blogger, marketer, theorist, entrepreneur, ideas man… the list goes on. ‘Tribes’ is one…