Top 5 Short Reads for Educational Leaders


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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 of the greatest leadership responsibilities there is, so with this top 5 list I will look after your time, by finding you the shortest reads with the biggest impact.

If you are short of time, or just not an avid reader, the following are some great short reads to help you reflect and build on your leadership skills.

1. Who Moved my Cheese? – Dr. Spencer Johnson

Powerful little allegory about change management from Dr. Spencer Johnson. This tale follows the story of two mice and two “Littlepeople” as they deal with change in their microcosm of a world. With a foreword by management guru Ken Blanchard, this book which has sold over 10 million copies is well worth a lunchtime read. The story itself is only 50 pages long.

2. Fish! – Stephen C. Lundin, Ph.D., Harry Paul and John Christensen

A struggling business executive finds inspiration in her local fishmarket. She applies the fishmongers principles of Be There, Make Their Day, Choose Your Attitude and Play, to her own workplace and leadership skills. Lots of online resources and videos are available to back it up.

3. Dealing with Difficult People, THE MCGRAW-HILL PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION SERIES  – Dr Rick Brinkman, Dr. Rick Kirschner

The entire collection of the McGraw Hill Professional Education Series are very good, and this is the ultimate field guide for dealing with difficult people. The book describes specific types of difficult people (e.g. ‘The Grenade’ ,‘The Know it all’ and ‘The Sniper’ etc) with typical behaviours, then outlines very specific and clear ways to deal with each different type. I lent this to a colleague, who kept it in her top drawer for a year, pulling it out before key meetings to check her approach. Indispensible.

4. Good to Great for the Social Sector – Jim Collins

A handy 33 page addition to Jim Collins ‘Good to Great’ which identifies strategies that the social sector can use to establish organizational greatness. Excellent for schools and school leaders to decipher and apply some of the business principles from this classic business text.

5 .HBR 10 Must Reads on Leadership

Made up of the top 10 articles on Leadership from the history of HBR, you won’t read the whole thing in a lunchtime, but each article is a classic short read on leadership. With contributing authors like Daniel Goleman, Jim Collins and John Kotter, you’ll get to the crux of the best leadership reading quickly.

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Further Reading: Top 5 Books for aspiring leaders and Harvard Business Review

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