District Administration March 2018 - 28

PDMatters
The well-read administrator
Books from other disciplines should inspire school leaders
By Michael Niehoff

P

rofessional reading has long
been a practice of leaders in
many disciplines. Education is
no exception.
However, to be truly innovative,
education leaders can discover amazing professional insights in the areas of
business, politics, psychology, sociology, technology and the military.
Here is a list of non-education
books that today's education leaders
recommend to their peers:
The Power of Moments. Chip and
Dan Heath explore why and how certain brief experiences in our lives can
have profound impact. It suggests we
learn to create such defining moments
in both our professional and personal
lives. Joe Sanfelippo, superintendent of
Fall Creek School District in Wisconsin, says the authors discuss how we can
help provide more of these moments
that will be remembered long after kids
have left our schools. "Educational leaders live in a world where amazing moments happen often, but we don't know
the impact until years later," he says.
First, Fast, Fearless (How To Lead
Like A Navy Seal). Retired Navy
Seal Lt. Commander Brian "Iron Ed"
Hiner writes about going beyond the
norm to get the seemingly impossible
done. "This book is invaluable," says
Andrew Schwab, associate superintendent of learning and innovation
for Union School District in San Jose,
California. "Even if you don't embrace
the military metaphor, this directly
addresses building effective leadership

DAmag.me/book

28 March 2018

teams and also managing your own
brand as a leader."
The Circle of Innovation. The follow up to Tom Peters' legendary book
Thriving On Chaos presents new ways
of envisioning the challenges of today's
world, says Jon Corippo, interim executive director of CUE, an educational
nonprofit. "This has become a quick
learning model representing the new
normal," he says. "The book has served
me well for more than a decade."
In Start With Why, Simon Sinek
illustrates the path to purposeful innovation with his concept of the "Golden
Circle": starting with "why," then moving to "how" and finally "what."
"When we follow this progression in our thinking, we are much
less likely to fall into empty trends
and much more likely to design
purpose-driven ideas that represent our
schools," says Jason Markey, principal
at East Leyden High School in Illinois.
Camen Gallo's Talk Like TED
focuses on the art of storytelling.
There has been much emphasis of late
for school leaders to connect with all
stakeholders, and this book could up
our collective game.
"We connect with constituents
on an emotional level to reach their
hearts," says Brad Gustfason, principal
at Wayzata Public Schools in Minnesota. "There is real neuroscience behind
this and it demonstrates how to take the
art of storytelling to a whole new level."
For more book recommendations,
see the online version of this article at
DAmag.me/book.
Longtime educator Michael Niehoff writes on
transformational leadership and professional
development.
District Administration


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of District Administration March 2018

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