Summer Reading Recommendations: Leadership

It’s almost summer and we’re all making our summer reading lists.  I asked leaders across our system to tell me what books they recommend for educational leaders and this is the great list we came up with.  Enjoy!

I absolutely recommend that anyone leading a team spend a few hours reading Patrick Lencioni’s The Five Dysfunctions of a Team! Lencioni’s pyramid illustrating the five dysfunctions gave a name to the struggles I faced as a new manager, and provided me with concrete solutions. 

-Ana Wolfowicz, Director of Recruitment
 

I would recommend Emotional Intelligence 2.0, which is a short read full of tools on how to build one’s skill set when it comes to self-awareness, social awareness, relationship management & self-management.  It goes through the importance of the skills for leaders, but also has some in-depth activities for development for self and others.  For those that coach teachers or manage adults, you’ll encounter significant resources on exploration & growth. 

-Nella Garcia Urban, VP of Talent
 

Leadership and Self-Deception by the Arbinger Institute – A really short read similar to Lencioni books in that it’s a fable. You could finish it in a weekend but I had to put it aside a couple times because it hit too close to home. It’s a book that helped me as much at home as it did at work.

 The ONE Thing by Gary Keller – Helps in prioritization and goal setting. The opening line of the book is “If you try to chase 2 rabbits, you won’t catch either one.”

-Paul Needham, Manager of Professional Learning
 

The Advantage by Patrick Lencioni combines all the tenets, anecdotes, and advice he presented in his previous books for creating a strong team and gives practical examples of how successful companies have applied these ideas.  Essential reading for anyone who wants to start off the year with a powerful vision for their team.
 

-Chris Claflin, Senior School Director
 

What Got You Here Won't Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful by Marshall Goldsmith – “Your past behaviors and skillsets propelled you to leadership, as you’re dependable, hard-working, and have a defined skillset that sets you apart from the rest, but do they make you a better leader?  Dive deep into the attributes that the best leaders embody & enact to truly transform their teams.” 
 

-Calvin Stocker, Partnership Specialist
 

Leverage Leadership comes to mind, of course.  I love that it is detailed and practical, providing video examples and tools for implementing what’s discussed. 

Cage-Busting Leadership, by Fredrick M. Hess, is also one of my faves.  I love the way he pushes educational leaders to think outside the box, to approach situations with a beginner’s mind and question everything.
 

-Rebecca Easterby, Instructional Coach
 

The First 90 Days by Michael Watkins – this book is known as the ‘Onboarding Bible.’  The book provides tips and tools leaders need to transition effectively within your current organization or into another.  It also gives your insight into how to design an onboarding system for others. 

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way you Live, Love, Parent and Lead. -Brene’ Brown is a genius!  Great read for understanding how to build transformative relationships. 
 

-Patty Williams, Director of Academics

 
Start With Why by Simon SinekDrawing on a wide range of real-life stories, Sinek weaves together a clear vision of what it truly takes to lead and inspire.

-Carlos Villagrana, Senior Director of Teaching Excellence
 
What books would you include on our list? Add them in the comments so we can all enjoy them!

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