Leadership Styles

There is the leadership of a Jack Welch and the leadership of a Joe Torre. Some operate with big sticks while others mindfully listen. There is the leadership of the missionary and the leadership of the visionary. Some are managers who administer and evaluate. And others are learners, who inspire and provoke. In the realm of leadership, each situation calls for its own response. The only size that fits all is who you are and knowing what the moment requires. Logarithms are for mathematicians. Leadership is idiosyncratic and at times improvisational. There is no script. It requires at any given moment that you draw on everything you know: from the playbook of life to the scriptures of the heart. Just because you dress in black and call your leadership entrepreneurial doesn’t mean you can stop greeting people in the hall. Leading is a verb and leadership is a noun. How you modify the two defines the confidence you elicit or the fear you create. I learned leadership through looking at myself from the inside out. I still am.


Summer Reads

Summer Reading/Viewing/Listening 2015

Not in the spirit of disconnect or the hammock, but out of the urge/need to replenish and invigorate, I offer the following eclectic selection (very) as a kind of kindling wood to spark the fire.

Sonia Nieto: Nice Is Not Enough: Defining Caring for Students of Color

Parker Palmer: A New Professional: The Aims of Education Revisited

John Dewey: My Pedagogic Creed Say what you will about his thorny and onerous prose. This piece penned in 1897 is visionary and accessible, and has as much pertinence in the educational arena as any thinker or writer.

Maxine Greene: Wide Awakeness and the Moral Life Just so we never fall asleep at the wheel. This is an article from 1978 laden with ideals worth having; a preventative to disillusion, burn out demoralization, and anything else that threatens passion and commitment.

Alfred North Whitehead: The Aim of Education. “There is only one subject matter for education, and that is Life in all its manifestations.” Read on, written in 1916, every word resonates today.

Ken Robinson: Changing Education Paradigms

Listen and learn. Words of one of the world’s great advocates of learning, innovation and creativity, sans jargon or eduspeak.

Ken Robinson: Bring on the Learning Revolution

Ken Robinson: How to Escape Educations Death Valley

David Foster Wallace: This is Water A powerful commencement address delivered at Kenyon College by this most eloquent of writers. Even though it is for a college audience it resonates with our work.

Neil Postman: “My Graduation Speech “One of America’s great iconoclastic thinkers and leaders of progressive education.

Pablo Neruda: Ode to Common Things

Yes a dollop of poetry to keep mediocrity away. A work that celebrates the awe and wonder of the mundane. Because most education writing is like an overheated classroom, where no air circulates but the myopic need to control. This takes spoons, dogs, peaches, locks and elevates them to the domain of the resplendent and sacred.

Charles Mingus: Piano Improvisations Because everyone needs time beside a still lake at dusk. Better Git it in Your Soul: Rousing celebration of praising ancestors and influences

Eric Dolphy: God Bless the Child

As lyrical and sensual a full of soulfulness as music can be

Billy Holiday: God Bless the ChildStrange Fruit,

Two compositions that should be national anthems

Neil Young: Rocking in the Free World Turn up the volume, roll down the windows, and drive.


Bob Dylan: May You Stay Forever Young The acoustic and electric version


Appalachian Spring:Early morning, when the sun rises, the birds scat, and the universe is a perennial state of Spring