Click on any of the titles of book covers below to read a full summary of the book!

ordering-your-private-world

Ordering Your Private World (by Gordon MacDonald)

Overview: This book is the most honest, thorough and insightful analysis of the discipline required to order the inner man that I have ever read.  This book explores the depth of mind, body and spirit required to have an ordered, healthy and vibrant life. McDonald organizes this book into the following five sectors:

      1. Motivation
      2. Use of Time
      3. Wisdom and Knowledge
      4. Spiritual Strength
      5. Restoration

In each of these sectors, MacDonald explores the various disciplines required to order ones private world with a vulnerability and insight that is truly gripping!

9780470582138_cover.indd

Change Leader (by Michael Fullan)

Premise of the Book: Learning to lead change is best done be practice and not theory. “…practice, especially deliberative practice, drives better practice. Practice is our best bet for finding solutions and for liberating innovation.” (pg 155)

In this book Fullan lays out a 7 part framework to guide the leader through a reflective process of leading change that is based on informing through deliberate practice.  He offers the lens of 7 insights as the framework by which the change leader should navigate the treacherous but rewarding waters of effective change and sustainable improvement of practice. Each insight is the focus and title of a chapter in the book.

Great-by-Choice1

Great by Choice (by Jim Collins)

Overview: This incredible book tackles the question of why in spite of uncertainty, chaos and market volatility, some companies thrive and others flounder.  Collins tackles this question by comparing companies who out performed their competitors by a factor of 10 (he calls them 10Xers) given a similar timeframe and set of variables. Collins research unearths three remarkably profound, yet simple characteristics of the most effective leaders.

      • 10X leaders have Fanatical Discipline
      • 10X leaders have Empirical Creativity
      • 10X leaders have Productive Paranoia

“It is much easier to condemn a student’s behavior and demand that he or she change it that it is to help the student change it. Every proper response that you don’t see your at your school is one that you need to be teaching… reframe your thinking: expect students to be impulsive, to blurt inappropriate language, and to act ‘disrespectful’ until you teach them stronger social and emotional skills and until the social conditions at your school make it attractive not to do those things.”

Focus: Elevating the Essentials (by Mike Schmoker)

Mike Schmoker puts for a compelling, research based framework for helping schools refocus on the essentials of what works in education.  He basically argues that school must have a laser like focus on common curriculum, good instruction and authentic literacy as the vehicle for learning.

The underperformance of schools can be directly attributed to a failure to implement three simple well-known elements: becalming curriculum, sound lessons, and authentic literacy.

Teach Like a Champion (by: Doug Lemov)

The components of great teaching are not a mystery. This book is a hard hitting, practical compendium of resources gathered from countless hours of watching master teachers at work.  Lemov breaks great teaching down into seven different categories and provides simple techniques that any teacher can learn from and adapt to their own classroom.

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What’s the Big Idea? Question Driven Units to Motivate Reading Writing and Thinking. (by Jim Burke)

“Structure the curriculum as a conversation” Jim Burke presents and incredible diagnostic look into what it takes to truly lead inquiry based instruction.  A great read with tons of excellent resources. This summary also contains a link to the author’s website, where all of his examples can be downloaded in templates that can be edited in Microsoft Word.

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Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard (by Chip & Dan Heath)

1) Direct the Rider: Find Bright Spots, Script Critical Moves & Point to the Destination

2) Motivate the Elephant: Find the Feeling, Shrink the Change & Grow Your People

3) Shape the Path: Tweak the Environment, Build Habits & Rally the Herd

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We: How to Increase Performance and Profits Through Full Engagement (by: Rudy Karsan and Kevin Kruse)

The average person ranks “worker/employee” as the fifth most important role in their life… This is very interesting and useful information when it comes to understanding the machinations of full engagement at work… The other areas of life must be healthy and nurtured if full engagement at work is to be achieved.

Areas Impacts by Engagement

  • Quality of our marriages – People who love their job have better marriages
  • Effectiveness of our parenting – people who love their job are better parents
  • Personal health – people who love their job have better health (heart, weight, cholesterol)
  • Life satisfaction – people who love their job have higher satisfaction in life
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Spiritual Leadership (by: J. Oswald Sanders)
 This is an incredible look at the spiritual side of leadership.  Sanders delves into an in depth look at the leadership lessons taught in the Bible.  It is well worth a read for both people of faith, and people willing to learn about proven leadership from any background.
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Chapter 1 – An Honorable Ambition
1 Tim 3:1 ” To aspire to leadership is an honorable ambition.”Jeremiah 45:5 “Should you then seek great things for yourself? Seek them not.”
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“I have one passion: it is He, He alone.” Count Zinzendorf
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“Cromwell, I charge thee, fling away ambitions,
By that sin fell angels, how can a man then,
The image of his Maker, hope to profit by’t?”
(Wolsey to Cromwell – Shakespeare)

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