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Future Focused Leaders

Future Focused Leaders
Relate, Innovate, and Invigorate for Real Educational Change

Foreword by Salome Thomas-EL

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July 2017 | 192 pages | Corwin

Promote the skills and experiences that equip students to thrive in the future!


Future Focused Leaders concentrates on three areas, Relate, Innovate, and Invigorate, that will engage and empower school leaders to effectively prepare students and educators for the future. This book provides best practices, practical tools, and research-based strategies that educators can immediately apply for sustainable innovation in their leadership. With maintaining positive change in mind, this book also offers:

  • Examples, vignettes, and activities for reflection and action
  • A self-evaluation rubric to check your ability to relate, innovate, and invigorate
  • Visit Chase Learning for video and audio resources, as well as a leadership simulation for team practice

Read chapter 4

About the Authors
Chapter 1: Conversational Leadership: Leadership Driven by Relationships, Listening, and Communication
School Leader’s Story: Listening to Student Voice  
The Conversation Is the Relationship  
More Meaningful Meetings  
School Culture  
School Leader’s Story: Building Authentic Relationships  
Relate, Innovate, Invigorate Activities  
School Leader Simulation (SIM): The Bully Teacher  
Chapter 2: Communication Builds Community: Telling Your School Story Together
School Leader’s Story: Telling Your School’s Story  
Branding Your School  
Digital Media Tools  
School Leader’s Story: Communicating by Relating  
Relate, Innovate, Invigorate Activities  
Chapter 3: Connecting to Make a Difference: Building Relationships With the Entire School Community
School Leader’s Story: Connecting Students With Their Community  
Connecting for Learning  
School, It’s Not Just for Students Anymore  
School Leader’s Story: Engaging the Community  
Partnerships to Strengthen Learning  
School Leader’s Story: Making a Difference for Others  
Relate, Innovate, Invigorate Activities  
Chapter 4: Shift in How We Do School: The Changing Architecture of Learning and Schooling
School Leader’s Story: Increasing Parent Involvement  
Holding Back Innovation: Comfort, Cost, and Courage  
A Future Crisis: Pulling Away From the Past to Save the Future  
Physical Environment  
School Leader’s Story: Empowering Students  
Relate, Innovate, Invigorate Activities  
Chapter 5: Digital Leadership, Learning, and Technology: Digital School Leaders Making a Difference for Students
School Leader’s Story: Modeling Digital Learning  
You Think You Have Problems?  
SwERI Framework  
Future Design Learning Environments  
School Leader’s Story: Technology Supports Student Interest  
Relate, Innovate, Invigorate Activities  
Chapter 6: Nurturing Creativity: Strategies for Leaders to Inspire Creativity in Their Teachers, Students, and Parents
School Leader’s Story: Creating Space for Creativity  
The Fourth Revolution  
Growing Creativity  
School Leader’s Story: Creative Solutions for Authentic Problems  
Relate, Innovate, Invigorate Activities  
Chapter 7: Inspiring Others to Greatness: Principals Inspiring Teachers, Students, and Parents for Amazing Things
School Leader’s Story: Getting All Voices Heard  
Making a Lasting Difference  
Culture Changes in Education  
Returning to the Call  
School Leader’s Story: Community Members Inspiring Students  
Relate, Innovate, Invigorate Activities  
Chapter 8: Building on Strengths: Leadership That Focuses on Strengths and Celebrates the Success of Others
School Leader’s Story: A House Undivided  
The Power of Team  
Focus on Strengths  
School Leader’s Story: Stronger Together: Collaborating for Success  
Relate, Innovate, Invigorate Activities  
Chapter 9: Servant Leadership: Serving the Students, Staff, and Community to Ensure They Get What They Need to Learn
School Leader’s Story: Serving the School Community  
Kindergarten Lessons  
School Leader’s Story: Supporting Students’ Ideas: “Make It Happen”  
Relate, Innovate, Invigorate Activities  
Chapter 10: Learning Is the Goal: Leadership That Resists Trends and Quick Fixes
School Leader’s Story: Supporting Leadership Throughout the School for Learning  
A Lead Learner  
Do What Matters  
Resist the Quick Fix  
Keys to Learning as School Leaders  
Celebrate Learning  
School Leader’s Story: Changing a School Culture for Learning  
Relate, Innovate, Invigorate Activities  


"Future Focused Leaders delivers on its promise to provoke a dialogue about meaningful change. Learn from leaders from every corner of the country, and hear how they are innovating to meet the needs of all students. This truly is a book about a better tomorrow, and how to get started today."

Dr. Brad Gustafson, National Distinguished Principal and Author of Renegade Leadership
Greenwood Elementary School, Plymouth, MN

"In my own work I have come to the conclusion that the best ideas go from practice to theory. If you believe this, as I do, Future Focused Leadership is for you. Ziegler and Ramage have provided us with lots of ideas, stories and key takeaways from many practitioners who have done it, and reflected on what they have done. Be prepared to be a proactive consumer of the ideas in this book, and you will be amply rewarded."

Michael Fullan, Professor Emeritus
University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada

"Are you looking for ideas on how to build a better school community where technology isn’t an outlier but part of the core conversation? Future Focused Leaders: Relate, Innovate, and Invigorate for Real Change by Bill Ziegler and Dave Ramage is the book for you. Through practical stories from practicing K-12 leaders around the country, to their Relate, Innovate, and Invigorate framework, you will walk away with a plethora of ideas and actionable steps to get those ideas started."

Peter DeWitt, Ed.D., Corwin Author/Consultant
Finding Common Ground blog (Education Week), Albany, NY

"As Bill Ziegler and Dave Ramage of this informative text note, “learning is the goal.” They relentlessly focus on that goal and demonstrate the ways in which school leaders can ensure that all students do, in fact, learn. Their work advances the equity agenda and contributes to the overall understanding about the ways in which school leaders can worker smarter, not harder. I appreciated the examples in this book that can be used to inform the practices of school leaders everywhere."

Douglas Fisher Ph.D., Professor of Educational Leadership
San Diego State University, San Deigo, CA

"Future Focused Leaders is a fantastic resource for administrators at all levels of school leadership. The success stories lend themselves to change that can be made immediately to help students, staff, and communities. The Relate, Innovate and Invigorate framework is a wonderful model to enhance leadership capacity through activities that will move your school and district forward!"

Joe Sanfelippo, PhD, Superintendent
Fall Creek School District, Fall Creek, WI

"What a smorgasbord of greatness! Bill & Dave will exceed your expectations in all they poured into this book… including their hearts. Dynamic and realistic tips with real examples and tools. I've not seen a more inclusive book!"

LaVonna Roth, International Speaker/Consultant
Creator & Founder of Ignite Your S.H.I.N.E.®, Riverview, FL

"The book Future Focused Leaders: Relate, Innovate, and Invigorate for Real Change by Bill Ziegler and Dave Ramage is a must have for all leaders and aspiring leaders. Bill and Dave frame their work in a way that makes it accessible to all readers because not only do they provide ideas and share their thinking but they also spotlight real life examples of things happening in schools across our country today! Bill and Dave speak to the importance of communication in leadership and how that impacts relationships, engagement, and overall success of the community. This book serves as a guide of what could be when leaders make a dedicated and intentional effort to change things!"

Dr. Tony Sinanis, Lead Learner in, Author, Speaker & Presenter
Plainedge Public Schools, Massapequa, NY

"This project is a wonderful tool for a lead learner to develop skills for next level impact. These practical and powerful examples from #educhampions are powerful, practical, and will make a difference for students and staff in your school."

Derek McCoy, Principal
West Rowan Middle School, Salisbury, NC

"The educational world is filled with linear ideas, one size fits all best practices, and data driven theories that continue to persuade school leaders to ultimately create second rate replicas from the past.  Thankfully, Future Focused Leaders, provides hope for all students, and leaders, who are strong enough to rise up against traditional silos. It showcases a diverse group of leaders that strive on practice over theory, from across the US with exponential ideas, while providing an abundance of strategies for others to follow to create schools of tomorrow."

Glenn Robbins, Superintendent
Tabernacle Township School District, Tabernacle, NJ

"School leaders will find many one-stop ideas that will help them innovate their school in practical, inexpensive ways."

Virginia E. Kelsen, Executive Director, Career Readiness
Chaffey Joint Union High School District, Ontario CA

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

Chapter 4

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ISBN: 9781506376035