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Essential Lessons for School Leaders

Essential Lessons for School Leaders

September 2011 | 160 pages | Corwin
Keep these heartfelt gems top of mind. This gold mine of wisdom from top education researcher and bestselling author of Turning Around Failing Schools and Connecting Teacher Leadership and School Improvement contains key tips and strategies every school leader should know. Award-winning professor and former school administrator Joseph F. Murphy's concise and instructive lessons will help you stay focused on what matters most as you navigate the hectic world of high-stakes testing and accountability:

It really is all about the kids: Optimism is essential, Caring counts a lot, Listen and let people finish talking. Don't confuse excuses and explanations. Each lesson is coupled with context in a few sentences taken from Murphy's extensive real-world experiences. This collection is ideal for use in daily reflections, speeches, staff meetings, presentations, or as a gift to anyone who works with children.

"I found Murphy’s book to be one of the best and most practical sources of wisdom on leadership I have ever read.”

Tom Burnham, State Superintendent of Education
Mississippi Department of Education, Jackson, MS

“Murphy has distilled and perceptively packaged a career's worth of insight, experience, and analysis into a set of productive guidelines for organizational and personal excellence"

James W. Guthrie, Senior Fellow and Director of Education Policy Studies
George W. Bush Institute, Dallas, TX

“This is a unique and wonderful book, riddled with marvelous insights and full of uncommon wisdom. Murphy drills straight to the core of great leadership”

Terry B. Grier, Superintendent of Schools
Houston Independent School District, TX

“This publication includes a variety of thought-provoking insights, in the form of short quotes and explanations, to guide school leadership practices. The topics selected are current and appropriate for education leaders in the 21st Century! The examples are easy to read, relevant, and would be useful for school or district-level administrators. The book could also be a useful tool to generate discussion among aspiring or practicing educational leaders."

Gayle M. Cicero, Coordinator of School Counseling
Northcentral University, Pasadena, MD

… gems of wisdom drawn from a master who has both practiced and studied leadership. The positive version of Murphy’s Law! Read five lessons a day and you’ll be a better leader in less than a month.

Michael Fullan, Professor Emeritus and Author
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto

Joe Murphy's latest book is another masterful compilation of common sense, research knowledge, and leadership wisdom. This book takes the mystery out of sound and effective educational leadership and communicates its salient precepts in a down-to-earth, practical manner that not only imbues a leader with much-needed guidance, but greatly enhances one’s opportunity for success as well. The book’s organization reflects a clever, relevant, and elegant structure that is enjoyable to follow and hard to put down.

Murphy’s Essential Lessons for School Leaders is one of those unusually uncomplicated, powerful, straightforward, and authentic books that any sensible school administrator looking for what really works in school leadership needs to have on their personal library shelf.

William K Poston Jr., Professor Emeritus
Iowa State University, Johnston, IA

"Those of us who know Joe Murphy as a national colleague will be surprised, delighted, amused, and poked into re-thinking our own leadership experiences in schools and colleges. I’m glad Joe shared his wisdom with the rest of us. These practical and pithy little “nuggets” of life, learning, and leadership are the real ISLLC standards."

Fenwick W. English, R. Wendell Eaves Senior Distinguished Professor of Educational Leadership
School of Education, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

"Essential Lessons for School Leaders includes 140 brief vignettes, each one exploring a differing leadership topic. Emotion is 60% of what attracts people to a product. From the first essay forward, Joe Murphy seizes the reader’s heart and mind with riveting themes."

Richard Sorenson, Associate Professor
The University of Texas at El Paso

"Joseph Murphy has distilled his life experiences into this collection of lessons that cover a broad range of topics from details of professional practice to larger philosophical perspectives on school leadership. The lessons are entertaining, thoughtful, and pragmatic enough that rookie school administrators as well as seasoned veterans will find something valuable for their professional growth."

Daniel J. Gutchewsky, Associate Principal
Clayton High School, Clayton, MO

"This book captures all the lessons I have learned about educational leadership over the years in a simple and clear way. I have a principal on an improvement plan now and it could have been written from this book. This truly helps me know I am on the right track."

Christopher Shaffer, Director, High School Campus
Springfield High School, OH

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Sample lessons

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ISBN: 9781452203249