Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way: How to Be a More Effective Leader in Today's Schools / Edition 2

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Now you can do more than just deal with the "crisis-du-jour" Leadership is learnable, and this comprehensive guide will show you how to be proactive, prevent crises, create dreams, push the envelope, and focus on the future, instead of just reacting to crises, spending all your time putting out fires, or coping with the current system-whether it works or not. In this updated second edition, best-selling author Robert D. Ramsey gives you just what you need to avoid "simply managing" and become a true leader instead! Unlike other manuals that give you bits and pieces on how to develop a particular curriculum or handle specific day-to-day discipline problems, this unique handbook offers administrators practical, time-proven lessons on how to think, act, plan, set priorities, manage time, and make decisions-skills that will help you navigate through the unique challenges of leading in a school environment. Included are guidelines on: *Getting the most out of people *Bringing about change *Handling politics *Dealing with setbacks *Thinking, looking, and acting like an effective school leader *Communicating effectively *Practicing ethical leadership Being a school leader can actually be exciting, rewarding, and fun again, once you're equipped to tackle today's challenges!

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Editorial Reviews

Les R. Bork

"This is a thought-provoking and ‘must-have’ book for every practicing principal’s library. Easy-to-apply examples."

Carol R. Johnson

"Practical wisdom and an insightful perspective — an easy-to-read reference and guide. Ramsey’s knowledge and personal experience are evident as he walks you through real-life challenges, focuses on significant ethical issues, and guides you to powerful personal and professional effectiveness. An absolute must for superintendents and principals."

Michael E. Hickey

"Full of sage advice on leadership. A battlefield manual for leadership practitioners who find themselves embroiled in the challenges we all face. Provides the insights, inspiration, and interpretations that help translate the theory of management into here-and-now reality."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781412915854
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Publication date: 7/14/2005
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 216
  • Sales rank: 789,116
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.46 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert D. Ramsey is a lifelong educator who has served as a "leader of leaders" in three award-winning school districts in two different states. His frontline experience includes positions a teacher, counselor, assistant principal, curriculum director, assistant superintendent, acting superintendent, and adjunct professor. Most recently, he has served as associate superintendent in the St. Louis Park (MN) schools, where every school has been designated by the federal government as a National School of Excellence. Ramsey is now working full-time as a freelance writer in Minneapolis.

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Table of Contents

Preface to the Second Edition
Preface to the First Edition
About the Author
Where Have All the Good Leaders Gone?
Can Everyday Administrators Learn "Leadership"? You Bet!
How Leadership in Schools Is Different
The Difference Between Effective School Leaders and Run-of-the-Mill Managers
What It Takes to Be an Effective School Leader Today
1. Making Decisions
Whose Decision Is It?
Where Do Good Ideas Come From?
Input: How to Get It, Where to Get It, and When to Ignore It
Data-Driven Decision Making: An Old Tool With New Importance
Procrastination Is a Decision-Sometimes, the Right One
Real-World Steps in Decision Making
Intuitive Leadership: When to Trust Your Instincts
2. Planning for the Future
The Planning Habit
How Effective School Leaders Use the Visioning Process
Strategic Planning by the Numbers
The "SMART" Model for Goal Setting
A Flowchart for Effective Planning
Planning Is a Secret Weapon
Planning for Success
3. Getting the Most Out of People
Winning and Losing Leadership Styles
Morale: Does It Matter Anymore?
Shaping a School Culture That Works for Everyone
Is Teamwork All It's Cracked Up to Be?
How to Get the Most Out of Students
How to Get the Most Out of Staff
How to Get the Most Out of the District Office, the School Board, and the Community
How Effective Leaders Get the Most Out of Themselves
4. Bringing About Change
Change: Who Wants It?
Don't Confuse Cosmetic Changes With Real Reform
When to Change and When to Leave Well Enough Alone
Understanding the Evolution of a Revolution: The Many Faces and Phases of Change
Change Strategies That Really Work in Today's School Climate
How to Sell New Ideas and Make Them Work
5. Spending Time
Who Controls a Leader's Time?
Setting Priorities: Paper Versus People
How Effective School Leaders Spend 1,440 Minutes per Day
The Ten Worst Time-Use Mistakes
When and How to Say No
Other Work-Smarter Ways to Save Time
6. Handling Politics
Politics and Schools
Good Politics, Bad Politics
How to Be Politically Savvy: "Street Smarts" for School Leaders
Everyday Political Strategies for Today's School Leaders
Tips on Working With Political Leaders
How to Get Noticed, Get Ahead, and Get Things Done Without Playing Politics
7. Dealing With Setbacks
Setbacks Happen
Worrying Only Makes It Worse
What It Takes to Bounce Back
Is There a Spin Doctor in the House?
Fear Less, Hope More
Building a Reputation as a Survivor
8. Thinking Like a Leader
Anticipatory Thinking: Getting the Jump on Problems
What to Do When the Big Picture Is a Kaleidoscope
Multiscenario Thinking
How to Stay Focused
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective School Leaders, With Apologies to Stephen Covey
More Aids to Clear Thinking
9. Looking and Acting Like an Effective School Leader
Walk Like a Duck
Image Control
There's No One Right Way to Act-But There Are Lots of Wrong Ways
Maintaining a Professional Edge
Manners Still Matter
Paying Attention to the Little Things That Mark a Leader
10. Using the Tools of Leadership
Speaking and Writing Like a Leader
How to Make Meetings Work for You
Guidelines for Working With Committees
Managing While Walking Around (MWWA): Leadership Up Close and Personal
Don't Overlook These Other Leadership Tools
11. Communication Tips for School Leaders
Understanding the Elements of School Communication
More Writing Tips for School Leaders
More Speaking Tips for School Leaders
Tips on Nonverbal Communication
You Can't Kill the Grapevine
A New Wrinkle: The One-Minute Manager Meets the Two-Minute Mind
25 Ways School Leaders Can Improve Communication
12. Practicing Ethical Leadership
Do Ethics Matter Anymore?
Why Ethical Leadership in Schools Is Different
The Concept of "Moral Hazard"
Using Values as a Moral Compass: This Is No Time to Get Lost
Principles for Principals and Other Administrators
A Code of Ethics for Today's School Leaders
13. A Final Word
You Know You're a Leader When . . .
Leadership Is a Choice
Resource A: 105 Ways to Be a Better School Leader Tomorrow
Resource B: What Others Say About Leadership
Resource C: A Beginning Bibliography for School Leaders
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