"Lovely gets right to the heart of what a principal needs to do—and not do—to avoid being overwhelmed by our all-consuming profession. This lively book encourages—no insists—that school leaders make room for the essentials in their professional lives, delegate without guilt, and have the courage to say no. Sprinkled throughout are personal checklists, scripts, and examples of disasters and great successes in the education world. There's something valuable in Setting Leadership Priorities for every principal."
"Suzette Lovely has synthesized a number of best practices and offers an easy-to-read resource—especially for central office leaders."
"A definite must-read for principals who are interested in improving their own work and enjoying it more. "
"Lovely has written a valuable and highly practical guide chock full of helpful hints and common sense wisdom. Written in a breezy and easy-to-read style, this book skillfully separates the essential from the tangential in a sea of competing priorities that face principals every day. The book will benefit the struggling new principal as well as the veteran school leader. I wish I'd had this book when I was a principal."
- Austin G. Buffum
"Sustainable leadership in today's schools goes beyond short-term gains on standardized tests. School leaders need to produce lasting and meaningful improvements in student learning. This book provides valuable and insightful tools that the talented and dedicated leaders of our schools want and deserve. "
"The perspectives and resources in this book will help principals to make a genuine difference for their students, and to maintain balance in their lives. Suzette Lovely shows how the principalship can be re-shaped into a position that is both powerful and possible."
Douglas B. Reeves
"Suzette Lovely challenges traditional school reform efforts and leadership nostrums with a fresh and compelling alternative. From the practical elements of meetings and delegation to the personal priorities of health and family responsibilities, the author provides a comprehensive approach to leadership priorities that will help struggling leaders survive and will help successful leaders achieve greater heights."
- Rick Dufour
"Most school administrators are familiar with such adages of leadership as 'Effective leaders do first things first' or 'Work smarter not harder.' But knowing how to recite adages is much different from knowing how to apply them. This book offers specific, practical, and valuable tips that can help harried peripatetic school administrators improve their effectiveness. "
"A fascinating and practical set of ideas and strategies, useful to effective leaders. "
"A highly practical approach to coping with the daily realities of leading schools."
"Anyone who feels overwhelmed at work will find that this book is a wake-up call; Lovely offers a plentitude of strategies to prevent burnout on all levels: intellectually, emotionally, and physically. "
David Mc Vicker
"A definite must-read for principals who are interested in improving their own work and enjoying it more."
Dr. Austin G. Buffum
"Sustainable leadership in today's schools goes beyond short-term gains on standardized tests. School leaders need to produce lasting and meaningful improvements in student learning. This book provides valuable and insightful tools that the talented and dedicated leaders of our schools want and deserve."
Dr. Rick Dufour
"Most school administrators are familiar with such adages of leadership as 'Effective leaders do first things first' or 'Work smarter not harder.' But knowing how to recite adages is much different from knowing how to apply them. This book offers specific, practical, and valuable tips that can help harried peripatetic school administrators improve their effectiveness."
Suzette Lovely is the deputy superintendent of personnel services for the Capistrano Unified School District in Orange County, CA. She has spent 24 years in public education as a teacher, assistant principal, elementary principal, and director of elementary operations. Lovely also serves as an adjunct faculty member at Chapman University, teaching courses in educational administration.
Author of two previous books: Setting Leadership Priorities: What’s Necessary, What’s Nice and What’s Got to Go (Corwin Press, 2006) and Staffing the Principalship: Finding, Coaching and Mentoring School Leaders (ASCD, 2004), Lovely is also a staff writer for Master Teacher publications.
About the Author
1. The Information Invasion
Global Communication: Friend or Foe?
Overshooting the Mark
California’s Billion-Dollar Experiment
Learning to Set Limits
Conclusion: Turn Off the Spigot
2. Teaching Leaders to Let Go
Beef Up Communication
“Selective Abandonment” at Work
Make Room for the Essentials
It Takes Courage to Say No
Conclusion: Hope Is on the Way
3. Business As Unusual
Getting Into Gear
Building Organizational Fitness
Deposit Time in the Bank
The Battle of Blind Accumulation
Stop the Madness
Conclusion: Don’t Catch the Ball Every Time It’s Thrown
4. The Power of One, the Impact of Many
Loading the Bus With the Right People
P(3) = Persistence x Passion x Practice
One Principal, Many Leaders
Delegation Without Guilt
Conclusion: Bring Home the Yellow Jersey
5. Getting a Grip on Data
Excavating Quality Data
Take the Plunge
Turning Data Into Knowledge
Sow the Seeds of Success
Conclusion: It’s Elementary
6. Is the Sky Really Falling? Distinguishing a Bona Fide Crisis From Make-Believe
The Story of Urgent Ernie
No Need to ‘FUD’ About It
Fighting the Adrenaline Rush
School Leadership Is Not an Emergency
The Throes of CoDependency
Conclusion: Blow Out the Candles and Move On
Epilogue: Let the Odyssey Begin
Balance Inside Disequilibrium
Pass the Mate
If at First You Don’t Succeed, TRI-TRI Again
Just Do It
Resource A. Sample District Complaint Policy
Resource B. Testing Your Organizational DNA
Resource C. Who’s Riding Our Bus? Personal Inventory & Team Activity
Resource D. Leadership Lessons in 30 Minutes or Less
Getting Results Through Time Efficient Meetings
The Classroom Walk ‘Bout
Passing Out Psychological Paychecks: 50 Ways to Recognize Employee Performance and Boost Morale