From Leading to Succeeding: The Seven Elements of Effective Leadership in Education (A Change Readiness Assessment Tool for School Initiatives)

From Leading to Succeeding: The Seven Elements of Effective Leadership in Education (A Change Readiness Assessment Tool for School Initiatives)

by Douglas Reeves, Juli K. Dixon


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Utilizing the crucial elements of effective leadership—purpose, trust, focus, leverage, feedback, change, and sustainability—education leaders can overcome the many challenges they face in their profession and learn the skills and characteristics they need to succeed. This book synthesizes research from 21st century sources and confronts prevalent leadership myths, while offering guidance on best leadership practices. Use this professional development tool to establish a clear mission and enact vision statements.


  • Learn about the seven elements of leadership and why they are important to building trust between colleagues.
  • Study the best research available on leadership, coming from diverse research methods and perspectives.
  • Gain guidance on how to tell the difference between best and worst practices in leadership.
  • Examine elements to assess whether an organization is ready for change.
  • Explore a model for reflecting on, self-assessing, and synthesizing leadership experiences and research on effective leadership.


  1. Purpose
  2. Trust
  3. Focus
  4. Leverage
  5. Feedback
  6. Change
  7. Sustainability

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781936763917
Publisher: Solution Tree Press
Publication date: 05/06/2016
Pages: 136
Sales rank: 366,652
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 9.90(h) x 0.50(d)

Table of Contents

About the Author xiii

Introduction 1

The Elements of Leadership 3

Purpose 3

Trust 4

Focus 4

Leverage 4

Feedback 5

Change 6

Sustainability 6

The Truth About Leadership 7

The Problem With Best Practices 9

1 Purpose 13

Definition of Purpose 13

The Illusions of Mission and Vision 14

The Vision Gap 19

When Purposes Collide 21

2 Trust 23

Distrust and Destruction 24

Personal Trust 25

Do What They Say They Will Do 25

Acknowledge Mistakes Quickly and Openly 26

Confront Conflicts Between Personal Values and the Professional Environment 27

Professional Trust 28

Trust and Vulnerability 29

3 Focus 31

The Focus Imperative 31

Focus on the Best Initiatives 34

Weed 39

Evaluate 40

Lead 40

Invest 43

Assess Initiative implementation 44

Weed Your Education Garden 47

Sustain Focus 51

Avoid the Lure of Fragmentation 51

4 Leverage 55

The Wrong Question 55

The Right Question 56

How to Measure Leverage 57

Nonfiction Writing 58

Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) 59

Effective Feedback 62

High-Impact Leadership 62

5 Feedback 67

Why Feedback Matters 67

Essentials of Effective Feedback 68

Fair 68

Accurate 69

Specific 69

Timely 70

Focus, Monitoring, and Efficacy 71

Level 1 Teacher Discretion 73

Level 2 Collaborative Decision Making 73

Level 3 Unilateral Administrative Decisions 73

When Feedback Goes Wrong 75

When Feedback Is Right 76

6 Change 79

Costs and Benefits of Change 79

Easy Cuts 81

Turkeys 81

Heroes 82

Investments 82

Change Readiness Assessments 83

Ready for Resistance 87

Ready for Frustration 87

Ready for Learning 88

Ready for Change 88

Claims About Change 89

Systemic Change Takes Five to Seven Years 89

Implementation Dips Are Inevitable 91

Strategic Planning Is Essential 91

Vision Statements Bring the System Together 92

It's Imperative to Gain Buy-In From the Entire Staff 93

Do the Important, Not the Urgent 94

7 Sustainability 97

How to Make Leadership Stick 97

The Practice of Effective Leadership 99

Tell the Truth 99

Focus on the Most Important Priorities 100

Provide Feedback That Is Fair, Accurate, Specific, and Timely 100

The Day After Leaders Leave 100

Appendex: Shadow a Student 101

References and Resources 105

Index 113

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