In October, my second book is going to be published by Bloomsbury. It's called The Authentic Leader: A Four-Part Model to Lead your School to Success.
In many ways, it follows on from a number of themes introduced in my first book The Art of Standing Out. The Authentic Leader though seeks to solve four classic leadership conundrums that I pose that have dominated my time and thinking throughout my career as a headteacher and CEO.
I refer to them as conundrums because they are complex, paradoxical, and perplexing. In other words, one person's solution is likely to be very different to another's. This is a good thing, which is why leadership is so tantalising.
These evergreens have remained with me ever since I first posed similar questions when starting out as a new teacher as part of my M.Ed research on organisational culture and school effectiveness. Having led a number of schools since then across three decades, the book finally seeks to answer them by bridging the gap between theory and reality.
Based on current research and the latest thinking, The Authentic Leader aims to help you take back control of the agenda so that your core beliefs and values drive all that you do. Along the way, the book will also help you think deeply about the four conundrums in terms of what matters to you and others. My wish is that the book is as challenging and disruptive as it is nourishing and reaffirming.
As expected, the book also explores what it means to be 'authentic', and how as an organisation leaders need to find ways to empower authentic others to lead, not only with purpose, but more importantly, from purpose.
In essence, it is a book about ethical leadership, and why, as a profession, we need it more than ever.
As well as leading change and good old-fashioned school improvement, the four-part model is also designed for coaching conversations, self-evaluation, and appraisal. In short, it will take you on a journey of discovery and equip you to:
- Construct your own purpose, vision, values and beliefs
- Connect with others in order to build relationships, trust and motivation
- Commit to purposeful change through strategy, growth and capacity-building
- Create meaningful impact in your school and beyond that adds value to all
Above all, my aim is that the book will help you nurture authentic leaders at all levels to create a purposeful organisational culture; one where every child and adult can accomplish meaningful things because they are empowered to thrive and succeed. I can't wait for you to read it.
"I learned a long time ago that the wisest thing I can do is be on my own side."
- Maya Angelou