My list of four Must-Read blogs for school leaders
|A few of my favourite books and a snapshot of middle management school leaders above|
Leaders are readers
The saying "leaders are readers" has a grain of truth in it. Most successful leaders of different industries are known to be avid readers. Our own Nelson Mandela was an excellent example of being a voracious reader and an active campaigner of reading. Reading articles and books about is a sure fire way to help you grow as a leader.
School leaders and those in education need to read as a matter of course. Sadly, there are many school leaders and other education leaders who do not read for leisure or for personal growth. I have been told by some that they do not have time to read and that they are already flooded with their mandatory corporate communication. This mindset is not only shortsighted, but it can be harmful as well to the organisations we are mandated to develop.
Independent reading sharpens your cognitive skills
Independent, personal reading is vital. When you read literature on leadership, your horizons as a leader expand. You gain more knowledge and greater insights from others' leadership experiences. You can learn and enjoy these written experiences in a self-paced, non-threatening environment. Reading outside your own industry will expose you to interesting ideas and thinking that you may not have thought about before. It can become boring if you only read about school leadership and you may be turned off if your brain is not stretched.
Your own views will be challenged as you see different perspectives. As you pick up new ideas and different strategies, you can apply these in your own context. Your vocabulary will increase, your conversations will be more interesting and informative, your creativity will get a boost and others will benefit from your learning. Reading has this knock-on effect. As you grow personally and professionally, those whom you lead will be enriched as well. Isn't that what leadership is about?
School leaders must stay fresh. They must be at the cutting edge, sparking new ways of thinking and experimenting with strategies to develop both their organisations and the teams they lead. If you do not like reading books or your time is limited, invest in reading leadership articles. There are many good websites and blogs you can explore to find helpful articles.
Four Hot Leadership Blogs For You
Here are FOUR of my favourite blogs I subscribe to:
Nicholas Spaull is my main resource for research and updates on the South African and Southern Africsn education context. I find all the latest research papers and education reports on his blog. Nic uploads all his PowerPoint presentations and papers that he has delivered. Really a treasure trove for those interested in the South African education system.
The Harvard Business Review Blog Network
The Harvard Business Review blog is another hot favourite. Here you will find a smorgasbord of articles on various aspects of leadership. There are many contributors who give advice on human resource management, strategy design and so forth. Definitely worth a visit.
Scott Young explores thinking and learning skills that we need to become better at what we do. His newsletters also contain interesting sound bites.
Shane Parrish is your "brain food" fundi. The articles are informative, fun and entertaining.
These four blogs essentially form the core of my weekly reading. All four blogs adopt a conversational, easy writing style. They make you feel relaxed and they share interesting, uplifting nuggets that you can use in your own personal and professional life.
If you have favourite leadership books, websites or blogs, I would like to hear about them and add them to my reading repertoire. The more we share, the faster we grow.