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Time for Change

Four Essential Skills for Transformational School and District Leaders

Discover how to develop and strengthen the four essential skills of effective educational leaders. Inspire a shared vision of strategic change and overcome resistance through strong communication, trust building, empowerment of those you lead, and a focus on results.


  • Develop an understanding of educational leadership and change management as skills that can be practiced and improved.
  • Consider three questions of transformational leadership—Why? Who? How?—and then Do!
  • Learn about the technical and cultural dimensions of change and the ways in which both must be addressed.
  • Understand the reasons behind resistance to change and how to manage it through effective leadership.
  • Synthesize your skills as a school leader and utilize them to effect strategic change.

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Time for Change

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Chapter 1: Finding Balance for Systems Change
Chapter 2: Communicating the Rationale—Building Cognitive Investment
Chapter 3: Establishing Trust—Making an Emotional Investment
Chapter 4: Building Capacity—Making a Functional Investment
Chapter 5: Getting Results—Collecting the Return on Investment
Chapter 6: Tying It All Together


Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6



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  • DuFour, R., & Fullan, M. (2013). Cultures Built to Last: Systemic PLCs at Work. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.
  • DuFour, R., & Marzano, R. J. (2011). Leaders of Learning: How District, School, and Classroom Leaders Improve Student Achievement. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.
  • Kanold, T. D. (2011). The Five Disciplines of PLC Leaders. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.
  • Muhammad, A. (2018). Transforming School Culture: How to Overcome Staff Division (2nd ed.). Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.
  • Muhammad, A., & Hollie, S. (2012). The Will to Lead, the Skill to Teach: Transforming Schools at Every Level. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.