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Key Competencies for Whole-System Change

By: Lyle Kirtman, Michael Fullan

Discover seven core leadership competencies for systemic change in schools, districts, and state education systems.

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Format: Paperback


Develop a creative, productive school culture. Based on their decades-long work in leadership, the authors offer seven core leadership competencies for systemic change in schools, districts, and state education systems. Discover targeted strategies to move past failed initiatives and overcome initiative overload, explore how to cultivate effective work practices, and gain the know-how to create enjoyable, innovative learning environments.

  • Discover why its a good time to be an educational leader.
  • Examine how leaders outside of education share common practices that have brought them success and how this can inform educators leadership practices.
  • Study stories of district and school leaders who have broken out of confusing patterns of incessant initiatives.
  • Consider the four wrong policy drivers and the four right policy drivers.
  • Learn how to develop two-way partnerships with colleagues in order to cultivate a support network.

Related Topics

21st Century SkillsLeadership

Additional Information

Product Code: BKF629

ISBN: 9781936763528

Published By: Solution Tree

Page Count: 152

“A hallmark volume for leaders who want to master the competencies of working with others to create cohesive, fun, and productive schools.”

Joseph F. Murphy, Frank W. Mayborn Chair, Vanderbilt University

“Melding Fullan's systems view with Kirtman's competencies makes this book a potent formula for leading learning breakthroughs. It's a must-read for education leaders.”

Tom Vander Ark, CEO of Getting Smart and author of Smart Cities That Work for Everyone

“If you want to leave a legacy of successful transformation in your school or system, this is the must-read book of the year for you!”

Dennis Shirley, editor-in-chief, Journal of Educational Change, professor, Lynch School of Education, Boston College

“Kirtman and Fullan construct a compelling argument for repurposing leadership commitment from mundane compliance with mandates and rules toward a passionate focus on what is elemental to continuous improvement.”

Michael Dickmann, emeritus professor, College of Education and Leadership, Cardinal Stritch University, Wisconsin

“Michael Fullan and Lyle Kirtman provide the perfect antidote to compliance-based and external accountability-driven school and district leadership policies and practices. The authors masterfully integrate key leadership competencies and whole-system change strategies. Kirtman's core leadership competencies and Fullan's right drivers for whole-system change speak directly to what school and district leaders must do to both build and sustain continuous improvement and create the conditions for high-quality teaching and learning in all of our schools.

“A must-read for school and district leaders who know how important it is to connect powerful ideas and concepts from research to the actual leadership strategies that make a difference in schools and districts. The authors provide a powerful conceptual framework for individual and organizational capacity building. The dozens of detailed descriptions of the work of actual school and district leaders are a bonus. These vignettes allow leadership practitioners to see main ideas in action. The book is chock full of system players and leaders who lead.

“Finally—a book devoted to school and district leadership that integrates core leadership competencies for educational leaders with the organizational concepts that effective leaders use as the right drivers for capacity building in schools and districts. The authors do so much more than just describe the theoretical constructs that underscore the ideas and concepts they present. They describe transformational concepts and present dozens of practical and authentic leadership examples to provide every educational leader interested in building school and district capacity and coherence with a positive and proven pathway forward. I will be encouraging all of my school and district leadership colleagues and leadership students to read Leadership as soon as possible and to consider integrating the powerful leadership strategies presented into their own work.”

Robert Villanova, director, Executive Leadership Program, Neag School of Education, University of Connecticut