• Sherry St. Clair

Leadership Skill Development: My Favorite Resources

Updated: Apr 27


In my last blog post , I asked instructional coaches to consider themselves something far greater than the title “coach” suggests. I asked you to consider yourselves the leaders you are.


In my experience, when an instructional coach evolves into an instructional leader, her potential to unlock change and teacher growth skyrockets. In my work, I lead educators through the process of learning how to become an instructional leader. There’s always a magic moment where I can see them make the shift from viewing themselves as coaches to viewing themselves as leaders—that click!, where they get it. It is then that I witness them step into the space of leadership. It is then I know they have just exponentially increased their capacity to guide teachers to unstoppable instructional growth. It is then I know they’ve become a coach redefined.


Critical to helping coaches get to this point and then harness the potential that can come from it is dedicating time to learning about leadership. Being a leader is a matter of understanding leadership philosophy, research, approaches, and skills. Are leaders born or made? I do not know, but I do know this: I’ve seen coach after coach grow into wonderful leaders—once they believe themselves to be leaders and then create a practice of ongoing leadership learning. 


I have been leading my own leadership learning for well over a decade. If I am going to serve others well, I owe it to them to continually learn. There’s always room to continue to grow, to go deeper, to unlock more leadership capacity and I am thankful for the available leadership resources that continually push my thinking. To continually grow in this area, I have favorite resources and thought leaders I refer to regularly. I try to devote at least one hour per week to learning about leadership, whether that’s reading a book or articles or listening to a podcast.


Though this list is continually evolving as authors publish new materials, here is a selection of a few of my current  favorite leadership resources. 


Books

Made to Stick by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

The authors explore what makes some ideas stick while others do not. They share critical principles of winning ideas that coaches can utilize when vision casting, a process of imagining what it will be, look, and feel like once you or your teachers have realized goals.


Drive by Daniel Pink

Based on four decades of scientific research, Pink examines three fundamentals of intrinsic motivation—autonomy, mastery, and purpose—and how to draw on these fundamentals to drive people to greatness. Coaches will benefit from understanding how to motivate adults as they lead growth and instructional improvement.


Humble Leadership: The Power of Relationships, Openness, and Trust by Edgar H. Schein and Peter A. Schein

Father and son authors provide insightful advice on how to nurture an environment where individuals feel safe during multifaceted group work.  Coaches can benefit from understanding how relationship building can positively encourage their schools to work more collaboratively as they grow instructionally.


Good Leaders Ask Great Questions by John Maxwell

Maxwell outlines the profound questions leaders should ask of themselves and their teams if they want profound results. The book will guide coaches to a new relationship with questions and a skill for asking the ones that can help educators transform instruction and schools.



by John Maxwell

Maxwell explores the leadership changes that change positively impact a leader’s organizational and personal growth by discussing eleven shifts he has made during his career.  The book can help instructional leaders reflect on the shifts they need to make in their practices to unlock the potential of themselves and those they lead.  


Podcasts

Coaching for Leaders hosted by Dave Stachowiak

Stachowiak emphasizes action-oriented leadership advice to help leaders become more effective coaches.


Engaging Leader hosted by Jesse Lahey

Lahey focuses on topics such as communication, cultivating a team, and accountability, which help leaders engage those they lead.


EntreLeadership hosted by Ken Coleman

Through interviews with the top thinkers in business and marketing, this podcast offers practical tips and thoughtful ideas to grow business and grow into inspiring, effective leaders. A range of guests from a range of industries give insight into the skills business leaders value today.


Online Resources

Harvard Business Review

This site, affiliated with Harvard Business School, has a wealth of articles, videos, and interviews that address every aspect of business and leadership and provide expert advice and practical steps for implementation of ideas and strategies.


Lolly Daskal

On her blog, Daskal discusses a comprehensive list of topics to help leaders develop their skill sets to become more effective.


Let’s Grow Leaders

This blog’s authors focus on the skills needed to encourage the growth of leaders within teams.


What are your favorite leadership learning resources? I would love to hear from you.


How can I help you?

Please connect with me so we can learn about instructional coaching together.  


Website: Reflective Learning, LLC

Twitter: @Sherrystclair

Facebook: Sherry St Clair

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