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Dr. Frank Buck


One of my favorites is What They Don't Tell You in Schools of Education About School Administration by Black & English. It's an irreverent, nuts-and-bolts, no-holds-barred approach. I think it's a must for the person about to go into administration.


Angela Maiers

Here is a great list compiled by Education Week: http://www.educationworld.com/a_admin/admin/admin246.shtml
along with a few I added not mentioned:

Tony Wagner-The Global Achievement Gap
Dan Pink-A Whole New Mind
Tribes-Seth Godin
New Principals Fieldbook by Robbins
Primal Leadership-Dan Goleman
School Leadership That Works-Marzano

Good Luck!

Mike Parent

Definitely Leading With Soul and also The Daily Disciplines of Leadership. These are close to bibles of being a principal

Charlie A. Roy

Malcolm Gladwell: Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers
Jim Collins: Good to Great
Frank Buck: Get Organised- Time Management for School Leaders
David Allen: Getting Things Done
Dan Pink: Whole New Mind

Steve Poling

I would add: The Wounded Leader (Ackerman and Maslin-Ostrowski)

Joe Poletti

Shoot for an eclectic mix of technical, coaching, spiritual, fiction, leadership, and futurism.

I keep my reading list current at


Results Now by Michael Schmoker (ASCD Press)

Dave Sherman

I think administrators who evaluate teachers need to read Teacher Evaluation to Enhance Professional Practice by Charlotte Danielson and Tom McGreal.


Linda Murdock

I concur about the Black & English book -- it's great! Also, Sergiovanni Leadership for the Schoolhouse and Moral Leadership should be on the list, in my view. . .

Scott McLeod

The #1 book I'm recommending for all current or future administrators right now is The Global Achievement Gap by Tony Wagner. The biggest challenge for school leaders today is not navigating the challenges of the current system. It's figuring out how to create the new system that will prepare students for a digital, global age. Wagner's book is a good start to ramp up leaders' understanding and thinking...

Greg Carroll

Hi Jan,
why only books ... a school leader needs to access a wider professional learning network than this.
What about:
* Ken Robinsons TED talk - http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity.html
* Jennifer Bergers Ed Talk - http://edtalks.org/play.php?vid=163
* LeaderTalk Blog
* Bruce Hammonds blog - http://leading-learning.blogspot.com

all of these are essential viewing for anyone in school leadership. What sort of course truly prepares someone for 21st century school leadership through only books?
anyway - rant over

Jan Borelli

Thanks to Frank, Angela, Mike, Charlie, Steve, Joe, Barry, Dave, Linda, Scott, and Greg... not only are your recommendations terrific--- but I passed your whole comments and names along. Such esteemed colleagues with such incredible insight. Now, I am back off-- as I am in the entry part of disengaging from public education (a year from retirement)-- to my new passion (Buttercup). Thanks to Frank and Charlie who read and commented upon my horse at my blog.

I am honored to read and write with all of you.

Karen Szymusiak

The book that has made a lasting impact on me is The Game of School: Why We All Play It, How It Hurts Kids,and What It Will Take to Change It by Robert L. Fried. It challenges me to rethink school culture, instruction and leadership.

Bob Miller

I know it's late but here's a few more:
Control Theory - William Glasser
Punished by Rewards - Alfie Kohn
Beyond Discipline - Alfie Kohn

Good luck in the wonderful world of school administration.

David Keane

I would also recommend Leading With Soul by Boelman and Deal, the audio-book version is excellent. I was given a copy of Monday Morning Leadership by David Cottrell after signing on for my first administrative position and really found it useful. If the individual is entering as a building leader, I would strongly recommend Leading Change by Kotter.
Anything by Fullan or Senge is a sure hit.

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