Max De Pree, Leadership Is An Art—New Forward by the Author
I was given this book to read as a book study for our administrative leadership team. When I discovered Max De Pree wrote Leadership is an Art in 1987 I admit I was a bit skeptical. Current research has propelled us forward to a more systemic way of what we should know and be able to do as leaders of learning.
While reading I learned De Pree revisited his original work in 2003. He added a new preface which helped me reframe my thinking. Specifically he stated, "Knowing who we intend to be always determines what we will do with our lives" (p xii). Putting the "we" into the context of leaders, and "lives" as our school systems, his wisdom becomes timeless. De Pree defines artful leadership as integrity, building and nurturing relationships, and community building to "fit the unique structure of your life as a leader" (pg. xii).
But how? How do continue to work together as teachers and leaders and deal with change and conflict and reach our potential? De Pree addresses this enduring question with, "We do not grow by knowing all of the answers, but rather living with the questions" (pg. 58) by searching for knowledge, wisdom, and justice collaboratively together.