Sunday, June 12, 2016

FOCUS with Simplicity

Mike Schmoker LEADING WITH FOCUSElevating the Essentials for School and District Improvement

A must have book as a reminder of the simplicity needed for school improvement leadership.

Introduction: “The first law of simplicity: Reduce” –John Maeda
Focus…“on the lowest possible number of the most effective and manageable actions.”

1. Focused Leadership: Defined
“It demands each of us to focus on what is vital—and to eliminate all of the extraneous distractions. –Jim Collins
·       Obsessively like a hedgehog
“Carefully determine and severely reduce your focus to the fewest and most manageable priorities.” (p.13)

2. Focused Leadership: 3 Key Areas
“Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.” –Peter Drucker
Focus …on a
·       Guaranteed and viable curriculum,
·       Authentic literacy, and
·       Effective instruction
“Focusing on these three things will have a stronger effect on school improvement than any other options available to us.” (p. 32)

3. Focused Leadership: Action
“Leaders are well advised to spend 10 times as much energy on the change they just made than looking for the next great change to try.” –Kenneth Blanchard
Focus knowing…
·       Less is more,
·       Begin with proven initiatives,
·       Simple consistent monitoring is essential,
·       Hold teachers to professional standards of teaching, and
“The greatest enemy is distraction.” (p.90)

4. Focused Leadership: Implementation
“First, go back to the formula, preserve the core.” –Jim Collins
Focus on…
·       Forming a leadership team
·       Creating a sound curriculum
·       Training teachers to deliver effective lessons
·       Monitor implementation
·       Establish PLC’s”
·       Hire like minded staff
“Learn to embrace simplicity, clarity, and redundancy.”

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