Cain Notes were not named by me, it was an underground name that an AP said out loud one time and it stuck.

I read a lot. Not quite as much as I used to, but still much more than the typical educator. I can’t help myself, if it has words on it and I have 2 seconds, I’ll read it. When I was a teacher and an assistant principal, I assumed that everyone read at least as much as I did and I had no compelling reason to check to see if my assumption was correct.

When I became a Principal, I found out I was wrong. My first response was to suggest, beg, plead and chastise my staff into reading more. That worked a little (or at least they learned that if they nodded their heads “yes,” I would move on to the next topic). But, as I hired new staff I found out that waiting for them to catch up with the specific knowledge base of the existing staff took too long. So, I started typing up my book notes and commentary to use as a training tool. That way they would have an idea about what we were talking about until they had a chance to read the book.


As my staff got promoted and went to other schools, some of them would ask that I keep them in the Cain Note loop. Not a problem.

When I began working with struggling schools across the State of Texas, I dusted off the Cain Notes. When a particular book was a good fit for the problems that a campus was facing, I’d leave the notes, to prime the pump for a campus-wide book study. Some principals didn’t care, some found the notes useful.

Now I am posting the notes on the Lead Your School consulting website, just in case other school leaders might find the notes useful. I’ll put a 1 to 3 up each month. Here is all that I ask:


1. The notes are based on what I think is important from the book. They are not a replacement for the book.

2. Let me know what you think. Did you like the book? Were the notes helpful? Was I on the track or did I miss the boat?

Currently, I have notes for the following books posted:

  • Corp Business, by David H. Freedman
  • Made to Stick, by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
  • Environments for Learning, by Eric Jensen
  • Who Moved My Cheese, by Spencer Johnson, M.D.

You can get to the notes by clicking on the following link,, on the left side of this page, click on “Sean’s Book Notes.”

Did I mention, that you should read the book?

Think. Work. Achieve.

Your turn…