This past week, I spent five hours in an airplane on what was supposed to be a 45 minute flight. The best thing about the trip was that I got to use the unplanned for free time to read Jim Collin’s new book, How the Mighty Fall. A book end to his previous book, Good to Great, I recommend this book to every current and aspiring school leader.
The book provides a warning list of the beliefs and practices that set your organization on the path of ruin. It also provides timely advice on how the path, once recognized, can be reversed.
The notes and highlights in my copy of the book are extensive, but here are two statements that I found compelling.
Statement one, which I believe addresses the disconnect between campuses and central office that many districts are dealing with and can serve as a reminder for all central office administrators. Leaders who often wield tremendous power, yet generally do not have to deal with the day to day ramifications of their decisions.
“Arrogance inflicts suffering on the innocent.”
Statement two, which I believe all campus level leaders and teachers should write down and refer too frequently, is a quote by Winston Churchill. To paraphrase, he said,
“Never give in.
Be willing to change tactics, but never give up your core purpose.
Be willing to evolve, but never give up on the principles that define your culture.
Be willing to embrace creative destruction, but never give up on the discipline to create your own future.”
When you get a chance, read the book, and if you have not yet read Collin’s other works, put them on your reading list also.
Think. Work. Achieve.
Just a reminder for existing LYS readers and an invitation to new LYS readers, Sunday is advice day. Send me your favorite piece of advice and why, along with your mailing address. If I post it, I’ll send you a world famous Lead Your School can koozie.