I’m often asked (as I was earlier this week) what books would I recommend to educators that best encapsulate the LYS philosophy. Last year I posted a top ten list, but since that posting I’ve added two books, and by necessity, demoted two. So just in time for summer reading, here is my updated list. 1. Results Now, by Mike Schmoker.This book sets the LYS tone. If on the whole you disagree with what Mike writes in this book, you are going to disagree with LYS (the organization and probably the Nation). 2. Corp Business, by David H. Freedman.This is the book I had every new AP I hired read. I have yet to find a book that does a better job of laying out the actionable ABC’s of leading people in the field. 3. Good to Great, by Jim Collins.There are hedgehogs and foxes. Reject your fox instincts and embrace your inner hedgehog. Don’t have a clue what I’m talking about? Read the book. 4. The Tipping Point, by Malcolm Gladwell. The primer on the power of the few. Those who question the power of the LYS Nation just don’t recognize the implication of a network of the best Mavens, Connectors and Salespeople in our field. 5. Switch, by Chip Heath and Dan Heath. Ever feel like (or know) that you are leading change but no one is following? Find out if you have a rider problem, an elephant problem or a path problem and learn how to get everything going in the right direction. 6. The Fundamental 5, by Sean Cain and Mike Laird. Yes, I co-authored the book. But it really is that good. Need a primer for your rookie teachers on how to survive in the classroom? Want a reminder for veteran staff to improve their effectiveness and reduce their stress. Looking for a blueprint to improve the quality of your presentations. The fundamental five is the place to start. 7. The Moral Imperative of School Leadership, by Michael Fullan. You actually should read everything that Fullan writes, but if time is a factor, this is the one to start with. I do have one small problem with Fullan. He’s too smart. He understands the nuances that drive expert leadership and does a world class job of explaining this (perhaps better than anyone). Unfortunately, the smart/lazy manager type can use Fullan as justification for their repeatedly inane actions (or inaction). 8. How the Mighty Fall, by Jim Collins. Yes, it is a business book, but Collins lays out the doom loop that district after district is currently stuck in. Fortunately, he tells us how to get out of the loop and even prevent it. Unfortunately, most senior leadership doesn’t care and isn’t listening. 9. The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, by John C. Maxwell. Maxwell is a former pastor. He writes about church leadership. In many ways, church leadership is a better model for school leaders than business leadership. Violate the Irrefutable Laws at the peril of your organization and you career. 10. Slot number ten is filled by a number of books, that depending on my mood, interest, or need of the person I’m working with, that I might recommend. Some of those books include: 33 Strategies of War, by Robert Greene for strategic and tactical planning. The Federalist Papers, by Hamilton, Madison and Jay. If you are trying to lead an organization of more than three people who have competing self interests, you might find this worth reading. It’s Called Work for a Reason, by Larry Wingate. Admittedly a pulp book. But sometimes we have to get over ourselves, cut thru the BS and admit that we have a job to do and how hard we tried doesn’t matter if we’re not successful. Just looking at the title ought to give you a little boost when the going gets tough. His Excellency, by Joseph J. Ellis. Think you have leadership all figured out? If this study of George Washington doesn’t convince otherwise, you must be pretty darn good. Think. Work. Achieve.Your turn… Call Jo at (832) 477-LEAD to order your campus set of “The Fundamental 5: The Formula for Quality Instruction.” Individual copies available on Amazon.com! http://tinyurl.com/4ydqd4t Louise ISD is searching for a Superintendent. Application details at www.LeadYourSchool.com Follow Sean Cain on www.Twitter.com/LYSNation Upcoming Event / Presentation Schedule June 11 (TASB) – The Fundamental Five; Improve Now! June 15 thru June 17 – TASSP Conference June 16 (TASSP) – Conference Breakfast, hosted by E. Don Brown (LYS travel tumblers for the first 1000 attendees, last year we ran out) June 16 (TASSP) – Book Release Event for “The Fundamental 5” June 18 – TASB Conference, Fort Worth