Principled Headship: Revised Edition

A teacher's guide to the galaxy

By: Terry Mahony


Products specifications
Attribute name Attribute value
Size: 234mm x 156mm
Pages : 168
ISBN : 9781904424307
Format: Paperback
Published: January 2004

Principled Headship equips you with the essential skills needed for a future in school leadership. Pioneering a programme of techniques and exercises using Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and a combination of left and right brained approaches, it includes indirect suggestions, visual image associations and extensive work on personal beliefs. Written in a light and personal style, it will improve your ability to lead, communicate and motivate.

The book covers a range of personal skills that are currently given insufficient prominence in teacher training. It provides you with practical ways of improving your awareness and your emotional, behavioural, linguistic and self-management skills. It also presents a fresh and practical approach to clarifying and consolidating a core of personal beliefs and values. If you are contemplating launching yourself into a teaching career, and especially if headship is your aim, Principled Headship is the book that will help you achieve your goals.

Picture for author Terry Mahony

Terry Mahony

Terry Mahony is head of Hampshire’s Professional Development & Training Service and a trainer on the Leading From the Middle programme of the National College for School Leadership. He has twenty years’ experience as a leadership trainer and coach and is an accredited mediator with the Portsmouth Mediation Service, working to resolve conflicts in the community and the workplace in that city. A member of Robert Dilt’s NLP Global Training and Consulting Community, he writes on the applications of Neuro-Linguistic Programming in education, personal professional development and in mediation.


  1. Principled Headship is subtitled A Teacher's Guide to the Galaxy, which neatly sums up the book's tone. Terry Mahoney starts from the assumption that you probably don't (yet) have all the skills you need to be an effective head, but he leads the reader through a series of self-improvement and self-discovery steps, with thought-provoking references to modern techniques for developing leadership, management and communication skills. It's a personal and refreshingly informal mix of theory and common sense - but don't be deceived by its light-hearted style. There is real substance there - essential reading for any head who wants to become a better head, and recommended for all prospective heads too.

  2. I found Principled Headship a refreshing read. It is well organised and can act as a focus for stimulating discussions and propagating questions while developing skills. I like the author's powerful way of writing in a seemingly simple way so that it is easily understood.
  3. The book should be with every head teacher in every school, as it makes so much sense to teachers and heads alike, as well as Educational Departments in Local Boroughs as the ideas and material drawn upon are so up to date.

    • Excellent integration of NLP ideas and concepts, practicable and a very good guide to head teachers and aspiring teachers. NLP presuppositions realized

    • Applied NLP - a balance between theory and application - giving excellent tools whilst bringing all the NLP practitioner skills into action.

    • I like the “easiness” easy to follow, read and understand and well put together.

  4. Wow - this is an exciting book to have! The interesting thing is that the subject matter actually doesn't just apply to Head Teachers because leaders of all fields will use the same strategies and benefit from them.

    The book is easy to read and I found the diagrams great anchors in terms of explaining the principles being explained. Having read Stephen Covey's Principled Leaders ” there are some interesting parallels between the two books. Terry Mahony has highlighted something for head teachers and aspiring leaders in education which business people have understood for ages ” use the rules and then break some. Pioneers of new methods and successful businesses do not get to find out new solutions or creations by remaining in the boxes prescribed by the past and so called laws made for the good of all.

    This book amply highlights the fact that leaders will use strategies and techniques that are known to create results whilst still being flexible enough to move beyond when the situation demands it. It is said that the height of stress is doing the same actions over and over again and expecting different results. With the many rules and legislations that governments impose upon educators today along with the short term vision and lack of understanding of how people learn ” it is no wonder that so many educators feel their hands are tied and unable to make a difference. Terry Mahony's book is wonderful in that it encourages teachers and educators to face the fear and do it anyway. To create better paradigms and principles for the new type of education that is sorely needed and which engages our minds both as educators and students. Children today are far more “street wise' in the brain department than students were 120 years ago when formal schools were being set up. And this book encourages educators to look for solutions outside the accepted norm so that their own lives are fulfilling and that their students lives are made easier.

    What I also enjoyed about this book is the fact that LIFE SKILLS are more important than academic skills and this book encourages educators to look at the emotional intelligence vs logical intelligence and to realize that scientific thinking is great for actioning steps in a vision, however intuition and free thinking is what helps to create solutions that are unique to each challenge arising. Successful businesses understand these concepts implicitly and so invest a great deal of time investing in the life and professional skills of their staff. Why should it be any different for a school?

    Essentially a school is still a business .. and needs good foundations, strong values, strategies, plans and outcomes. However, it is people who make a school or business successful and so soft skills such as emotional intelligence, communication skills, brainstorming, constructive feedback are more important for the implementation of strategies and I believe Terry Mahony has given enough “bait' in the book for any educator wishing to be a leader to grasp this concept and to begin to apply it.

    Whilst this book is aimed at teachers, I do believe it would also be valuable as an aid for those who train in complementary health practices as it is easy to read and explains the concepts well.

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