Product reviews for Leadership for Tomorrow

Professor Ralph Tabberer, BBD Education
There's a crisis of leadership, both nationally and globally, and it is felt by almost every school leader. Not only do we face an uncertain future but, more than ever, we question those who step forward to guide us. And they look weak. We have none of the great role models of the recent past around whom we can rally. It falls to each school to find its way.

But Leadership for Tomorrow reminds us that we do not necessarily need individuals as charismatic role models to show us the values and goals that should guide our lives. As they rightly proclaim, -˜leadership needs to be seen in terms of leading a community rather than an organisation.'

Leadership for Tomorrow presents us with five leaders in England who provide examples of how they have led their school communities by building trust, collaboration, and cooperation with outsiders and their broader networks. It is a refreshing story of how leaders can build social capital by how they work as much as by what they do. The focus is not on -˜me' but on -˜us'. And what is striking is that for this kind of school leadership, there is no template. For some, the focus has been on agency. For others, it has been disadvantage. Or enterprise. Or engagement. None of these are proper subjects for Ofsted inspection because there are many paths that the restless leader can take. It is too early to throw a framework over the question of -˜leading for tomorrow' and perhaps the only mistake the authors make is to try.

There is only one yawning gap that I hope the authors go on to fill. Their lens is their own country with its own curious history, its own singular politics and - inevitably - its own constrained perspective. The school of tomorrow, however, is being invented not in a single nation, nor in a dialogue with a near neighbour like Finland, but rather in every corner of the world. And like never before, others' experience is within our reach.

But Leadership for Tomorrow is a book that is easy to enjoy. It broadens thinking about what schools are for, doesn't use uncertainty as a reason to retrench, and it offers the invitation to disagree.
Guest | 24/10/2017 01:00
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