Yesterday I wrote about my favourite apps so following some valuable suggestions from B Yusuf today I am going to maintain the same approach but with a different theme, this time looking at my favourite books.
Let’s start with one of my favourite leadership books which I have often recommended to others especially new middle leaders. The One Minute Manager Meets the Monkey by Ken Blanchard. This is a nice short and very accessible book which focuses on how to manage people and the tasks they are assigned. I think it is very useful for new middle leaders where the tendency might be to lead by example and in doing so offer to help and do things to help your team thereby accepting the duty of care for their monkeys.
Next is a book I have recently read, The Silo Effect by Gillian Tett. This is an excellent book about how Silos form in organizations, how they can be dangerous and how to overcome them. I think this is quite appropriate to education where we have such clear demarcations evident through our schools. Staff are either support, teaching, MLT or SLT. Teaching staff operate in departments. The Silo Effect points out why we need to have this kind of structure and demarcation, the disadvantages and how we might seek to overcome these disadvantages.
I have always been very interested in the idea of divergent thinking. As such my next book is Lateral Thinking by De Bono. I particularly like the book as not only does it seek to provide explanations for why we might be less creative than we could be, but it also provide little activities which can be used with students to illustrate the point. I have previously run a series of lessons on creativity in a school in the Middle East using so of the activities and the students loved it.
My next book is The Shallows from Nicholas Carr. Giving my focus on educational technology my book list had to include at least one book which looks at technology. This book brilliantly tracks how various now accepted technologies were at one time or other considered as disruptive including the watch and the printing press and resultant novels printed using them. This puts the current concerns regarding student technology use and the impact into a different light.
My final book is my favourite leadership book which I keep coming back to. It’s a bit of a classis. Stephen Coveys The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Quite simply a classis book in identifying priorities and managing life in what is becoming an increasing complex world.
Once I get past Feb and #29daysofwriting I hope to get back to reading more. I may in future share further opinions with regards the books I have read. Please feel free to suggest any books you think are worth a read.