This page is devoted to exploring questions such as:
  • What is a leader?
  • Why do positions of leadership have the potential to make people feel so vulnerable?
  • How do you know when you are in the presence of a leader? (What do they act like, look like, and sound like?)
  • What does leadership look like when viewed from an organizational or systemic level?
  • Why might mentoring be considered a form of leadership?
  • How can teachers build leadership capacity in their students and colleagues?
  • How are mentoring, leadership, change, service, and relationships related?
  • How might you apply successful foreign language pedagogy to the work of leadership?
  • How might emerging technologies be used to facilitate mentoring, leadership, and change?
  • How can we know if our efforts to lead are making a positive difference for the people and organizations we serve?

Group Facilitators: Cindy Kendall, MI; Cherice Montgomery, MI; Marcia Rosenbusch, IA

Key Principles

  • Leadership is less about what you do, and more about who you are.
  • Leadership begins with personal change.
  • The most critical work of a leader is empowering people to think critically and reflectively, to learn from that thinking, and to act on that learning; thus, most of a leader's work is mental and personal.
  • Mentoring is leadership in action.
  • Leaders who build leadership capacity in those they serve help ensure that the changes they implement will become self-sustaining.

We Won't Give Up - From the Black History Tour Group

Leadership Orientations Instrument

Four Corners Exercise

Building Leadership Capacity Self-Assessment - From Building Leadership Capacity by Linda Lambert

Seven Norms of Collaborating: A Toolkit

Latest Leadership Links

Music Related to Leadership

Black History Tour Group - We Won't Give Up

Jarabe de Palo - The song, Depende is wonderful for discussing how perspective influences understanding and action. Lyrics available at: - chericem1 external image chericem1-sm.jpg

O'Neal, Jamie. (2000). Frantic. Shiver. Universal City, CA: Mercury Records.
This song is excellent for stimulating a discussion of the need for building leadership capacity, delegation, distributed leadership, and down time. Lyrics available at: The song, 59th Street Bridge Song by Simon & Garfunkel makes a nice counterpoint to this one. Lyrics available at: - chericem1 external image chericem1-sm.jpg

Sanders, Mark D., & Sillers, Tia. (2000). I hope you dance. Nashville, TN: Rutledge Hill Press. ISBN 1-55853-844-5.
This book uses a combination of text and images to illustrate the meaning and message of the song by Lee Ann Womack. (The book comes with a CD inside.) Lyrics available at: [user:chericem1]]

Schwartz, Stephen - Wicked: A new musical. There are numerous songs on this album that can be used to stimulate thinking about leadership and change, including Defying Gravity - Lyrics available at:, No Good Deed - Lyrics available at:, and For Good//. Lyrics available at:


The Power of Communication

Share Information - "Rumor is a persistent communication disrupter in most schools; assertive information sharing can disarm rumor mills" (Lambert, p. 80).

"What you know doesn't matter if you can't communicate" (George Ambler)

The Power of Example

". . . we cannot control others--only ourselves. The phenomenal element of that truth is that when we make changes in our own behavior, others change in response to these changes, without our saying anything about the changes they need to make" (Lundberg & Lundberg, p. 143).

The Power of Flexibility

"The intelligence I speak of is the ability to shift direction, even to redefine one's aims when better options emerge int he course of one's work . . . . The work, so to speak, also speaks, and at times, it is the artist who listens" (Eisner, p. 77-78).

The Power of Framing

Make It Meaningful - "Meaning is not something you stumble across, like the answer to a riddle or the prize in a treasure hunt. Meaning is something you build into your life. You build it out of your own past, out of your affections and loyalties, out of the experience of human kind as it is passed on to you, out of your talent and understanding, out of the things you believe in, out of the things and people you love, out of the values for which you are willing to sacrifice something" (Lundin, Paul, & Christensen, pp. 104-105).

Redefine Leadership - "Educators, parents, and students are often required to alter their self-perceptions in order to perceive themselves as leaders. Redefining leadership can help tremendously" (Lambert, p. 85).

Perception is Powerful - "If you don't know you have choices, or don't believe you have choices, you don't" (Lundin, Paul, & Christensen, p. 100).

Provide Choice - "There is always a choice about the way you do your work, even if there is not a choice about the work itself" (Lundin, Paul, & Christensen, p. 37).

Reenvision Problems as Opportunities - "Transforming cynicism into hopefulness by transforming the school's most challenging issues into clear statements of purpose or inquiry" (Lambert, p. 86).

The Power of Play

"Happy people treat others well; fun leads to creativity; the time passes quickly; having a good time is healthy; work becomes a reward and not just a way to rewards" (Lunden, Paul, & Christensen, p. 88).

Readings on Leadership

Block, Peter. (2003). The answer to how is yes: Acting on what matters. San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc. ISBN 1-57675-271-2.
A phenomenal, thought-provoking book that reframes leadership and offers new perspectives on ways that leaders can create organizational cultures that initiate, implement, and sustain meaningful change by encouraging members to act on what matters to them. (Contributed by - chericem1 chericem1)

Carnegie, Dale. How to win friends and influence people (summary). Retrieved March 31, 2006 from
A brief summary of of Carnegie's book that includes fundamental techniques in human relations and addresses ways to try to influence in others without creating resentment. (Contributed by - chericem1 chericem1)

Fennimore, Beatrice. (2001, August). The power of your words. The School Administrator. Retrieved June 22, 2007, from
Excellent, brief article. Key ideas include: Words are both descriptive AND deterministic. Words leaders use should describe PATHWAYS from where we are now to the change we hope to achieve, not simply outline problems

Gardner, John. (2000). The nature of leadership. In Fullan, Michael (Ed.), Jossey-Bass reader on educational leadership. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, pp. 3-12.
This article seeks to define the word leader, to distinguish between leaders and managers, and discusses the importance of context and distributed leadership in understanding and managing complex systems and organizations. (Contributed by - chericem1 chericem1)

Lundin, Stephen C., Harry Paul, & John Christensen. (2000). Fish! NY: Hyperion. ISBN 0-7868-6602-0.

Maurer, Rick. (n.d.). Resistance to change: Why it matters and what to do about it. Beyond Resistance. Retrieved June 22, 2007, from
Rick Maurer defines resistance, outlines 3 types of resistance (lack of information, emotional/physiological, and systemic), explains why typical approaches to change fail, and offers approaches to addressing resistance. Site promotes his book: Beyond Resistance.

Readings on Leadership Capacity

Lambert.jpg Lambert, Linda. (1998). Building leadership capacity in schools. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. ISBN 0-87120-307-3.
This practitioner-friendly book defines leadership capacity, provides a conceptual framework for building it, outlines critical features of high leadership capacity, offers 3 case studies that explore these features, and elaborates 7 essential actions for working with these principles at the district level. Several useful appendices provide helpful staff surveys and rubrics of emerging teacher leadership. Image source:
(Contributed by - chericem1 chericem1)

Lundberg, Gary, & Joy Lundberg. (1998). I don't have to make everything all better: Six practical principles that empower others to solve their own problems while enriching your relationships. NY: Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-028643-8.

Senge, Peter M. (2000). Give me a lever long enough . . . and single-handed I can move the world. In Fullan, Michael (Ed.), Jossey-Bass reader on educational leadership. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
This article advocates for a systemic approach to leadership and emphasizes the importance of developing leadership capacity in order to create "learning organizations" that support the development of creativity and the diffusion of innovation. (Contributed by - chericem1 chericem1)


Leadership Orientations Instrument

Seven Norms of Collaborating: A Toolkit

Technological Tools for supporting Leadership

Cool Tech Tools - A regularly updated list of free, online tech tools from Cherice's TeensNTech wiki that can be used to support the work of leadership.