Book Review: The Spiritual Dimension of Leadership: 8 key Principles to Leading More Effectively by Paul D. Houston and Stephen L. Sokolow

  • Woods G
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The Spiritual Dimension of Leadership is a light, easy-to-read text, aimed at practitioners, that requires little or no prior knowledge of spirituality in educational leadership to engage with and understand its central messages. It makes for an enjoyable and refresh- ing read. It takes the reader along at a comfortable pace and is enhanced by examples and stories drawn from the authors’ own professional and personal lives. The principles addressed by the book are of universal relevance. At a time when there are so many books that take a ‘technicist’ approach to school effectiveness and effective leadership, it’s good to see one that is designed to enhance the inner life of the person and have them reflect on that in relation to their leadership. The book addresses what the authors consider to be eight key principles of effective leadership: intention; attention; unique gifts and talents; gratitude; unique life lessons; a holistic perspective; openness; and trust. These have been identified from 42 principles that the authors feel have guided them in their work as educational leaders. They describe the eight selected as a good place to start and as resonating particularly with school leadership. The authors started out as professional colleagues in the USA (as school superintendents in school districts), and are now respectively Executive Directors of the American Association of School Administrators and The Center for Empowered Leadership. The book comprises eight chapters, one devoted to each of the key principles. Each chapter includes boxes that list suggestions for action that the reader is invited to under- take.

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  • Glenys Woods

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