- School leaders need to read books beyond the scope of education if they are to be truly innovative leaders, educator and author Michael Niehoff writes for District Administration.
- Professional reading in fields such as business, sociology, politics, psychology, technology and the military can offer insights into education and leadership that will make school leaders even more effective.
- Niehoff suggests a list of 25 books from various fields that educators recommend to enhance both personal and professional development.
Effective leaders are never content with the knowledge they have; they are always looking for ways to expand both their knowledge and understanding. Reading great books is one of the easiest, cheapest and most effective ways school leaders can gain the professional development they need to inspire both students and staff to achieve more.
The truth is that all educators must be leaders and all leaders are readers. Reading, whether alone, or as an organized book study, can allow educators to grow personally and professionally. Reading books from other fields such as business can allow educators to see the work they do through another lens and can allow them to relate better to community members who view the world through that same lens. True, not all ideas transmit into the field of education. For instance, while the study of business principles can increase efficiency in some areas of education, school leaders need to understand that the education of individual and unique humans cannot equate to the production of goods and services.
However, school and district leaders do need to make the time to read books that can help them develop themselves as people and hone their craft as educators. “If you are a leader, you should be striving to develop knowledge to improve yourself, your company, and the people who work for you," business leader Kelsey Meyer wrote in an op-ed piece for Forbes magazine.