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Sunday, December 10, 2017

Looking at Strengths

Over the past few years, I have put a very high priority on keeping up with professional reading.  As my kids have gotten older, we seem to be on the go more than ever and I found my pile of to be read books growing and growing and very little reading getting done.  After discussing this with a colleague I decided what I needed to do was give audio books a try.  I signed up for Audible, got 2 free audio books and was off and running.  After my 2 free books, I decided to stay subscribed and now I can download new audio books whenever the mood strikes. I have found that teaching books specifically about math are pretty limited,but general books on education, leadership and mindset are almost all available on Audible

The first book I listened to via Audible was Strengths Based Leadership by Tom Rath. (He also wrote one of my FAVORITE picture books How Full is Your Bucket?)

I have been in a teacher leader position in my school since almost the beginning of my career.  Much of what I have learned about being a leader has come from experience and mentors.  I am now interested in exploring more about leadership and how I can take things to the next level.  I read Lead Like a Pirate back in March which is much more specific to education than this book.  Despite the fact that this book was written for leaders in general, I got a lot out of it.  

The biggest thing I took away from this book was a deeper understanding of my own strengths as a leader.  The book details many different strengths and comes with an access code to the leadership version of Gallup's Strengthsfinder Program.  The strengths the program identified for me are Achiever, Maximizer, Learner, Activator and Arranger. Each of these is described in detail in the book but I also received a customized report about how exactly each of these applies to me.  I was surprised how well this assessment pinpointed my strengths and to some extent, even parts of my personality. 

Another huge take away from this book was about looking for strengths in others.  It really made me think about how to best utilize members of my team and my colleagues to support me, my students and the mission of our school.  There were certain strengths that when listening to them talk about, I would think so clearly of one teacher or another that I have worked with.  Looking at people's strengths has helped me make ground as a leader in just a few short months. 

What other books about leadership would you recommend?  If you use Audible, what education books are available in this format that you would recommend? Please respond in the comments below! 

1 comment:

  1. I haven't subscribed to Audible, but I DO listen to audio books from time to time, and podcasts ALL the time. My favourite way to listen is while I'm cleaning the house and when I go for walks.

    Sorry, I don't have any recommendations for you :( but thanks for the post and Audible link!