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7 Best Books Every School Leader Should Read


A successful school leader inspires innovation, motivation, and empowerment into their school culture. They center their days trying to foster a school environment that is positive for both students and faculty. As a leader, you need to continuously focus on the development of your school and bettering the overall experience for learning. This means that you must stay on top of the learning curve by reading, researching, and attending relevant professional learning opportunities.

Books Every School Leader Should Read

We have gathered seven books that are a wealth of knowledge for new or seasoned education leaders.  From experience to helpful tips, we hope these books are insightful!


administration leadership

Lead Like a Pirate: Make School Amazing For Your Students and Staff by Shelly Burgess and Beth Houf

Upon reading this book, you’ll be motivated and inspired to be a better school leader. Just like pirates, leaders are on a conquest for treasure (a.k.a rewards). Amazing schools, programs, teachers, students, and more are the result of empowered educators who are making differences. The authors, Beth Houf and Shelley Burgess, lay the scope of traits necessary for educators to be leaders and to find the treasure that is already in schools, classroom, students, and teachers.

See what others are saying about the book here!

Winning with Accountability: The Secret Language of High-Performing Organizations by Henry J. Evans

This book offers insight for you and your teachers to reach new levels of success and excellence through the practice of accountability. Henry J. Evans guides you in this book, step-by-step to help you improve your organization’s performance by creating a culture of accountability. Broken down into four steps, you can get a feel for how accountability is a function and can be applied to your school and faculty.



The Innovator’s Mindset: Empower Learning, Unleash Talent, and Lead a Culture of Creativity by George Couros

George Couros is an innovative teaching and learning consultant with experience as the Division Principal of Innovative Teaching and Learning. His book The Innovator’s Mindset encourages teachers and administrators to be empowered learners to wonder, explore, and create. Unlike the traditional system of education, Couros inspires readers to be forward-thinking leaders.



The Principal 50 by Baruti K. Kafele

Author Baruti K. Kafele creates a book centered around self-reflection on instructional leadership. His insights on asking critical leadership question is paired with how-to’s in motivating staff and students, ensuring student success, and engaging parents and the community to have a stake in school success.

One of the top books for principals and building-level administrators to read. Check out what more about the book here.



Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek

As leaders, we should ask ourselves why our work is essential. Why are we in education? Why am I a leader? What is the why of your school? Great leaders like Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Jobs, Wright Brothers all started with why. Simon Sinek walks you through the importance of great leadership by starting with why.

Check out Simon Sinek’s Ted Talk before you read the book!


The Multiplier Effect: Tapping the Genius Inside Our Schools by Liz Wiseman, Lois N. Allen, Elsie Foster

The Multiplier Effect is all about team success. This book uses insight from over 100 school leaders to pin down points that define how a multiplier can bring the best out of their school, staff, and students. Not only will you learn the best practices and disciplines, but the book will give you an excellent perspective on what it takes to drive effective teams.


Lessons of Hope: How Courage, Grit, and Accountability Can Save Our Schools by Joel Klein

In 2002, Joel Kelin was selected to lead a reversal of the decline in the educational system in New York City. Klein’s book is an inside account of his mission for improvement. He fought hard to create a culture of accountability, equality, and student and faculty success. The New York City model is now showcased as the national blueprint for meaningful school reform. Lessons of Hope serves as a guide to problems in public education and how they can be resolved.

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