Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Leader as a Reader: Professional Growth vs Rest and Relaxation

I'm the world's biggest advocate for leaders being readers, especially educational leaders. I recommend, as do so many others who know more than I, all educational leaders read voraciously. Educational leaders should read for self improvement. Educational leaders also should read to model reading for those around them.

As this school year began, I saw myself reading as much professional growth material as anything. I had a huge list of authors to read, authors like Jim Collins, Annette Breaux, Todd Whitaker, Howard Gardner, Ken Robinson and more. As the year has progressed, I have read quite a few professional growth books to help me and to help my school. However, as the year has progressed I have noticed something interesting about my reading habits. In the last few months, as the wear and tear of the year has taken its toll on me, I find myself seeking escape on the streets of Jerusalem's Lot, wandering the dangerous streets of Afghanistan, running from the mob in Memphis, rooting for Edward and Bella to finally get hitched, and the list goes on. While books have always been a way for me to stretch my mind and grow intellectually, I find myself turning to books more and more as a means of managing stress.
When the board, the parents, the budgets, the grades, the reports and the detentions get to be too much, grab a book, settle into that old leather chair your significant other wants to throw out, and get lost.

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