The Learning leader Douglas B.Reeves

March 28th, 2011
“The central thesis of this book is that results can be improved
through applying a comprehensive framework such as
Leadership for Learning” (p. 3)
Reeves’“Distributed leadership is based on trust, as well as the
certain knowledge that no single leader possesses the
knowledge, skills and talent to lead an organization”
reminded us of Sergiovanni’s “covenental community”
The Leadership and Learning Framework focuses on the right
side portion of Learning and Leading. This was echoed in an
interview with an effective administrator who said success can
be many things. It can be, “We didn’t make it, but we learned
a whole lot trying.” or “We learned and we made it!” In the
learning, we can then generate more.
The “Wisdom of the Group” and shared decision making (p.25)
 Enron
Superior analytical intelligence gave us the Enron Scandal
because everything looked great
 Equate this scandal to test scores measuring educational
 “the demands of leadership are more complex than
intimidating students and teachers into short-term test score
gains” (p. 3)
 “Raw intelligence is an insufficient condition for leadership
success” (p. 5)
We all need to get along
“Positive organizational Scholarship explicitly values the primacy of
interpersonal relationships as a key to organizational effectiveness”
Don’t do it alone
“No architect ever built a temple alone….engineering, execution, and
Leaders as architects – “Every certified and non-certified staff member
supports a common focus on improving teaching and learning.” It’s the
Collective Brain at work.
Learning is questioning - “If enough people say the emperor has no
clothes, we make real progress.” (pointing out the ineffectiveness)
Myopic focus on results and or process will not render positive outcomes
in either area. Rather a Comprehensive focus leads an organization to a
multifaceted view of both results and antecedents of excellence.
Leadership decision making should be entrusted to a diverse group,
rather than single individual- more accurate, less risky
•The “Leader" combines high results with deep understanding of
antecedents of excellence, yet continues to seek opportunities for
improvement (p. 8)
Focus needs to be on the right side of the
matrix, The Leading and Learning quadrants.
Lower right quadrant is the “learner” which will
focus on and dig deeply into data.
Teaching quality (adult actions) matters; it is an
important influence on student performance.
Leadership Actions such as: Inquiry,
Implementation and Monitoring show
demonstrable links to improved student
achievement and educational equity.
Leadership is neither a unitary skill set nor a solitary activity. It
engages a variety of skills and calls upon all people throughout
the organization.
• Acknowledge imperfection and obtain complementaries.
• Create a team with complementary strengths.
How can administration entice high quality teachers to work
in schools with low SES students?
What steps can leaders take to prevent leader/teacher
burnout in the face of mounting requirements?
What can we learn from past administrators?
How can we ‘shock the system’? Where is it ineffectual?
We need to provide a higher level of challenge for those
students for whom our state standards are a floor, not a ceiling.
“We survive as a species and as leaders of organizations not due
to solitary efforts but due to organizational and collaborative
“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most
intelligent, but the most responsive to change.” (Darwin, 1859)
Data analysis, staff motivation, and public communication are
all essential skills for the effective leader

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