7 more smart reads for smarter SBMs

Following on from our last article on 7 Smart Reads for Smarter SBMs, Helen Burge, Academy Business Leader, St Anne’s Church Academy, and founder member of Somerset School Business Leaders Group (SSBL), shared with us her top reads for school business leaders. Here they are:


1. Leadership: The Multiplier Effect by Andy Cope

This book’s key takeaway is that your role as a leader is not to inspire people. In fact, your job as a leader is to be inspired.  With the working day becoming less 9-5 and more 24/7, life has become relentless and this has left many leaders feeling that they can't possibly work any harder.  As many of #SBLtwitter have told us, it’s easy to end up careering from one crisis to another, powered by caffeine and sugar (and in a lot of cases gin!), existing from one holiday to the next.

So, what gives? The answer according to this book is to use the “multiplier effect” to transform your leadership style. The premise being that positive emotions spread far wider than we realise.

Packed full of insights on positive psychology, leadership, employee engagement, strengths, purpose, emotional intelligence and coaching, this book will show you how to lead well by being the secret ingredient in your team's everyday happiness - just by making them feel good and empowering them to pass it on.

2. Successful Difficult Conversations in School by Sonia Gill

If you work in a school and feel you’re struggling to get your message across, or that your words are not having the desired effect, then this book is an invaluable read. 

Rooted in solid theory and based on experience, it is full of practical ways to help you have more effective conversations when talking about the ‘tricky stuff’ in school. It helps for facing `those' conversations with a colleague or parent, you know in your heart you need to have, but would rather avoid having. Sometimes you don't really know what to say or how to say it; the practical advice and simple tools contained in this book will help make these inevitable conversations easier.

3. Leaders Eat Last by Simon Linek

Leaders Eat Last explores how leaders can inspire cooperation and change.  In many of today’s successful organisations, leaders are creating environments where teams trust each other so inherently that they would put their lives on the line for each other. Yet other teams, no matter what incentives are offered, are doomed to infighting, fragmentation and failure. This book explores why.

According to Sinek, the best organisations foster trust and cooperation because their leaders build what he calls a ‘Circle of Safety’. It separates the security inside the team from the challenges outside. Everyone feels belonging and all energies are devoted to facing the common enemy and seizing big opportunities.

Using fascinating true stories, from the military to manufacturing, from government to investment banking, Sinek shows that leaders who are willing to ‘eat last’ are rewarded with loyal colleagues who will stop at nothing to advance their vision.

4. Delegation & Supervision by Brian Tracy

Managers are judged by the results they deliver ― and more than anything else, those results hinge on the ability to delegate and supervise. Done right, delegation and supervision allow your employees to learn, grow, and become more capable.

Once you have mastered the essential skills of delegation and supervision, your team becomes more efficient and easier to manage, the quality and quantity of results increase and you build the involvement and commitment of your people. This pocket guide shares time-tested ways to boost the performance and productivity of your team in 21 handy tips.

5. It’s a Zoo Around Here: The New Rules for Better Communication by Nigel Risner

When you have so many different people we have to communicate with on a daily basis, it’s hard to ensure that we are speaking in a style that suits the other person. This book takes a simple look at how to deal with all the animals in your life. From the short-tempered lion, the fun and passionate monkey, the very detailed elephants and the caring dolphins – this book teaches a very simple yet effective way of becoming an effective ‘zoo-keeper’.

6. The Management Guide to Delegating by Kate Keenan

This second book on delegation forms part of the Pocket Manager Books series. Pocket Manager Books started life as 'The Management Guides' over 20 years ago, during which time the series sold over 1.3 million copies and was translated into in over 17 languages. 

The Pocket Manager series is written by Kate Keenan (CPsychol, AFBPsS, BA, BSc, MSc, MPhil). Kate has over 20 years’ experience as a chartered psychologist. She is also an occupational psychologist and specialises in increasing business psychological wellbeing, and reducing and resolving stress-related issues in the workplace.

The book tackles how delegating is a powerful and productive way of getting tasks completed, as well as releasing time for you to do more. However, many people can find this difficult to do – this pocket guide helps you realise how to get a lot more of your work done, by letting go and getting some of it done by others.

7. The Ladybird Book of The Meeting by Jason Hazeley & Joel Morris

This is more of a light-hearted read than a serious development piece… – so we’ll avoid any spoilers and let you discover it for yourself!