School Leadership: A Reality Check

In my latest book, published in partnership with the New South Wales Secondary Principals Council, I explore how leadership operates at multiple and interconnected levels – leadership as interdependent and generative. Titled School Leadership: A Reality Check, it’s born out of research into failures of leadership but with the end goal of encouraging ethical and effective practice. The book offers a 5-dimensional model by which to understand leadership and a host of practical ideas.

One reviewer encapsulated the work this way:

Educational leadership is complex and challenging – and does not always “go right”. To have a handbook such as this to inform, guide and support leaders as they seek to improve the educational needs of their students, while at the same time acting with regard to the “eco system” or big picture in doing so, is invaluable. It is also topical – with a move towards agentic schools, growth mindset and the power of vulnerability, the idea of generative leadership supports and extends these contemporary educational/leadership concepts.

While for another:

The significant difference in this book is the previously unexplored and alternative perspective of leadership as a socially constructed complex system. In this way the text deals with the multifaceted relationships that exist in educational and other settings. The push and pull factors that influence how power relationships between a leader and various stratum in an educational hierarchy coexist, interplay and react to behaviours, decisions, emotions and competing/complementary agendas in this book adds an important contribution to the publications that embody the diverse body of research on effective leadership. 

Available through Woodslane Publishers: or

NSW Secondary Principals Council:


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