A Review: School Culture Recharged

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Leadership comes in many forms. Leaders can be in positions of both formal and informal leadership. Leadership can be something that you take on or it is thrust upon you. For some, leadership is a struggle and for others it comes naturally. In the end, being in a position of leadership is both a gift and a responsibility. Leaders need to surround themselves with the resources that will support them in their role because change starts with us.

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The author’s, Todd Whitaker (@ToddWhitaker) and Steve Gruenert (@stevegruenert) define culture as:

“…the personality of the building. It is the professional religion of the group.” (4)

Culture steers the ship and it is up to the leader to use the culture to promote the well-being and success of all the learners in the building. The authors provide leadership advice and strategies to identify the current culture, the different roles staff have in maintaining that culture, and the staff that can shift the culture. Once the key players have been identified, you can begin to support those risk-takers who are willing to go outside the cultural norms. The process in shifting the direction of the culture depends on the capacity of the positive outliers to withstand the pressure of the group because the job of culture is to ensure that nothing changes!

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Whitaker and Gruenert provide strategies to support leaders in undertaking the challenges that surround evaluating and undertaking the challenge of recharging a culture so that everyone’s potential is reached.

I recommend this book for anyone who wishes to make the culture they envision a reality. Although titled “School Culture Rewired” and directed at school leaders, I think that this resource pertains to any organization that wants to shift its culture and harness the power of it to grow the organization in a positive way. As Gruenert and Whitaker state,

“Organizational culture is not a problem that needs to be solved; it is the way people solve problems” (163) and this book is an excellent read for all leaders who wish to make the changes necessary for all our students because in the end, it is about our students.

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