Are you a BrandED "Edtrepreneur?" The Original Lead Educator


“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”  –Steve Jobs, Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO, Apple


Entrepreneurs do what they love. They are dreamers, but they also are doers. In Adam Grant's newest book, Originals, How Non-Conformists Move the World, he shows that despite entrepreneurs out of the box image, they actually measure risk carefully. Successful entrepreneurs make things happen with their passion and their original thinking. What does this mean for educational leaders?

Some educators have had the experience of building a company and know that start-up journey. Most leaders in education don’t have that in their resume. Making something from nothing is exhilarating and frightening at the same time. Taking on an original innovation like BrandED and the journey of Brand building can be daunting for a school leader-- but maybe thrilling. Taking on an entrepreneurial mindset as a BrandED  can cast educators in a new light.


Education is dealing with image problems today according to a recent white paper, Teaching the Next Generation. As millennial students graduate from college fewer see the education profession as viable. (Hiller T. & Erickson Hatalsky, L. 2014).  They characterize it as restrictive,  and regard it as a profession that attracts average people.  This is isn’t flattering or true since there are myriad examples of creative innovative practice that fuel education that are entrepreneurial in nature. Rarely do people see past the view of a school organization beyond stereotyping of the old ivory towers. Assumptions about being average fade when BrandED thinking and the flow of commitment to sharing the school brand is taken up in an entrepreneurial educational spirit.



Skillful educators of today are starting to notice  brand strategy as an innovative leadership behavior. The digital world offers access and tools to develop creative, innovative and entrepreneurial thinking that is a cultural game changer for school leaders.  BrandED activity has that entrepreneurial feel. In today's new world, thinking like an entrepreneur is part of any organization--including schools... and even corporate circles. Google rules in the business space with its employee opportunities to be innovative and entrepreneurial. It's the expectation in their workforce to present new thinking that benefits the brand. There are many other companies who value the innovators who work in their departments and divisions. Some companies are using the term “Intrapreneurs” to suggest that original thinking is appreciated, sought after and honored incorporate settings. ( Balmaekers, H.  2012).  This leads to a thought.

"Can school leaders who love what they do  become-- “ 'Edtrepreneurs' ”?


 BrandED leaders who behave in the ways of entrepreneurs are "edtrepreneurs" (Rubin, T. 2016). They are can use original entrepreneurial thinking through using brand principles that brings measurable results to school improvement in three ways: Improved culture, performance and resourcing.

An educational leader inspired with an original, innovative approach like BrandED can tap into creativity and power start-up juices in the school organization. That’s the spirit of  BrandED “edtrepreneurship”. Despite the stresses of standardization, school leaders can experiment with creative entrepreneurial frameworks that develop a culture to innovate. Pursuing an excellent brand strategy as a goal will open the door to innovation. MIT Sloan advances a Six point framework for leaders who wish to grow such a culture for innovating with a community. Their framework includes attention to organizational values, behaviors, resources, processes, successes,and climate which are part of building a BrandED innovation. ( Roa, J. & Weintraub, J., 2013). While you wait for @E_sheninger and my own effort in this lane to hit the shelves, do a self assessment for becoming a BrandED school leader. Reflect on your entrepreneurial positioning. See yourself and those on your team as EDtrepreneurs.

Think Edtrepreneurially : What will you love about being a BrandED leader?