Disruptive Leadership

Be a Disruptive School Leader...in a Good Way!


By definition, the word disruptive can look extreme. It's defined as troublesome and unruly.

The word has other meanings that fit an educator's vision of school improvement. Disruptive means innovative and ground-breaking. Think of being the Uber of Education. See a gap and fill the need in a new and engaged way for your audience. Taking on a BrandEd leadership mindset makes a school leader disruptive. It gives people something to talk about... In a good way.

Way before the internet, I was part of the National Diffusion Network of the Department of Education. Without a website, without social media, we created disruptive, innovative grassroots practice across the nation. Of course, we didn't call it disruptive. Instructive, maybe!  It got me hooked on innovation. Today, in the 2.0 world, I've searched education #'s and Twitter profiles and google alerts looking for school leaders who are innovative.

Leaders like Patrick Miller @pmillerscdsb work toward innovative disruption by leading with authenticity. His content, written and curated, on Twitter inspires me, although I've never met him. I know there are many more leaders I haven't found yet that are doing the same, giving people the opportunity to create in disruptive ways , inspiring their teams to create better schools with the wide berth needed for innovative organizational thinking. I'd like to hear from them and invite their voices into the disruptive leader storytelling space . 

Outside the schoolhouse,positive disruptive influence surrounds schools in our new "Sharing Economy". We see the benefit it brings in a fast paced world of change. The Sharing Economy, also commonly referred to as “collaborative consumption”, encompasses transactions in which providers and consumers share resources and services from housing, to vehicles, to services and more. The car sharing models of Zipcar, the ride sharing of UBER are  disruptors. The entertainment giant, Netflix disrupted how we view TV and film. The Sharing Economy has come to education as well through disruptive platforms like Teachers Pay Teachers.  Sharing through digital channels in powerful exchanges with a variety of stakeholders creates a “Sharing Economy” in schools.

Individual school leaders are supporting the growth of a "Shared Economy". "MOVE PEOPLE", as Uber says as it positions itself as a disruptive brand. You, too, can spread the bug for being "disruptive' and innovative in an educator's Sharing Economy. 

Share your thoughts and your disruptive brand story with me. 


Be An Original: Adam Grant and the Power of Disruptive School Leadership

“Research shows that GIVERS get extra credit when they offer ideas that challenge the status quo.”

Adam M. Grant, Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success



In his last book, Adam Grant suggested that GIVERS get extra credit.


His book, “Give and Take” was a game changer for me and introduced me to the value of applied psychology in developing my own leadership capacity. I see that this “extra credit” is powerfully evident in Adam's new book, which is in pre-order called, “Originals--How Non-Conformists Move the World”. http://www.adamgrant.net/#!originals/c1ckh


Don’t know Adam Grant? Please let me share this “rock star” original mind with you as you look to buying the next fundamentally life-changing personal and professional read for yourself.  This book promises to be a must read for the New Year, which is fast approaching.


When I met Adam Grant through my UPenn connection, I saw immediately that although he was informing the top corporations of the world about the value of Giving in creating a connected and powerful organization, his work offered value to school leaders. Adam walks his talk and was professionally giving to me, opening his network of amazing colleagues who inspire me with their thinking as I write my own book.  Adam Grant has a unique value proposition, including his message of authenticity, essential in building brand awareness for school leaders.  He’s a Wharton School of Business professor in applied psychology and Give and Take is a best- selling book that offers proven evidence of the result of using the simple act of Giving as a form of authentic disruption for innovating the tough world of business. He knows that innovative ideas challenge the status quo and result in “extra credit” for leaders that will bring positive result.


 My take along with my colleague, @E_Sheninger in our upcoming book, BrandED, is that an idea that goes beyond status quo—an idea like  BrandED-- will bring needed disruption to schools that have lived  the “old school way” of communicating long enough. BrandED will ask leaders to think differently about bringing business principles into their school leadership wheelhouse. It’s a big move to transparency when educators leave the Ivory Tower and become transparent through brand, and Adam is a great guide for educators who are willing to be disruptive in order to create needed change that allows us to move beyond static old ways.

Adam's colleague, Malcom Gladwell, (anyone not heard of him!?) has a view  of “Originals” that describes Adam as one of HIS favorite thinkers. I'd say that's enough said to read this---and  when we can get our hands on it?  Can we form a book club?  The time is now for you,school leader, to know him.  Adam Grant is moving to the next level of thinking beyond developing more efficient and effective organizations through models of “Giving Behavior. He’s heading in the direction of greater cultural change, and I’m suggesting we join Sheryl Sandberg, Arianna Huffington and Richard Branson in his community of learners. Where Adam thinks, innovation happens…and I want to be “with him” as he thinks. Can’t wait to find happiness as a BrandED leader with Adam Grant’s thinking in my  brand corner. As his work will show you, there’s a science to being a BrandEd leader and his work is part of the evolution of your brand as well as your school community’s brand essence.

My Cyber Monday purchase? Originals, of course!