The Gestalt of Leadership: A Handbook for Leaders in Education

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9781475812688: The Gestalt of Leadership: A Handbook for Leaders in Education
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The Gestalt of Leadership is both conceptual and practical. It is a resource for those aspiring to and preparing for administration, or for personal professional growth by incumbent administrators. This book will be helpful to anyone interested in education and in providing leadership to it. The overall intent is to support those educators who work to realize the mission: to educate all children so that they all may become thoughtful, independent, successful and happy adults, ones who make positive contributions to the wellbeing of their community, their country, and their world. This book contains several concepts, theories, and components of effective and exemplary leadership. It includes the characteristics required for that leadership: leaned and innate. It then provides real-life examples to illustrate each of those qualities.

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About the Author:

Pete Lorain has held many positions in education: high school teacher, counselor, and vice principal; middle school principal; district director of high schools and middle schools, and director of personnel. While at the middle school he founded a state middle school association, served as chair to a national middle school conference, and was elected to the Board of Trustees, National Middle School Association, now Association for Middle Level Education. He was president of NMSA and chaired several projects and programs. He was worked with schools, districts, and state and national associations in school improvement, strategic planning, personnel issues, and all aspects of middle schooling.


Often times as an educational leader, I needed guidance on situations that were confounding, complex or unimaginable; other times, I sought trusted validation on difficult decisions that were made, especially those regarding personnel. If The Gestalt of Leadership had been available, I would have heavily relied on it to serve as my mentor, sage, professor, and confidante, knowing that within the contents of the book, answers would be provided in a logical manner. Today’s leaders, regardless of their titles, roles, institution types, or experience levels, will greatly benefit from the book’s practical approach to leadership, its use of authentic examples for relevancy, and broad range of leadership-related topics. I highly recommend this book to be read and reread by aspiring, new, and experienced leaders. (Vicki Denmark, retired assistant superintendent, Fulton County Schools, Atlanta, Georgia)

Pete Lorain’s Gestalt of Effective Leadership covers the role and function of effective educational leadership from the classroom to the district office and beyond. The book represents the best thinking and practices of leadership. The work is unique in that it explains the different styles of leadership in addition to the structures of management, and the decision making process. A model for analysis of leadership problems is also included. It is a one-stop shopping center for information and need –to-know steps for an individual to become an effective leader. The author presents an A to Z philosophical to application perspective, for the various functions of leadership. Examples are used from the author’s extensive background in educational leadership having been a teacher leader, building and district level administrator, president and board member of a national association. This publication is an excellent resource for a college or university class in school administration, as well as a leadership training academy for district or association leadership training. (Santo H. Pino, past president and former Interim Director of Association for Middle Level Education (AMLE formerly National Middle School Association).)
As a superintendent of schools I have read many books on leadership. However The Gestalt of Educational Leadership hits the core. Pete Lorain uses his personal and professional experiences as a highly successful site and district educational leader to craft a clear and meaningful message on what it takes to be truly effective. The author addresses the complexities and interrelationships that combine to build an individual’s capacity to lead. The book grabs your attention by focusing on the practical aspects of daily leadership. You will immediately find yourself doing a self-assessment as you breeze through the pages of this extraordinary leadership analysis. Pete Lorain hits a homerun by sharing with his audience common sense techniques and strategies that worked for him in leading people to places they are unable or unwilling to go on their own. This is a must read for new, aspiring and experienced 21st century school leaders taking their organizations to the next level. (Marc Ecker, Ph.D., superintendent, Fountain Valley School District, adjunct professor, California State University, Fullerton, Educational Leadership, president, Association of California School Administrators, 2013-14, former president, AMLE)

The Gestalt of Leadership is a valuable resource for all practicing and aspiring educational leaders. This succinct and well-written book provides an insightful examination of the key aspects of leadership while providing readers with concrete examples of behaviors that exemplify visionary and productive educational leadership. Chapters focus on important topics such as the definition and beliefs of educational leadership, decision making, the elements of effective leadership, and the interaction of these and related topics. The rich and extensive leadership experience of the author and the educational leadership knowledge base are reflected in the book. Suggestions and recommendation for being a wise, productive, and effective leader abound. This manual should be a part of every educational leader’s professional library. (C. Kenneth McEwin, professor emeritus, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC)

In the constantly changing landscape of American education, one thing that has not fluctuated at all has been the need for outstanding leadership. I have noticed in my leadership roles from principal to superintendent that there is nothing that replaces good judgment in the development of exceptional leaders. Pete Lorain in The Gestalt of Leadership paints a great picture of leadership in action and those collective processes (judgments) leaders engage in to invoke their role as leaders. I have yet to read a better depiction of “real life” leadership in action and his portrayal of how everything does affect everything. This is not a typical textbook but rather a “story” about leadership, one in which you cannot help but place yourself in the many reality based scenarios. Whether you are an experienced administrator or in the onset of educational leadership, The Gestalt of Leadership will provide one not only the background but also the insight into what exemplary leadership looks like in action. (Ed Vittadi, principal, Saint Albert the Great Catholic School, former principal and former superintendent, North Royalton School District, Ohio)

Taking a fresh approach, Pete Lorain offers his remarkably insightful and holistic view of educational leadership. In this impressive and highly accessible book, he explains the multifaceted nature of leadership, provides vivid examples, and shares his honest and sage advice in a straightforward yet humble manner. Anyone engaged or interested in the development of leadership will treasure this book because it lays out clearly the central principles of being a leader in an informative, convincing, and sincere manner. (Micki M. Caskey, Ph.D., associate dean for academic affairs and professor, Graduate School of Education, Portland State University)

As a friend, mentor, and advisor, Pete has been instrumental in helping me to improve and expand my skillset as an educational leader. In this book, The Gestalt of Leadership, Pete shares the tenants of leadership that go far beyond the basics and speaks to those skills that separate mere managers from emerging leaders. I would highly recommend this book to those educational leaders who seek to enact lasting change in their organization. The Manual of Leadership in Education will cause you to reflect on the interconnected nature of leadership and the decisions that impact your effectiveness. A valuable resource for those who seek to make a difference in the field of education. (Mike Scott, superintendent, Hillsboro School District, Hillsboro, Oregon)

This book contains several concepts, theories, and components of effective and exemplary leadership. It includes the characteristics required for that leadership: leaned and innate. It then provides real-life examples to illustrate each of those concepts, theories, and components.

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9781475812695: The Gestalt of Leadership: A Handbook for Leaders in Education

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ISBN 10:  1475812698 ISBN 13:  9781475812695
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2014

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Lorain, Peter
Published by Rowman & Littlefield Publisher (2014)
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