Going Back to the Future: A Leadership Journey for Educators

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9781607095873: Going Back to the Future: A Leadership Journey for Educators
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It was Edmund Burke, the British Statesman and philosopher, who said that those who don't know history are destined to repeat it. In this book, at least as far as educational leadership is concerned, Robert Palestini helps ensure that we do not fall into the trap of ignoring history. Dr. Palestini rightly points out that effective leaders have been utilizing the same leadership behavior for centuries. He uses this evidence to support the perennial and lasting impact of situational leadership theory which posits that no single way of leading works in all situations. Rather, appropriate leadership behavior depends on the circumstances at a given time. For centuries effective managers have been diagnosing the situation, identifying the leadership style or behavior that will be most effective, and then determining whether they can implement the required style. At the turn of the last century, the editors of Life Magazine identified the 100 leaders who they believed had the most impact of the global society during the second millennium. Using this list as a backdrop, Palestini chose ten of the twentieth century individuals on the list to explore what it was about their respective leadership behavior that allowed them to have such a significant and lasting impact on our society. When we examine the leadership behavior of the ten great leaders profiled in this book, we will most certainly find that the most effective of them operated out of all five leadership frames―the lesson learned being that if one wishes to hone one's current leadership skills or become a future leader, one can learn to do so by reflectively looking to the leaders of the past.

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About the Author:

Robert Palestini is graduate dean emeritus and professor of education at Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and founding executive director of the Educational Leadership Institute and Center for Catholic Urban Education at Saint Joseph's University. He has spent almost fifty years in various leadership positions and has written more than ten books on various aspects of leadership.

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There's no better way to learn about leadership than to study great leaders looking for insight into the habits of mind and heart that enabled them to make a difference. That's just what Robert Palestini does in Going Back to the Future, taking readers on a journey through the lives of figures as diverse, fascinating and instructive as Jane Addams, Walt Disney, Pope John Paul II, and Mao Zedong. Anyone interested in leadership and the lives of emblematic leaders should find much to like in Palestini's book. (Lee G. Bolman, Professor and Marion Bloch/Missouri Chair in Leadership, University of Missouri-Kansas City)

Robert Palestini's new book speaks to the age. As Americans worry about the character and conduct of supposed leaders in business, education, entertainment, and public affairs, they cry out for models of effective leadership that might inform and inspirethis and subsequent generations. Palestini draws on his own experience and observations as a leader in education from the primary grades to graduate studies and his close reading of history and biography to discover critical qualities effective leaders have demonstrated and must have to succeed. His reach is wide and deep in selecting various leaders from the last century or so who have exemplified, in various degrees, five frames of leadership, including, in Palestini's wise consideration, morality. Palestini's deft profiles show that effective leaders are made, not born, and that most of all that they must be learners in order to be leaders. Effective leaders, he posits, were those who understood, adapted to, and managed different situations rather thanthose who hewed only to dogma or ignored the ideas and interests of others beyond themselves. Pragmatism and principles formed the ready mix for success. The genius of Palestini's book is his common-sense approach to issues of leadership. The result is a (Randall M. Miller, Distinguished Professor of History, Saint Joseph's University)

Literature on leadership often fails to include a clear connection between theory and practice. This book details characteristics and behaviors manifested by effective leaders from the past and discusses how their behavior was informed by leadership theory. Dr. Robert Palestini describes the leadership practice of eleven great historical figures as a way to illustrate situational leadership theory, and as a guide for our own leadership behavior in today's world. I have known Bob Palestini and observed his leadership practices for a number of years, and his book demonstrates how one can become a very effective leader in his or her personal and professional life. I believe that Going Back to the Future: A Leadership Journey for Educators will prove to be an invaluable resource for leaders at various levels not only within the educational arena, but in other types of organizations as well. (Timothy R. Lannon, President, Saint Joseph's University)

Robert Palestini's new book speaks to the age. As Americans worry about the character and conduct of supposed leaders in business, education, entertainment, and public affairs, they cry out for models of effective leadership that might inform and inspire this and subsequent generations. Palestini draws on his own experience and observations as a leader in education from the primary grades to graduate studies and his close reading of history and biography to discover critical qualities effective leaders have demonstrated and must have to succeed. His reach is wide and deep in selecting various leaders from the last century or so who have exemplified, in various degrees, five frames of leadership, including, in Palestini's wise consideration, morality. Palestini's deft profiles show that effective leaders are made, not born, and that most of all they must be learners in order to be leaders. Effective leaders, he posits, were those who understood, adapted to, and managed different situations rather than those who hewed only to dogma or ignored the ideas and interests of others beyond themselves. Pragmatism and principles formed the ready mix for success. The genius of Palestini's book is his common-sense approach to issues of leadership. The result is a book that will inform and inspire and, one hopes, will encourage leaders in every sector to look at themselves honestly and act accordingly. (Randall M. Miller, Distinguished Professor of History, Saint Joseph's University)

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