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What I’m Reading Now…Execution: the Discipline of Getting Things Done

Updated: Nov 18, 2019

Execution: the Discipline of Getting Things Done reveals the core competencies of successful CEOs in the business world. The authors, Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan, share their view that great leaders are those who get things done. Strong leaders do this by being actively involved in the day-to-day processes of operations, strategic planning, and people development. They describe the “seven essential behaviors” and give examples from the businesses they have worked with. Much of the book is devoted to exploring the three core processes of execution: people, strategy, and operations, and how they interact under a skillful leader.

This book easily applies to the CEO of a charter school with just a few vocabulary adjustments. For example, where the authors discuss profits and losses, a charter school leader reads revenue and expenses. Where they say production and inventory, we say student achievement and enrollment. The business goals are expressed as profits and shareholder gains. A charter school’s success is measured in academic scores and financial stability.

I found this book to be insightful and informative. As an education leader, I understand curriculum, instructional methods, and community relations. But a charter school is a business too. This book allowed me to view school leadership with a new mind-set.

Although the last few chapters get bogged down in business-related examples, I recommend this book for charter school leaders. Especially for charter school executives who do not have experience in the business world, this book provides a basic introduction to executive leadership.

Check out the latest edition of this book, now in paperback!


Peggy Downs works with school leaders who want to leverage grants to dramatically increase funding, impact, and credibility for their schools. More info and a ton of free resources are waiting for you at: Like what you see?

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