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The Story behind ‘Ten Traits of Resilience’.

The Story behind Ten Traits of Resilience This month has seen the release of my second book, ‘Ten Traits of Resilience’. It has been a strange experience because five years ago, I would not have imagined writing one book on leadership yet alone a second. Despite the success of ‘Leading from the Edge’, I was […]

The Story behind Ten Traits of Resilience

This month has seen the release of my second book, ‘Ten Traits of Resilience’. It has been a strange experience because five years ago, I would not have imagined writing one book on leadership yet alone a second. Despite the success of ‘Leading from the Edge’, I was nervous as to how ‘Ten Traits’ would be received. So, I have kept pretty quiet in terms of blogging about it, but two weeks after publication date I have been really thrilled by the reviews and responses that I have seen so far. So here is the story behind it:

In the light of consistent book sales and very positive critical response of my first book, Bloomsbury Education were looking for a second volume and this time, I was a known quantity as an author. It occurred to me, that whilst my first book was about dealing with and managing stress, it was quite reactive in terms of managing the pressures of leadership. I wanted to write a book that was more pro-active. We often think of resilience as the ability to bounce back from some kind of traumatic event and that is part of it. But, I do believe that there is more to it than that.
Resilient leaders adapt and thrive when the prevailing winds are often working against them. They lead, and lead well, over a sustained period of time.

Being a leader is like riding in a hot air balloon. You need to be sufficiently high up to avoid becoming snagged on obstacles below, but not so far up that you lose touch with what is happening on the ground. Being somewhat cautious by nature, I like the idea of not having all my eggs in one basket. I like the idea of having several balloons keeping my basket afloat. These are my ten traits of resilience. They are the most common traits of the most resilient leaders I know. Each chapter of the new book represents one of those balloons or traits e.g. a clear sense of purpose, optimism and the ability to build trust.

Although the book is based in research, I am not an academic. It is practical, down to earth and ‘doable’. I share some of the things I got wrong and learned from, as well as the things I got right in nearly twenty-five years in senior leadership! Joining me along the way are, great, and thought-provoking contributions from positive psychology expert, Dr Andy Cope, Past President of the National Association of Headteachers, Kim Johnson, Ross Morrison McGill, aka @Teachertoolkit, Patrick Ottley O’Connor, Executive Principal of North Liverpool Academy, and former head and leadership coaching expert, Viv Grant.

The book seeks to demonstrate how school leaders can build an environment in which they and their staff can manage pressure, cope with change and take a confident, optimistic approach to teaching.

Thank you all, as always, for your support.

James

 

 

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