In Imperfect Leadership: A book for leaders who know they don’t know it all, Steve Munby eloquently reflects upon and describes a leadership approach that is strong on self-awareness and positive about the importance of asking for help.
Foreword by Michael Fullan.
When asked to describe his own leadership style, Steve uses the word ‘imperfect’. This is not something he apologises for; he feels imperfect leadership should be celebrated. Too often we are given examples of leaders who are put on some kind of pedestal, lauded as superheroes who have it all worked out and are so good at what they do that nobody else can come close.
This book is the antidote to that flawed perception.
Imperfect Leadership is an honest reflection upon leadership. It is about Steve’s journey, covering his highs and lows and, ultimately, how he learned to refine and improve his leadership. It is about messy, trial-and-error, butterflies-in-the-stomach leadership and about thoughtful and invitational leadership – and the positive impact it can have.
At the heart of the book are edited highlights of the 12 keynote speeches delivered to increasingly large audiences of school leaders between 2005 and 2017. These speeches, delivered at the Seizing Success and Inspiring Leadership conferences, form the structure around which Steve’s story and insights are wrapped.
Steve’s account covers some fundamental shifts in the English education system over this 12-year period and describes how school leaders altered their leadership as this context changed. Furthermore, it delves into how his own leadership developed as his personal context changed, and explores how the notion that a leader needs to be good at all aspects of leadership is not only unrealistic, but is also bad for the mental and physical health of leaders – and will do nothing to attract new people into leadership positions.
Ultimately, Steve hopes that as you read this book you will see the value of imperfect leadership and of the positive impact it can make. For those reading it who have yet to step up into leadership, his sincere wish is that it will encourage and empower aspirational leaders rather than discourage them.
Suitable for all those in or aspiring to leadership positions in education.
Chapters include: Chapter One: Asking for Help; Chapter Two: How Radical Do I Need to Be?; Chapter Three: Collaboration – Its Joys and Challenges; Chapter Four: Being a System Leader; Chapter Five: Authentic Leadership; Chapter Six: Leadership at Times of Change; Chapter Seven: Resonant Leadership; Chapter Eight: Power and Love; Chapter Nine: Starting Over; Chapter Ten: Dark Night of the Soul; Chapter Eleven: The Long Wait for Sudden Improvement; Chapter Twelve: Ethical Leadership.