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  • Writer's pictureMike Cobb

9 Essentials for School Leaders: BIAS TO ACTION *Reading List

In today's ever-changing VUCA landscape, leaders play a critical role in guiding their teams towards success and ensuring focus on strategic objectives. To navigate the complexities and uncertainties, leaders must encourage agency, proactive thinking and decisiveness among their teams. Embracing these qualities helps leaders and their schools stay ahead of the curve, respond effectively to challenges, and seize opportunities for organizational excellence.


A bias to action helps leaders anticipate challenges and devise preemptive strategies, preventing issues from escalating into crises. This approach also helps keep mission focus and promotes innovation, encouraging new mindsets, methods, technologies, and continuous improvement. By maintaining a bias to action, leaders can identify and capitalize on emerging trends, adapting to evolving environmental situations.


Data-Informed decision making is a crucial component of a bias to action, enabling leaders to make well-considered and timely decisions that smooth transitions during times of change. Empowering all members of the team to take ownership of their roles through a bias to action fosters investment in the collective success. This culture inspires continuous improvement, wellness and true growth.


Proactive leadership with a bias to action builds resilience, instilling confidence and adaptability to overcome challenges. It enhances student outcomes through data-informed decisions and strategy adjustments tailored to student needs. Encouraging collaboration among faculty and staff, driven by a bias to action, pools diverse perspectives for better decision-making. Visionary leadership, rooted in a bias to action, shapes a compelling future vision, motivating stakeholders and driving positive change.


Here is my reading list for books that have influenced and formed my belief in Bias to Action:

  • "The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses" by Eric Ries - This book explores the concept of lean thinking and how to act quickly on ideas and feedback to build successful ventures.


  • "Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard" by Chip Heath and Dan Heath - While mainly focused on change management, this book offers valuable insights into taking action and implementing successful changes.


  • "Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less" by Greg McKeown - This book advocates for focusing on what truly matters and taking decisive action on essential tasks and goals.


  • "Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity" by David Allen - This book offers practical techniques for organizing and prioritizing tasks, enabling individuals to take action effectively and efficiently.


  • "Outliers: The Story of Success" by Malcolm Gladwell - While not directly about bias to action, this book highlights how successful individuals and organizations take advantage of opportunities and act on unique circumstances to achieve extraordinary outcomes.


  • "Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business" by Charles Duhigg - This book explores the science of productivity and how taking decisive action can lead to better results.


  • "The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph" by Ryan Holiday - Although not solely focused on bias to action, this book emphasizes the importance of facing challenges head-on and taking action to overcome obstacles.


  • "Do the Work: Overcome Resistance and Get Out of Your Own Way" by Steven Pressfield - A short and impactful read that encourages readers to overcome procrastination and take action on their creative and professional endeavors.


  • "The Power of Positive Deviance: How Unlikely Innovators Solve the World's Toughest Problems" by Richard Pascale, Jerry Sternin, and Monique Sternin - This book explores how people who challenge the status quo and take action can create positive change in challenging situations.


Please share your thoughts on my list and what books I need to add.

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