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  • Writer's pictureMike Cobb

9 Essentials for school Leaders: GPS (Grace, Positivity and Support) *Reading List

The GPS of Life: Navigating with Grace, Positivity, and Support


For years, I have written and talked about GPS in our lives.


It started in the mid-1990s when I started using the early GPS devices for navigation during road trips to avoid arguments with my wife, Debra. We found that they made travel more enjoyable and peaceful. Beyond that, they added comfort, security, and a bit of freedom to enjoy the trip without worrying about going off course. We would set our destination and then enjoy family car games and snacks without pulling out maps or frantically looking for the right exit.



As the years progressed, the technology evolved from overlays to turn-by-turn directions, and now we have tools like WAZE that offer precise information beyond just directions through data and crowdsourcing. On one trip as I missed an exit I had an epiphany: even when I strayed off course, the GPS simply recalculated without frustration, embodying grace and positivity. And if I had to ask for something along the way, like gas or a bathroom, it gave me the support without judgment and simply added the item to our journey.


These principles, I realized, are invaluable not only for navigation on road trips but also for life's journey. If we could all embody the GPS in our treatment of each other, the road would be smoother, more fun, and certainly get us to a great destination. By incorporating grace, positivity, and support into our interactions, especially as leaders, we can create a nurturing environment that fosters growth, resilience, and strong community bonds.


You can read some of my past blogs and/or listen to past podcasts on GPS:


2023 Blog: The GPS of Life: Navigating with Grace, Positivity, and Support


2021 Positivity on Fire Podcast with Jason Ramsden: Grace, Positivity & Support


GPS Reading List:

1. *The Power of Positive Leadership: How and Why Positive Leaders Transform Teams and Organizations and Change the World* by Jon Gordon - Discusses how positive leadership fosters success and growth.

2. *Mindset: The New Psychology of Success* by Carol S. Dweck - Explores the power of a growth mindset in achieving positive outcomes and creating a supportive learning environment.

3. *The Power of Positive Thinking* by Norman Vincent Peale - A classic that emphasizes the impact of positivity on personal and professional success.

4. *Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance* by Angela Duckworth - Delves into the importance of resilience and determination in achieving long-term goals.

5. *The Gifts of Imperfection* by Brené Brown - Encourages embracing imperfections with grace, leading to personal growth and well-being.

7. *Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts.* by Brené Brown - Explores courageous leadership and creating supportive work environments.

8. *Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action* by Simon Sinek - Highlights the importance of purpose and inspiration in leadership.

9. *Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy* by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant - Offers insights on finding strength and positivity in adversity through support from others.

10. *Rising Strong: How the Ability to Reset Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead* by Brené Brown - Focuses on resilience and the role of grace and support in overcoming challenges.

11. *The Growth Mindset Coach: A Teacher's Month-by-Month Handbook for Empowering Students to Achieve* by Annie Brock and Heather Hundley - Provides practical strategies for teachers to cultivate a growth mindset in students.

12. *The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work* by Shawn Achor - Examines the connection between happiness, positivity, and professional success, offering strategies to create a positive work environment.

13. *Educating for Character* by Thomas Lickona - Discusses the role of character education in fostering ethical and supportive communities.

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