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Leadership as Lunacy

Leadership as Lunacy
And Other Metaphors for Educational Leadership

Other Titles in:
Leadership | Reflective Practice

August 2010 | 176 pages | Corwin

"This book will challenge, enlighten, and transform. The authors invite us to re-examine our core values as educational leaders, reconsider our priorities, and place the humanity of children at the center of our work."
—Nancy Skerritt, Assistant Superintendent,Tahoma School District, Maple Valley, WA

"By their analysis, Lumby and English expose the power of language to shape meaning. By their skill, they illustrate the power of language to engage and enrich. Their work is an important contribution to how we understand and practice leadership in all fields."
—Steven R. Thompson, Coordinator, School Leadership Program, Miami University

An imaginative approach to rethinking and revitalizing your leadership practice!

Research has shown that metaphors inspire leaders to reflect on their mind-sets, behaviors, practices, and approaches, leading to new perspectives on their roles. Using such thought-provoking and unexpected metaphors as "leadership as war" and "leadership as lunacy," the authors draw readers through historical perspectives and cognitive possibilities that inspire, resolve, confuse, and provoke reflection on the state of leadership in education. This book examines the current discourse on educational leadership models, behaviors, and roles, and helps school and district leaders:

  • Understand the power of metaphor and how metaphors have been used to define leadership
  • Develop a deeper connection to their roles and their approaches
  • Initiate change in themselves and in others

By inspiring creative thinking and critical reflection, Leadership as Lunacy helps leaders achieve personal and professional growth and invigorate their professional relationships!

About the Authors
1. The Presence and Power of Metaphors
Not Just Words  
From Gilgamesh to Obama: Metaphors Communicate and Connect  
How Metaphors Work  
Why a Book About Metaphors for Educational Leaders?  
Toward a New Kind of Wisdom  
2. Leadership as Machine
Running the Factory  
Leaders Running the Machine  
Evaluating the Machine  
On Being a Machine  
The Machine Metaphor  
3. Leadership as Accounting
The Relentless Pursuit of Rationality and Waste  
Educational Hyperrationalization  
The Cheating Culture: Corrosion of the Means/Ends Accountability Continuum  
The Accounting Metaphor: A Chimera Wrapped Up as an Ideology  
4. Leadership as War
Preparing for a Board Meeting  
The Ambivalence of War Metaphors  
Military Admonitions, Educational Situations, and Contradictions  
The Way of the Warrior Is Death: Education Is Life  
5. Leadership as Sport
Sports: Language and Action  
The Little ?Closed-System? World of an Athletic Team  
The Problem of the Charismatic Coach as a Model for the CEO  
Understanding the Nature of Power  
The Sports Metaphor: An Impossible Dream  
6. Leadership as Theater
The School as Stage: What Lies Beneath?  
The School as Staged: Long Run or Repertory?  
The School as Staged: Acting Leadership  
The School as Ritual Performance  
School as Theater  
7. Leadership as Religion
The Concept of the External Supreme Being  
Towards Perfection: The Idea of Progress  
Manifestations of Religion in Management and Educational Leadership  
The Presence of ?Managementspeak? and Religious Rituals in School Practices  
Warring Metaphors  
The Power of Religious Metaphors: The Universal Versus The Dogmatic and Partisan Experience  
Learning How to Lead Outside the Command and Control Model  
8. Leadership as Lunacy
Lunacy as a Form of Toxicity  
Leaders as Lunatics  
The Lunatic Psyche  
Symptoms, Signs and Pathologies  
The Lunacy Metaphor  
9. Metaphors of Leadership
The Uses of Metaphors  
Grand Narratives  
Positive Metaphors  
So, Where to Now?  

"Lumby and English have exposed the power of language to shape meaning, engage, and enrich. Their work is an important contribution to how we understand and practice leadership in all fields."

Steven R. Thompson, Coordinator, School Leadership Program
Miami University

"This book will challenge, enlighten and transform. Ultimately, the authors invite us to re-examine our core values and place the humanity of children at the center of our work."

Nancy Skerritt, Assistant Superintendent
Tahoma School District, WA

"Authors Jacky Lumby and Fenwick English look at educational leadership through the lens of language and how metaphors have sometimes limited and stymied the true meaning of education and what educational leaders can and should be working to achieve."

Lydia Cross, Director, Graduate Academic Services Center
Georgia Southern University
NACADA Journal

Sample Materials & Chapters


Chapter 1: The Presence and Power of Metaphors

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ISBN: 9781412974271

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