Ed2S Fellows, Influential Thinkers

A Conversation with Frederick Hess

We are excited to host Frederick Hess tomorrow as the keynote speaker for our Ed2S Fellows Expo.  

Getting ready for the conversation?  

Check out this excerpt from a recent interview with Hess about his book Cage-Busting Leadership.


You write about Steve Jobs and how he encouraged his employees to do things they never dreamed possible. Unlike the private sector, schools are beholden to laws and rules. Shouldn’t the system change before great change can occur?


Hess: It’s a little bit of a chicken-and-egg type of reality. Folks in any organization, public and private, are beholden to rules and regulations. And how leaders approach their work is a functionof a mindset. Regarding mandatory class size laws, even if you think there’s a better way to configure students, laws are laws. But some of the ‘softer stuff,’ like what federal grants coordinators tell you what you are allowed to do, are much more malleable than leaders originally thought. Ask and figure out, ‘what is a smarter way to solve the problem?’ Tell the coordinator, ‘here is the problem I want to solve. Can you help me figure out how to do this in a way that’s permissable’ under the law and regulations? Then you open the door to he or she being a partner in solving the problem instead of the gatekeeper. And you are much more likely to get a constructive response.


Click here for the rest of the interview. 

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