Book Report / November 14, 2010
by Tony Armelin, Jennifer Fleury-Lawson and Michele Sherwin
EDU 7203 – Educational Decision Making for Education Leaders
Ronald Heifetz and Marty Linsky (Heifetz, & Linsky, 2002) assert that leadership is risky business;
that to lead is to live dangerously. The central argument of the book is that it is possible to put
ourselves on the line as leaders, to respond effectively to the risks of leadership, and to live to
celebrate our efforts.
• Why and how is leadership dangerous?
• How can leaders respond to the dangers?
• How can those who lead keep their spirit alive when the going gets tough?
The book describes many perils of being a leader and offers specific strategies for overcoming these
perils. In addition, it provides many poignant real-world examples of these perils and strategies
from history, communities, education and business organizations and the author’s own career
Ronald Heifetz is the co-founder of the Center for Public leadership at Harvard University’s John F.
Kennedy School of Government. His research at Harvard focuses on how to build adaptive capacity
in societies and organizations. He is also a medical doctor.
Marty Linsky has been on the faculty of John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard since
1982, except during 1992-1995, when he was Chief Secretary and Counselor to Massachusetts
Governor William Weld. Linsky started out as politician, then as a journalist, before becoming a
Leadership is Dangerous
• When you lead people through difficult change, you challenge what people most value, their daily
habits, tools, loyalties, and way of thinking with nothing more to offer perhaps than a possibility (2002).
• Leadership is worth the risk because the goals extend beyond material gain or personal advancement
• Leadership makes the lives of people around you better, providing meaning and purpose in one’s life
The Heart of Danger
• According to Heifetz and Linsky (2002) the hope of leadership lies in the capacity to deliver disturbing
news and raise difficult questions in a way that people can absorb, prodding them to take up the
message rather than ignore it or kill the messenger (2002).
The Perils of Adaptive Change
• Leadership involves adaptive challenges that require experiments, new discoveries and adjustments in
politics, community life, business, education, and the non-profit sector (2002). Without learning new
ways, changing attitudes, values and behaviors, individuals are unable to make the adaptive leap
necessary to thrive in a new environment (2002).
Technical Versus Adaptive Challenges
• The deeper the change and the greater the amount of new learning required, the more resistance there
will be to change, and, thus the greater danger to those who lead (Heifetz & Linsky, 2002).
• People often avoid dangers of leading by treating an adaptive challenge as a technical one (2002). In
times of distress individuals look to authorities to provide direction, order and protection from the pain of
change (2002). A leader, through artful communication, trust and extraordinary presence, needs to
distinguish between technical work of routine management and the adaptive change of leadership
• The single most common source of leadership failure in politics, community life, business or the non-
profit sector is treating adaptive challenges like technical problems(2002).
• Adaptive work require leaders to engage individuals to adjust their unrealistic expectations (2002).
• The sustainability of change depends on having the people with the problem internalized the change
• People must face the challenge of adapting to a tough reality and the adaption requires giving up an
important value or a current way of life ( 2002).
Requisites of Authority
• Those in a position of authority face strong internal pressures to focus on the technical aspects of
problems. Most take pride in their ability to respond to tough questions that are thrown their way. There is
a sense of reward for bearing people’s uncertainty and being seen as competent.
• Leadership takes the capacity to stomach hostility so that you can stay connected to the organization,
community or individuals, to avoid disengaging from them and exacerbating the danger (2002).
Going Beyond Authority
The initial challenge or risk in exercising leadership is to go beyond your authority; to put your credibility and
position on the line in order to get people to tackle the problems at hand. Without challenging expectations
there is no way to escape being dominated by one’s social system and its inherent limits (Heifetz & Linsky,
At the Heart of Danger is Loss
• Exercising leadership means introducing adaptive change.
• Such change stimulates resistance because it challenges people’s habits, beliefs and values.
• It requires individuals to take a loss, experience uncertainty, even show disloyalty to people and
• Adaptive change can force people to question and redefine aspects of their identity and challenge their
sense of competence (2002).
In 1994 IBM was a corporate giant. However when markets changed, IBM did not migrate to
the Internet environment. Middle managers John Patrick and David Grosssman lead a five year
struggle inside the company to shift the outmoded values and habits of the IBM corporate
culture. They went beyond their authority and around the chain of command, putting themselves
on the line, “acting outside of the confines of their job description when progress required it’
while facing resistance and disciplinary action from senior authority(2002).
Marginalization: May present itself in the seductive guise by impressing upon you that you alone
represent an important highly valued idea. Getting marginalizing can happen to anybody exercising
leadership including authority figures on the top (2002).
- First, the person allows themselves to become identified with an issue; this role prevents
them from playing a meaningful role in other issues.
- Second, over time the person is devalued even on their own issue, because it is all people
hear you talk about.
- Third, like tokenism, an organization can welcome unusual individuals without investigating
the implications of their work to the central mission of the enterprise (2002).
Diversion: Communities and organizations will consciously or subconsciously attempt to make you
lose focus. By broadening ones’ agenda, being promoted with glamorous responsibilities,
overwhelming ones’ agenda , there seemingly is a logical reason for disrupting your game plan
The Faces of Danger
• According to Heifetz and Linsky, (2002) each organization and culture has its preferred ways to
restore equilibrium when an individual exercises leadership and upsets the balance. When people
resist adaptive work their goal is to shut down those who exercise leadership in order to preserve
what they have. Danger presents itself in four forms:
– Attackers can turn the subject of the conversation from the issue an you are advancing to one’s
character, style, or use the attack itself, as a method of neutralizing the issue.
People will criticize you when they don’t like your message. Rather than focusing on the content
or merit of your message, they find it more effective to discredit you (Heifetz & Linsky, 2002).
– The most obvious form of diverting attention is by physical attack. The spectacle of violence has
proven to be an effective way of moving people away from any underlying deeply troubling
– Assassinations such as those of Martin Luther King, Yitzhak Rabin, and Anwar Sadat are the
most extreme examples of silencing attacks as a means of stopping the voices of difficult
– Heifetz and Linsky (2002) identify that it is difficult to resist responding to misrepresentation and
personal attack. However, exercising leadership often risks having to bear these scars.
– Heifetz and Linsky (2002) view seduction as a politically charged word. It is a process by which
you lose your sense of purpose altogether and therefore get taken out of action by an initiative
likely to succeed because it has a special appeal to you. (2002).
– In general, seduction occurs when your guard is down; when defense mechanisms have been
lowered by the nature of the approach. (2002)
– One common form of seduction is the desire for the approval of your own faction .Disappointing
one’s own core supporters on an issue, creates hardships for you as a leader and them. A
leader becomes vulnerable when he gives in to the desire to enjoy continuing approval rather
than disappoint people.
Get to the Balcony
• Achieving a balcony perspective means taking yourself out of the dance in your mind, even if only for
a moment. The only way to gain a clearer view of reality and perspective of the bigger picture is to
distance yourself from the conflict. However, to affect what is happening, you must return to the dance
floor. The goal is to come as close to being in both places simultaneously viewing the dance floor and
from the balcony watching all of the action. This includes seeing your own actions objectively(2002).
• Moving from participant to observer and back again is a skill you can learn. When sitting in a meeting
practice switching roles(2002).
• Simple techniques such as pushing your chair a few inches from the meeting table after you speak
may provide some literal as well as metaphorical distance to help you detach just enough to become
an observer (2002).
• Don’t jump to a familiar conclusion, observe who and what they are contributing, watch the body
language, and how attention to one another varies by support, obstruction, or listening (2002).
Four diagnostic tasks are recommended to answer the question, “What is going on here?”(2002)
Distinguish technical from adaptive challenges
Understand the impact one’s style, and track record has on an organization. Determine the “ripeness”
(2002) of an issue when it is presented. Interpretation of prejudges as well as status, speaks directly to
how the group and individuals within it see themselves.
• Typically a group will strongly prefer the technical interpretation where the problem lies with an
individual rather than the group as a whole. This permits a straight forward solution that does not
require hard work or adaption on the part of the group (2002).
Find Out Where People Are At
Beyond the capacity to listen, this requires curiosity, especially when you think you already know what
an individual's problem is and what needs to be done. Their view may be different from yours and if you
do not understand their perspective at the start, you may be dismissed as irrelevant, insensitive, or
presumptuous. A leader’s survival and success depends on their skill at reaching a true understanding
of the varying perspectives among the factions. (Heifetz & Linsky, 2002).
Listen to the Song Beneath the Words
• Observing from the balcony is the critical first step in exercising and safeguarding leadership. This
means moving beyond people’s defensive posturing of habit to make an interpretation that gets below
• Interpretation then becomes as challenging as getting to the balcony for a “birds –eye view. In political
and organizational life it is difficult in the midst of action to step back and interrogate reality(2002).
• Interpreting people’s intentions is a necessary first step and should be accomplished through quiet
observation or with a trusted confidant. Announcing immediate interpretations aloud can provoke strong
reactions. How you voice it depends on the culture and adaptability of one’s audience (2002).
Read the Authority Figure for Clues
• When you seek to exercise leadership and initiate change within an organization or community, focus
on the words and behavior of the authority figure; they indicate the impact of your action on the
organization as a whole; examine the impact on the social system in response to your initiative and
adaptive pressures (2002).
• In general, no one in an organization will be more tuned to the levels of distress than the person in
charge because an essential part of that job is to control disequilibrium and restore order if change
efforts go to far. (2002).
• You need to move continuously from the balcony to the dance floor across time, to maintain a diagnostic
mindset on an unscripted. changing reality. Read authorities to gauge the pace and manner to push
Politicians know that in their personal and political life, the nature and quality of the connections people
have with each other is more important than almost any other factor in determining results. (Heifetz &
Partners provide protection and create alliances for you with factions other than your own. By using the
validity from other viewpoints, particularly incorporating those that differ from your own, the content of your
ideas will improve. This is critical when addressing a difficult issue or a conflict of values. Partnerships
help to build political power (2002).
Distinguish partners from allies. An ally brings the benefits of their own commitments to their own groups.
In order to use your allies effectively, you need to be aware of these commitments, and use them to help
create the change you require (2002).
Keep the Opposition Close
To survive and succeed in exercising leadership you must work as closely with your opponents as you do
with your supporters. It is crucial to understand those most likely to be upset by your agenda. Heifetz and
Linsky (2002) identify that often people ignore those who do not share their vision or passion. Those who
oppose what you are trying to accomplish are usually those with the most to lose by your success. To win
opponents over, you must realize it will cost them in terms of disloyalty to their own roots and
Accept Responsibility for Your Piece of the Mess
According to Heifetz and Linsky (2002) when you belong to an organization or community that you are
trying to lead you are part of the problem. Even if you are new or outside of the organization, you need
to identify and accept responsibility for your contributions to the current situation.
Acknowledge Their Loss – Model The Behavior
• Asking people to do adaptive work, to confront the gaps between values and behavior, and the
internal contradictions in peoples lives and communities, requires going through a period of loss.
Requesting that people leave behind something they have lived with for years or generations may
create an invitation to get rid of you (2002).
• Exercising leadership involves helping communities and organizations determine what values and
whom they are willing to sacrifice in the interest of progress(2002).
• When exercising leadership you need to name and acknowledge the loss itself and grieve and
memorialize the loss with the community or organization (2002).
• Modeling the behavior you are asking of others presents itself as an even more powerful way than
just words to acknowledge their loss. Mayor Giuliani accomplished this on September 11, 2001
• If people cannot adapt, the reality is they will be left behind.
• Those seeking to exercise leadership can find themselves circumvented in their unwillingness to take
casualties, by providing a mixed signal to their organization.
• Accepting casualties demonstrates your courage and commitment to accept the harsh reality of
losses to see the adaptive challenge through.
• Without the heart to engage in sometimes costly conflict, a leader can lose the entire organization
Orchestrate the Conflict
• Adaptive work, from biology to human culture, fundamentally requires engagement with something in
the environment lying outside our perceived boundaries.
• Deep conflicts at their root consist of differences in fervently held beliefs. Those differences
perspective are the engine of human progress.
• The challenge of leadership when trying to generate adaptive change is to work with differences,
passions, and conflicts in a way that diminishes their destructive potential and constructively
harnesses their energy.
Ways of Orchestrating the Conflict
Create a holding environment – A space formed by a network of relationships within which people can
tackle tough, sometimes divisive questions without flying apart. Enables you to direct creative energy
toward working the conflicts and containing passions that could easily boil over.
Control the temperature - Take the temperature of the group constantly. It must be managed within a
productive range of distress: raise the heat enough that people sit up, pay attention, and deal with the real
threats and challenges facing them (without some distress, there is no incentive for them to change
anything); lower the temperature to reduce counterproductive level of tension.
- Develop your own capacity for taking heat – this raises the tolerance level of the organization, because
you can’t expect the group to tolerate more distress than yourself
Orchestrate the Conflict
-Be aware of the variety of tactics available for controlling the temperature-
Raising the temperature
-Give people more responsibility than they are comfortable with; let them feel the weight of
responsibility for solving the problem;
-Protect gadflies and oddballs with unusual opinions.
Lowering the temperature
-Address the technical aspects of the problem;
-Establish a structure for the problem-solving process by breaking the
problem into parts and creating time frames, decision rules, and
clear role assignments;
-Temporarily reclaim responsibility for the tough issues;
-Employ work-avoidance mechanisms (break, party);
-Speak transcendent values so that people can be reminded of the import of their efforts and
Pace the Work – Often difficult because your own commitment and that of your enthusiasts push you
forward. Can also be ethically complicated because it can involve withholding information, if not outright
deception. Letting out information in a controlled way must be balanced against the risk of being perceived
as being deceitful or misleading.
Show Them the Future – Find ways to remind people of the orienting value – the positive vision – that
makes the current angst worthwhile. Answer every “why” question of people’s willingness to endure the
hardships that come with the journey to a better place.
Give the Work Back
Shouldering the adaptive work of others is risky. You risk becoming the issue in the eyes of many; it
follows, then, that the way to get rid of the issue is to get rid of you.
Ways of Giving Back the Work
Take the Work off Your Shoulders – By externalizing the work -- putting it back on the players -
you locate the issue in the only place where it can be resolved, among those with the problem.
Place the Work Where it Belongs –The issues need to be internalized, owned and ultimately
resolved by the relevant parties to achieve enduring progress. Sometimes this is within one
faction; other times this means getting different factions within the organization to work on the
The people with the problem go through a process together to become the people with the
Make Your Interventions Short and Simple –Tailor to the particular situation, but generally, short
and straightforward interventions are more likely to be heard and to be accepted without causing
Give the Work Back
Four types of interventions constitute the tactics of leadership:
Observations - Statements that reflect back to people their behavior or attempt to describe
current conditions. They shift the group on to the balcony to some perspective
on what they are doing. When making an observation you can either let it rest,
letting the group fill the void, or go a step further with a question or interpretation.
Asking Questions - Can have the effect of giving the work back to the group; if you
really do not know the answer and need to render an interpretation; you might
simply think it is important for people to address the issue on their own; or you
might use a question because you want to stay as much out of the line of fire as
possible while still getting the issue addressed. Be mindful of “loaded”
questions; they annoy people.
Interpretations - More useful alternative to a loaded question; Interpretations are inherently
provocative and raise the heat.
Taking Actions - Every action has an immediate effect but sends a message as well. They draw
attention, but the message and the context must be crystal clear. If not, they
are likely to distract people and displace responsibility.
Take the Heat –Exercising leadership might be understood as disappointing people at a rate that they
• You will frustrate those outside your faction;
• You will frustrate some of your closest colleagues and supporters as well;
• More heat you can take, the better off you will be in keeping issue alive and you in the game;
• Build stronger relationships by remaining respectful of their pains, while defending your
perspective without feeling you must defend yourself
Let the Issues Ripen –Common sense tells us that we can’t tackle all challenges at once.
• Available resources often dictates the agenda; we attack a problem when we have the
• Psychological readiness also determines the ability weigh priorities and take losses.
• Questions for determining psychological critical mass i.e. wide spread urgency to deal with the
Questions for determining psychological critical mass to deal with a problem (continued):
1. What other concerns occupy the people who need to be engaged? If most of the people in the
organization are handling a crisis, you may have greater difficulty getting their attention on your issue.
2.How deeply are people affected by the problem? If people to not feel the pinch of reality, they are
unlikely to feel the need to change.
3. How much do people need to learn? The lack of knowledge on an issue is almost always in direct
proportion to its lack of ripeness. A crisis can change this quickly.
4. What are the senior authority figures saying about the issue? Word/opinion of authorities often are not
enough by themselves to ripen an issue, but they always figure significantly. Formal authority confers
license and leverage to direct people’s attention.
Focus Attention on the Issue - The most obvious example of work avoidance is denial. These
mechanisms reduce the level of distress in an organization or community by deflecting attention from
the tough issues and shifting responsibility away from the people who need to change.
• “Out of sight, out of mind”
• “Swept under the carpet”
• “If it aint’ broke, don’t fix it”
• Scape goating
• Reorganization (yet again)
• Passing the buck (setting up another committee),
• Finding an external enemy
• Blaming authority,
• Character assassination
• Bodily assassination (an extreme act of work avoidance)
Manage Your Hungers
• Exercising leadership is fundamentally a personal activity. The cause challenges us intellectually,
emotionally, spiritually and physically.
• With the adrenaline pumping, we can work ourselves into believing we are somehow different, and not
subject to the normal human frailties that can defeat more ordinary mortals on ordinary missions.
• We all have hungers which are expressions of our normal human needs. But sometimes those
hungers disrupt our capacity to act wisely or purposefully.
• Every human needs some degree of power and control, affirmation and importance, as well as
intimacy and delight. When you lead, you participate in collective emotions, which then generate a host
• Invitations to accrue power over others appeals to your own sense of importance,
• Opportunities for emotional intimacy and sexual satisfaction.
Temptations that can Distort Our Hungers
Power and Control – Some leaders have a disproportionate need for control.
• You to mistake the means for an end;
• Results in you becoming vulnerable to, and an agent of, the organization’s, desire to avoid
working its contentious issues.
Manage Your Hungers
Temptations that Can Distort our Hungers (continued)
Affirmation of Importance – There are many good reasons to keep the opposition close. It is just as
important to keep a critical check on the positive feedback you receive.
• Be disciplined in accepting affirmation; it can lead to grandiosity, an inflated view of yourself/cause;
• Stay strategic and don’t’ be lulled into complacency and overconfidence by affirmation;
• The skill of managing any tendency you might have toward grandiosity goes hand in hand with
remaining mindful that people see you in your role more than they see you as a person.
Intimacy and Delight – While you are holding the walls of the pressure cooker, who is holding you?
― When you are completely exhausted from being the containing vessel, who provides you with the
place to meet your need for intimacy? Pay attention to nurturing appropriate channels of personal
intimacy and delight.
What You Can Do About Your Hungers
Managing your hungers requires knowing your vulnerabilities and taking action to compensate for them.
• Know yourself;
• Tell yourself the truth about what you need;
• Respect your hungers;
• Appropriately honor your human needs;
• Use transitional rituals to peel away your professional role so you can feel your own skin
• Rekindle the sparks by doing adaptive work at the individual level such as workshops,
investigating your loyalties, taking the best from the past, and discarding what’s expendable.
Anchor Yourself When Making Adaptive Changes
• Leaders need to distinguish between their professional role and personal role
– It is easy to confuse the role in your organization with the your role
in your personal life when you are committed and passionate about your professional role
– If you become too dependent on, or identify too closely with, your professional role, it is possible
to lose yourself in the role and become too dependent on the institution that employs you
• Benefits of Distinguishing Your Personal Self from Your Professional Self
– If you are able to perceive your personal role as separate and significant from your professional
role you are more likely to make decisions objectively
– If you are criticized for your decisions, you will be less vulnerable because you will not take the
professional criticism personally
“Distinguishing your personal role from your professional role is different than distancing yourself from
your professional role, something which isn’t recommended.” (Heifetz, & Linsky, 2002)
If you only associate your professional role with your personal role, what will you do if/when your
professional role ends?
“When you do adaptive work, you take a lot of heat and may endure a good
measure of pain and frustration”
• Suggestions to alleviate frustration when doing adaptive work:
– Share your concerns with a confidant, someone who cares about you, and listens to you
without judgment while still giving their honest opinions
– Don’t share your concerns with allies who are tied to your professional role. Although they
may share many of the same values, they cannot always be loyal to you because they have
their own self interests as their first priority.
– Establish a sacred place, a personal sanctuary, that you can use when you need to step
back and get perspective on the issues causing the frustration.
• Things to Remember:
– If you take criticism personally, you make yourself the issue instead of keeping the focus on
the actual issue
– It is easy to neglect maintaining proper levels of self-defense and self-protection
– “Your management of an attack, more than the substance of the accusation, determines your
fate” (Heifetz, & Linsky, 2002)
– “Remember, when you lead, people don’t love you or hate you…They love or hate the
positions your represent” (2002)
– “We all need anchors to keep us from being swept away by the distractions, the flood of
information, the tensions and temptations” (2002)
– Even though sacred spaces are the most important to maintain during difficult times, “too
often, under stress and pressed for time, our sources of sanctuary are the first places we
give up” (2002)
• Why do many people choose to lead when it is so difficult?
– “People find meaning by connecting with others in a way that makes life better” (Heifetz, & Linsky,
– By nature, most people want to contribute to the people and communities where they live and work
– “…leadership can give life meaning beyond the usual day-to-day stakes…” (2002)
– “…leadership allows us to connect with others in a significant way” (2002)
– Significant issues often unconsciously move people into action
“Exercising leadership is a way of giving meaning to your life
by contributing to the lives of others.” (2002)
Why do Many People Avoid the Opportunity to Lead when it is Presented?
– “People get stuck in the myth of measurement” (Heifetz, & Linsky, 2002)
• So many of our indicators for success are represented numerically, or on a scale of
sorts, that people think that everything is quantifiable
• Some of the most important actions and decisions cannot be quantified with a standard
unit of measure
• Qualities such as compassion and curiosity are examples of qualities that cannot be
measured with standard scales
• Measurement can not always tell us what is most significant to us or others in our lives
• “You cannot measure the good that you do” (2002)
• If you try to measure everything in your current professional role, you may find that your
next professional role does not recognize the standard of measure that you originally
– “People forget that the form of the contribution does not matter” (2002)
• The content, or substance, of the action is more important than the manner in which it
• Remember that there are many avenues to success
• “Whatever vehicle you use is less consequential than realizing the continual possibilities
for service that will surround you, right up until the end of your time” (2002)
Maintaining a Sacred Heart
• Self Protection
– Dangers of leadership come in many forms, from many people and places
– People isolate themselves to protect themselves from the criticisms of their leadership
• Drawbacks of Too Much Self Protection
– You risk losing innocence, curiosity, and compassion because you become cynical, arrogant,
– Negative attitudes suffocate our original motivations
– If you protect yourself too much, you will end up lowering your expectations in an attempt to
protect yourself from negative feelings like frustration
– You cannot effectively assess the situation if you have “turned off” your emotions
– Effective leaders need to be compassionate
• Questions to Consider
– “How can you continue to be authoritative unless you continue to learn?” (Heifetz, & Linsky,
– “How can you possibly guide and challenge people without the capacity to put yourself in
their shoes and imagine what they are going though?” (2002)
– “How otherwise can you identify the sources of meaning that can sustain them through the
losses of change?” (2002)
Tips for Leadership Success
– Maintain your enthusiasm and commitment when people reject your ideas, even though it
may be difficult at times
– Be patient. “Results arrive slowly.” (Heifetz, & Linsky, 2002)
– Remember to take the time to temporarily disconnect from the situation and take the
opportunity to rest before reconnecting--“We all reach our limits.” (2002)
– Keep your ears and heart open to others when trying to implement change.
– Continue to ask basic questions of yourself and the people of your organization to ensure
that you are stepping back from the situation in order to see all of the components (Get on
– Remember that compassion is necessary for success and survival
1. “The hard truth is that it is not possible to experience the rewards and joy of leadership without
experiencing the pain as well. The painful part is what holds so many people back.” (Heifetz, &
2. “The most difficult work of leadership involves learning to experience distress without numbing
3. “Leading with an open heart helps you to stay alive in your soul. It enables you to feel faithful to
whatever is true, including doubt, without fleeing, acting out, or reaching for a quick fix. Moreover,
the power of a sacred heard helps you to mobilize others to do the same—to face challenges that
demand courage, and to endure the pains of change without deceiving themselves or running
Opportunities for leadership are available to us everyday.
The work is difficult, but the rewards are infinite.
Please don’t avoid your call.
The world needs you!
Relating the Book to the Topic of the Class…
• The field of education is riddled with conflicts of philosophy, goals, methods, systems and policy.
An educational leader must not only be equipped to respond to a diverse array of challenges, but
also to be able to protect his or her own body and soul from the rough and tumble of the process.
This book offers practical advice on what it takes to sustain one’s initiative as an education leader
in the face of such adversity.
• The authors also sum up the meaning of the practical art of leadership as something that allows
us to connect with others in a significant way and to make a difference in people’s lives. In this
sense, the book can help leaders to reflect more deeply about the meaning of choosing a career
in education, and what it means to be a leader in the field.
Heifetz, R. A. , & Linsky, M. (2002). Leadership on the line. Boston, MA : Harvard Business School.