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Decide to Lead

Building Capacity and Leveraging Change through Decision-Making

Mary B. Herrmann

Decide to Lead explores decision-making and all its complexity. Decision-making is, and has always been at the heart and soul of leadership activity. Leaders are responsible and held accountable for the decisions that are made within the organization, whether they personally make them or not. Enhanced with resources and questions for further reflection, Decide to Lead examines decision-making through the lens of a leader. The book addresses what leaders know: knowledge of self, knowledge of others, and knowledge of one’s community and context; how leaders think, with a focus on cognitive systems and the forces that influence decision-making; and what leaders do to set up the conditions for effective decision-making in their organizations. This includes leader actions such as building capacity, designing a decision friendly organizational architecture and effectively employing decision-making models and processes.
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Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 106Size: 6 x 9
978-1-4758-1304-3 • Hardback • January 2017 • $40.00 • (£24.95)
978-1-4758-1305-0 • Paperback • January 2017 • $20.00 • (£13.95)
978-1-4758-1306-7 • eBook • January 2017 • $19.00 • (£12.95)
Mary B. Herrmann is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Education Policy, Organization and Leadership Department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Mary has had extensive building and district level leadership experience including serving as superintendent of three Mid-western school districts.


Section 1: Know
Chapter 1 In Search of Self
Chapter 2 Motivation, Trust and Engagement
Chapter 3 Community and Context
Section 2:Think
Chapter 4 Forces that Shape our Decisions
Chapter 5 Frames that Guide Decision-making
Section 3:
Chapter 6 Building Capacity: Teams and Networks
Chapter 7 Building the Architecture for Decision-making
Chapter 8 Deciding How to Decide: Employing Different Models.
Chapter 9 Defining the Problem
Chapter 10 Enacting Decisions and Leveraging Impact.
I found Mary Herrmann’s Decide to Lead: Building Capacity and Leveraging Change through Decision-Making to be an exceptional and insightful book. I would encourage all superintendents and those aspiring to be superintendents to thoughtfully read this book. The importance of the intentionality of decision-making cannot be underestimated in the modern superintendency.
David R. Schuler, PhD, superintendent, High School District 214; past president of AASA,The School Superintendents Association

As school administrators, we are faced with making hundreds of decisions a day. By understanding the complexity of decision-making and learning specific strategies to improve our skills, we have an improved opportunity to support the students and teachers we serve. Dr. Herrmann provides us with a road map towards improvement in a practical and realistic manner from which we will all benefit. I highly endorse her efforts to make us all better leaders!
Diane Rutledge, PhD, executive director of the Large Unit District Association, Springfield, Illinois

A complete guide to the complexity of one of the most important tasks of leadership: decision making. Readers will experience the importance of knowing one's self, understanding one’s communities and environments, defining the context for problem solving, and embracing the thoughtful implementation of the decision. Decide to Lead provides guidance to new and experienced leaders in all arenas. A true road map in decision-making.
Keith Marty, PhD, superintendent of the Parkway School District, Chesterfield, Missouri