New book: Embracing MESSY Leadership – How the experience of 20,000 school leaders can transform you and your school

News provided by BTS Spark on Monday 20th May 2024

Chicago and Sydney: BTS Spark – a global leadership development initiative offering coaching support to school leaders at not-for-profit prices – has released a new book, designed to equip leaders working in schools with the tools and strategies they need to excel in their roles.

Written by BTS Spark founder Rosie Connor and BTS Spark America head Alyssa Gallagher – and published by the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), the professional association for educators – Embracing MESSY Leadership draws on more than 20,000 coaching conversations with school leaders from around the world.

Each chapter is grounded in the reality of educational leadership and packed with practical resources to support school leaders as they navigate the complexities of leading schools.

Explaining how the book came about, co-author Rosie Connor says: “After coaching school leaders for nearly two decades, we realised what a rich source of data those thousands of coaching conversations held about the key challenges school leaders face, and the strategies that are successful in tackling them. Not to share those valuable insights would be totally at odds with our non-profit ethos”.

The importance of the human side of successful school leadership is also examined through the lived experiences of the school leaders who have benefited from professional leadership coaching.

“The book aims to help school leaders become more aware of how they lead through the use of MESSY Leadership strategies that are already proven to be successful” adds co-author Alyssa Gallagher. “We’re delighted by the reaction from early reviewers of the book and the invitations we’re receiving to present the findings. It’s clear we have hit on something very special, which we hope will help many more school leaders achieve their full potential”.

As renowned educator Pasi Sahlberg writes in the book’s preface: “The book you hold in your hands is a guide to proactive, collaborating, and inclusive education in a world that continues to be characterized by uncertainty, growing inequalities, and disruption. It not only offers new ways to think about leadership in times such as this, but also contributes to every school leader’s practical toolbox to tackle everyday challenges”.

Embracing MESSY Leadership is available to purchase direct from ASCD and from Amazon. It is accompanied by a free 33-page MESSY Leadership Toolkit, which supplements the practical tools and strategies covered in the book. A copy can be downloaded via this page. Details of MESSY Leadership keynotes and presentations, plus links to related webinars, podcasts and articles can be viewed here.

Ends …

Notes to editors

Author interviews and supporting photography available on request from Louise Holmes: | +44 7712 011246

About BTS Spark –

BTS Spark is the social impact education practice of BTS, a multi-award-winning global leadership consultancy. We know school leaders change lives, but that every individual and their context is different, so our coaching support is personalised to help each one feel confident, resourceful and fully capable.

We partner with schools, school districts and educational leadership institutes to support principals, school leaders and teachers to develop their skills in areas such as people leadership, giving feedback, emotional intelligence, building confidence, coaching, personal resilience, and other topics covered in our latest book, Embracing MESSY Leadership. Our curriculum outlines 33 leadership mindsets that bring about sustained improvements in practice. We can deliver this leadership development flexibly, through coaching, group coaching and workshops – enabling school leaders to access impactful, high-quality development at not-for-profit prices. Our vision is for all students and teachers to benefit from empowered, supported school leadership.

About the authors

Alyssa Gallagher, co-author

Alyssa co-leads BTS Spark America, helping American and Canadian school leaders to access leadership coaching.

Alyssa has broad-ranging experience, serving as teacher, school principal and Assistant Superintendent. Under Alyssa’s guidance, Los Altos School District became a nationally recognised leader in educational innovation, with her work featured by Forbes, Wired, The Economist, CNN and CBS’ 60 Minutes. She also served as Director of Global Leadership for the Wiseman Group. Alyssa has co-authored two books on using design thinking to improve teaching and learning.

Rosie Connor, co-author

Rosie founded BTS Spark to enable school leaders to access world-class leadership development and coaching at not-for-profit prices, and has launched hundreds of programs supporting school leaders across four continents.

Rosie has led school turnaround, worked for England’s National College for School Leadership, and facilitated the launch of Australia’s Professional Principal Standard.

Named a 2023 Most Influential Educator by The Educator, Rosie collaborates with WISE, OECD2030, and leading-edge school systems on future-focused school leadership.

About the publisher

ASCD is where educators come to learn about new instructional strategies, grow as individuals and thrive as professionals. We are the preeminent global leader of professional learning resources for all classroom teachers, instructional leaders, principals, and superintendents. For over 80 years, educators and instructional leaders have used ASCD's educator-generated, evidence-based resources, digital tools, and solutions to build teaching and learning environments to elevate education and boost student achievement.

Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of BTS Spark, on Monday 20 May, 2024. For more information subscribe and follow

Education Leadership Books Schools Principals Headteachers Leaders Mindsets Strategies Pd Collaboration Feedback Reflection Confidence Education & Human Resources
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BTS Spark

BTS Spark
07712 011246
Louise Holmes, Global Head of Marketing

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