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The Wounded Leader: How Real Leadership Emerges in Times of Crisis

The Wounded Leader: How Real Leadership Emerges in Times of Crisis

Richard H. Ackerman, Pat Maslin-Ostrowski

ISBN: 978-0-787-96110-7

Apr 2002, Jossey-Bass

192 pages

Select type: Hardcover

In Stock



As any school principal or adminstrator can tell you, the responsibilities of school leadership can take a person from inspired moments to crisis in an instant. How does a school leader with good intentions preserve a healthy sense of self in the face of a crisis which in the best of times challenges the self, and in the worst of times can lead to deep wounds of the heart? How can good leaders minimize the impact of these crises and remain open to learn and grow from these difficult experiences? These are the questions at the heart of the stories contained in The Wounded Leader.

Through compelling stories that illustrate many of the common dilemmas faced by school leaders, the authors highlight the many paths to healing, and show how sometimes the most painful experience can be an opportunity for growth.

""All leaders incur wounds. The Wounded Leader enables us to understand our wounds, learn from them....and begin to heal."" - Roland Barth, Founder of Harvard Principals' Center

""Not only is the book full of fresh ideas and new insights but it is a fun read. It is not the usual leadership book that reads much like the other leadership books but stands out as an original contribution...easily presented and scholarly without being pretentious."" - Thomas J. Sergiovanni, Center for Educational Leadership at Trinity College, San Antonio, Texas


The Authors.

Part One: Ironic Blessings.

1. To the Stars Through Adversity(Ad Astra per Aspera).

2. Anatomy of a Wound: Where Does It Hurt?

Part Two: Wounded Leaders.

3. Great Expectations.

4. Fragile Power.

5. Branded.

6. When the Bubble Bursts.

7. Trapped in a Cocoon.

8. The Trial.

9. Dancing on the Skillet.

Part Three: Looking for the Good Story.

10. Narrative Healing: Once Upon a Time.

11. What Wounding Teaches.

12. Seeking a Cure for Leadership.

Appendix A: Method of Inquiry.

Appendix B: Case Story.


""...brings to the foreground several very important ideas for the practice of school leadership..."" (, September 11, 2002)

“…A very thoughtful and considered book…”(The Occupational Psychologist, December 2002)