I’m excited! Rowman and Littlefield Publishers and the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) released my second book, Leadership, According to Solomon, recently. This book unites my two passions - education and Bible Literacy.
Leadership, According to Solomon is not a traditional textbook. It’s a story about one school leader’s quest for wisdom. It’s a story that delineates seven qualities, according to Solomon that successful, wise leaders possess. It’s a story that reflects my imagination of perfect beginnings and endings. The characters in this story represent the best of us - who we are and who we long to be in our oscillating leadership roles.
Katy Carter, a Master Teacher and principal, aspires to become a superintendent. She remembers a favorite graduate school professor who extoled the merits of identifying and securing a mentor. So, Katy asks her superintendent, Dr. Martin, to serve as her mentor and he agrees. Through lessons provided by her mentor, Katy learns the true meaning of leadership.
Dr. Martin defines a job description for leaders, and identifies a leader for Katy to study: King Solomon - the richest, wisest king that ever lived. He introduces Katy to Solomon’s book of Proverbs, found in The Bible. These timeless truths, from America’s favorite book, equip Katy, a successful school administrator, to become a better leader. Dr. Martin shares, from his observations and from studying Solomon’s proverbs, seven qualities that wise leaders possess:
Additionally, Katy and her mentor provide examples of leaders who personify each of the seven qualities. Throughout the book, Katy reflects upon the proverbs related to each of the seven qualities. In the conclusion, Dr. Martin talks about the three types of people: the foolish, the wicked, and the wise. The reader will find a compilation of proverbs related to each of the seven qualities in the Appendix along with Reflective Questions for each section of the book.
Like Solomon, Katy is not perfect; she wants to grow into a mature and wise leader as she assumes more responsibility and seeks continual improvement through professional learning and reflection of experiences. Over time, and with guidance from her trusted mentor, she develops a clearer understanding of what is required to improve her skillset and become an enduring, wise, and “even more” successful leader.
I want to be a wise leader, don’t you? May we embrace lessons from this story that will be helpful to us as we, like Solomon, strive to solve problems with wisdom, and, therefore, help others entrusted to our care.
I dedicated the book to my favorite teachers: Mr. Wayne Higgins (Elementary), Ms. Brenda Mitchell (Middle School), and Ms. Carolyn Eck (High School). We honored each of these outstanding educators on March 10, 2018 at Childhaven (a foster home in Cullman, AL). All proceeds from the book will go to Childhaven.
Solomon said, “Blessed are those who find wisdom… for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her.” Proverbs 3:13-15
left to right: Jan is with Ms. Brenda Mitchell, Ms. Carolyn Eck and Mr. Wayne Higgins
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Jan earned her bachelor's degree in math/education from the University of North Alabama and her master's degree in math/education from the University of South Carolina. She earned her doctorate in school administration from Peabody College of Vanderbilt University. She is married to her college sweetheart, Wholey Harris. She and Wholey live in Florence, Alabama.