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Lessons Learned

Lessons Learned
Shaping Relationships and the Culture of the Workplace

June 2003 | 144 pages | Corwin

"Roland S. Barth's warm and wise book deserves to be kept close at hand. Witty, entertaining, instructive, and poignant, Barth's stories will get you thinking, and the 'working rules' salted throughout the book will help you navigate the deceptive shoals and powerful tides we all have to deal with at work."
Lee G. Bolman, Marion Bloch/Missouri Chair in Leadership
University of Missouri-Kansas City
Author of Leading With Soul and Reframing the Path to School Leadership

Lessons Learned is an insightful, funny, moving look at commonalties between life at sea and life in the schoolhouse. More than any other Barth book, this one exposes Roland for what he really is—an avid sailor, loyal friend, life-long learner, and compassionate leader."
Milli Pierce, Director
The Principals' Center, Harvard Graduate School of Education

"This charming, humorous, and wise book teaches important lessons about relationships at work and at play. Once again, Barth has written a useful and invaluable book for teachers and principals alike."
Thomas J. Sergiovanni, Lillian Radford Professor of Education
Trinity University
Author of The Lifeworld of Leadership

"Barth's Lessons Learned is a powerful guide for defining the types of interpersonal relationships needed to bring about success."
Karen M. Dyer, Manager
Education Sector, Center for Creative Leadership
Author of The Intuitive Principal

In Lessons Learned, Roland S. Barth shares his often whimsical, but always thoughtful, reflections on relationships at sea and in the workplace. Drawing on his 40 years of experience on deck and in the schoolhouse, Barth shows us that these two worlds have more in common than we might expect—and that there is much to be learned about getting along with one another from both.

Our day-to-day exchanges with others are central to how we experience and perform in the workplace. Everyone wants to be a member of a high-performing team, be an effective leader, and work in an enlightened and empowering culture. Barth's seemingly simple stories of interactions among colleagues and companions provide rich, humorous, and often poignant insights into the subtlety and complexity of human relationships that shape teams and leaders. The resulting "rules" provide a practical and delightfully conversational guide to cultivating and fortifying working relationships.

Some lessons learned are obvious, others less so. Most of all, Barth provides a backdrop that invites us to reflect on our own stories so that we may better understand our own "lessons learned."

About the Author
Setting Sail
1. Have I Told You the One About...?
2. The Long Version
3. Shootin' the Breeze
4. The Fragile Ego
5. Who Am I?
6. Steer Clear
7. The Hand That Holds The Paintbrush
8. Strength or Weakness?
9. Good Though
10. Right or Wrong?
11. Held Harmless
12. On Balance
13. Loose Lips
14. Fatal Attraction
15. Going It Together
16. Captain's Orders
17. In Place
18. Inside Passage
19. Meetings at Bay
20. Skinflint Skippers
21. Both Feet In
22. Promises, Promises
23. Fair Winds
24. Can You Help Me?
Cruising Rules Glossary
Cruising Rules
Working Rules

"These marvelous saying from Barth about schooling, living, and sailing, all here happy bundled together, are as familiar and apt as they are so often forgotten in the pressureful work of schools. Read theses and live by them."

Theodore R. Sizer, Visiting Professor
Harvard Graduate School of Education

"Roland Barth goes to sea to present us with a delightful series of life’s lessons equally applicable to the high seas and to the daily workplace of landlubbers. Twenty-three 'Cruising Rules' matched with twenty-three 'Working Rules' represent the distilled wisdom from a master who has spent forty years leading and learning his way through life to the benefit of others. An invaluable guide to personal and organizational effectiveness."

Michael Fullan, Dean
OISE, University of Toronto

"With Lessons Learned, Barth unites his passion for sailing with his love for schooling. The result is a new kind of wisdom, one born from the integration of experiences with and reflections about life in all of it manifestations. This wisdom pulls us back to think anew about relationships, forgiveness, and responsibilities."

Linda Lambert, Professor Emeritus
California State University, Hayward

"Another great book by Roland Barth! This time bringing together his two passions--sailing and education. It's not only a great compilation of stories, but each one has meaning for our lives as educators. He's given us simple rules to lead us in our complex work to make schools better."

Dennis Littky
Co-Founder and Co-Director of both The Met High School in Providence, RI and The Big Picture Company

"Elegant and wise; and authentic navigational chart for leaders on the high seas of organizational life."

Brendan Croskery, Chief Superintendent
Calgary Board of Education, Alberta, Canada

"Lessons Learned provides lighthearted, pleasurable insight to the collection of rules that guide the development of wisdom from an experienced administrator, professor, and sailor."

The School Administrator, June 2004

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