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Deliberate Excellence

Deliberate Excellence
Three Fundamental Strategies That Drive Educational Leadership

First Edition
  • S. Dallas Dance - President & CEO, The DDance Group; former Superintendent of Baltimore County Public Schools

Foreword by Rod Paige

January 2018 | 160 pages | Corwin

Leadership isn’t just a title

What could you do with a $1 billion budget if you had 100,000+ students and one of the largest school systems in America?  Imagining is his reality. Learn along from Dallas Dance as he shares the successful change efforts he employed to transform Baltimore Public Schools.  

Deliberate Excellence is a true story of success in a challenging school environment that delivers great insight and inspiration. Readers will be moved and changed by three key success principles:

  • Establishing equity over equality by providing exactly what individuals need to be successful
  • Understanding change, how it happens, and what one needs to make it so
  • Knowing people deeply and how that leads to accomplishment and organizational change  

Be inspired by this passion for progress and the drive to maximize latent potential in all people.

"For 20 years, Dr. Dallas Dance has been an inspiration to me as a leader. He understands that true leaders inspire others to lead, galvanize their audience, and provide practical applications to difficult situations. Regardless of the political climate, Dr. Dance has always kept students first. After reading Deliberate Excellence, educators will take away successful strategies to increase student achievement."
Dr. John B. Gordon III, Chief of Schools
Chesterfield County Public Schools, Chesterfield, VA

"Leaders are desperate for books that offer techniques from educational leaders who still practice and hone their craft from the trenches and a proven record of success. Dallas Dance offers educational leaders a unique, candid, and welcome perspective."
LaQuita Outlaw, Principal – Grades 6-8
Bay Shore Middle School, Bay Shore, NY


About the Author
Success Principle 1
Know What Your Values Are

Demonstrate a Strong Appreciation for People

Addressing Equity Takes Leadership

Addressing Equity Will Guarantee Resistance

Equity Is the Work, Not an “Add-on” to the Work

Students Want Us to Focus on Equity, Not Equality

Success Principle 2
Understand the History of the Organization

Acknowledge the Current State of the Organization

Understand the “Players” Within the Organization

Ensure People Understand What Change Means

Have an Effective Strategy to Implement Change

Success Principle 3


Communicate Openly, Honestly, and in a Timely Manner

Communicate Your Story, or Someone Else Will!

Organize Your Communication Efforts

Individualize Your Communications

Use Every Available Resource to Communicate

View Communication as a Two-Way Street

Have an Open-Door Policy

Avoiding Pitfalls
Mistake 1: Knowing All the Answers

Mistake 2: Bashing the Previous Leadership

Mistake 3: Speaking Before You Think


"Deliberate Excellence shows educational leaders how to increase agency within their organizations. This book effectively communicates the importance of engaging in challenging work to improve schools and districts, which is what the head, hand, and heart of education is all about.  I applaud Dr. Dance for his extraordinary leadership during unordinary times."

Dr. Andre D. Spencer, Superintendent
Harrison School District Two , Colorado Springs, CO
Key features
  • The focus on the 3 Key Principles makes the message concise, clear, and ready to implement.
  • Many, many tips, stories, and examples show readers that the lessons can be learned and accomplished.
  • Dallas Dance writes realistically about what works and what does not. See the Conclusion – Avoiding Pitfalls.
  • Purchasing options

    For large school/district orders, volume discounts, availability and shipping times contact customer service at 800-233-9936

    contact corwin

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    ISBN: 9781506392011
    CAD$ 39.95

    For large school/district orders, volume discounts, availability and shipping times contact customer service at 800-233-9936

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