Book Reviews

Caring Enough to Lead: Schools and the Sacred Trust

by Leonard O. Pellicer


Reviewed by Sandra Lowery
Associate Professor, Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches, Texas

Educational leaders do not merely convey knowledge. They must also have the heart and soul to lead with commitment to the moral dimensions of leadership.

In Caring Enough to Lead: Schools and the Sacred Trust, author Leonard O. Pellicer uses scenarios, vignettes, personal stories, metaphors and reflections in an easy-to-read, thoughtful manner. The reader is challenged to consider his assertion that leadership is not something that one does. Rather, it is something one becomes.

Pellicer expands the moral dimension of leadership through discussions that help readers decide what's most important to them. The question, "What do I care about?" is critical to leadership, he contends, because a leader will defend, fight for and sacrifice for things he or she most strongly believes in. In one chapter, readers are asked to examine their personal beliefs about dealing with professional colleagues.

In another chapter titled "Am I Taking Care of My Water Buffalo?" the value that different individuals contribute to an organization is presented almost as a parable.

Leadership is not just a narrow, skill-based, how-to-do recipe for success, Pellicer says, but a much broader perspective with caring at the heart of being.

(Caring Enough to Lead: Schools and the Sacred Trust by Leonard O. Pellicer, Corwin Press, 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, Calif. 91320, 1999, 126 pp., $49.95 hardcover, $21.95 softcover)