Quotes from Reviews and Commentary

“Jentz and Wofford offer us the hope of a new authority in leadership. Through their case studies and their commentary on them, they show us a conservative respect for the importance of authority that makes decisions and sets limits as well as a radical advocacy of the development of interpersonal skills in leaders that will help to bring out the human and emotional best in others.”
NASSP Bulletin, 1979

“This book exemplifies the case study at its best. Real-life encounters…are vividly drawn and then expertly laid out in accompanying commentaries…I found myself thoroughly engrossed in each administrator’s dilemma and eager for the commentary that would unravel the conflict…”
Phil Delta Kappan, April 1980

They (the authors) “…guide us to a deeper understanding of leadership…with intelligence, skill and humanity…”
The Review of Education, 1980

“The increasingly complex cases…are vivid and compelling…I believe this is a timely and important book on the increasingly critical subject of personal and professional growth.”
The Executive Educator, February 1980

“Barry Jentz and Joan Wofford accomplish a masterful, concise, and precise formulation of our problems in education. I hope that practitioners throughout the country will take a chance and read the book…”
The National Elementary Principal, April 1980

“This is a modest, careful…powerful book.”
Donald A. Schon, Ford Professor of Urban Affairs and Education, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1980

“…the book has considerable strength in its thorough grounding in work with actual leaders. The principles developed should be applicable to leadership in other kinds of organizations.”
Contemporary Psychology, September 1981

“The final case in Leadership and Learning is a remarkable forty-page account of a principal’s successful confrontation with a teacher’s serious problems…This case is an exemplary combination of theory and practice and should be read by all school leaders.”
Harvard Educational Review, February 1982

“I found this book extremely useful…(it) provides both well-written cases and an effective teacher in the form of the commentaries.”
Henry M. Morgan, Director, MBA Program, Boston University School of Management, 1982

“I returned home (to Singapore) and continued my work as a school principal. I am now working in the education department (we call it the Ministry of Education), and I’m looking after 95 schools. I introduced your book Leadership and Learning to the principals as one of the books they read for book-sharing during their study group meetings. They found the book really valuable in helping them develop self-awareness, an understanding of relationships, empathy, and patience. I remember the impact that the book had on me when I first read it. I have read the book many times over and every time I read it, I gain new insights. Thank you for the wonderful narration and learning nuggets that you have given us in the book.”
Chee Wah Sum, Ministry of Education, Singapore, 2000

“…I do recommend…your Leadership and Learning book, where you so graphically portray the personal growth and interpersonal skills that are necessary to make an EntryPlan approach work."
Connie Goldman, Formerly Superintendent of Schools in Gorham and in Cape Elizabeth, ME, 2005

“I've been curious why you haven't republished and updated Leadership and Learning: Personal Change in a Professional Setting? I have (and have had) so many principals and central office administrators who would benefit greatly from reading those marvelous case stories. They are so readable and so useful! A new edition would get some play out there for sure!”
Judith Hart Howard, Ed.D. Superintendent, Niagara Wheatfield C.S.D., Niagara Falls, NY, 2005

The Second Edition of Leadership and Learning contains “Embracing Confusion,” an article about transformational learning and leadership written with Jerome Murphy and published in the January 2005 issue of Phi Delta Kappan, where it received a large and universally positive response, as illustrated below:

“I greatly enjoyed reading ‘Embracing Confusion: What Leaders Do When They Don’t Know What to Do’ (January), by Barry Jentz and Jerome Murphy. I was a school board chair for five years. I understand why a superintendent would be reluctant to share confusion publicly. And I know the challenges that confront our leaders in education today. But honest assessment is a great starting point for solving problems. In addition to being a lieutenant governor, I’m also a commercial airline pilot. Pilots are trained to share their confusion in order to better solve problems; politicians rarely do so. Thanks for the article.”
Brian Dubie, Lieutenant Governor, Montpelier, VT (Phi Delta Kappan, Backtalk, 2005)

“As a forty-year educator and currently consulting for the Parma City Schools in Parma, Ohio, I was pleased to be attending an upper level cabinet meeting when the Deputy Superintendent shared the Jentz/Murphy article with the group. The article created discussion about how everyone feels inadequate at times and the great fear of coming to a meeting and have everyone stand up and say at once ‘You have no idea what you are doing.’ Not only did the article share that these feelings may be universal among leaders, but it discussed concrete ways of addressing the confusion, chaos and fear all of us face trying to lead public education…"
Ray Sposet, Research Strategist, Parma City Schools, Parma, OH (Phi Delta Kappan, Backtalk, 2005)

“I thought the article, ‘Embracing Confusion: What Leaders Do When They Don't Know What to Do’ was right on the money. Jentz and Murphy gave voice to something that too often remains unexpressed—the fact that administrators, who are supposed to have all the answers, are really no different from those they supervise, except in terms of their roles and responsibilities. All of us in leadership roles would do well to be more open about those issues about which we need greater clarity or more information, rather than pretending to have answers we don’t possess. I certainly plan to use this article with the administrative staff at my school as a means of encouraging the kind of openness that Jentz suggests.”
Bruce L. Dennis, Head of School, Packer Collegiate Institute, Brooklyn, NY

“As a long-term organizational development consultant and executive coach, I was delighted to read Jentz and Murphy's excellent piece on ‘Embracing Confusion.’ They have made a real contribution to the literature by talking about a phenomenon we all know and experience but rarely talk about. Their structure for dealing with confusion is also quite helpful and deserves the widest audience possible. Thanks for publishing this fine piece.”
David Coleman, Ph.D., Transition Management Services, Takoma Park, MD

“ ‘Embracing Confusion,’ by Barry Jentz and Jerome Murphy (January) provides both a powerful statement about how leaders can enlist the assistance and support of those they supervise and an accurate description of the situations so many school leaders face regularly. To admit ‘confusion’ should not communicate weakness or suggest inadequacy. To admit confusion clears the air, asks for help in approaching complex issues, and leads to more creative solutions. At a time when ‘collaboration’ has become the watchword for the successful administrator, this article underscores the need for candor and flexibility of thought. I plan to use the article with the department heads at my school at the next opportunity.”
John Klemme, Principal, Scarsdale High School, Scarsdale, NY (Phi Delta Kappan, Backtalk, 2005)

“I am writing to thank you for publishing the article by Barry Jentz on how leaders handle confusion. My own doctoral research was on how teachers and students interact when students are confused while learning -- my basic premise was that confusion is an underutilized classroom resource, something to be capitalized on rather than feared or avoided. Jentz makes a similar argument about organizational leaders. As a leader myself now in a non-profit, which works with school leaders, I found Jentz's article to be a very useful way to frame confusion, and a way to encourage leaders to embrace and channel it as a part of their own learning, and the organizational leadership.”
Suzanne Plaut, Ed.D., Vice President of Education, Public Education and Business Coalition, Denver, CO

“Excellent piece in Kappan! I really enjoyed ‘Embracing Confusion,’ and I am getting warmed up to summarize it in the Marshall Memo tomorrow.”
Kim Marshall, The Marshall Memo, Boston, MA

“I write about the article entitled ‘Embracing Confusion: What Leaders Do When They Don’t Know What to Do,’ by Barry Jentz and Jerome Murphy. Could anything be more appropriate for the times? Yes, we need to read in print that acknowledging our confusion is a sign of strength and not the reverse. That opens the door for others to have a say in the future direction of any organization. I love the ‘Oh, No Moment’ idea…”
Leticia Pena, Ed.D., Professor of Management, College of Business Administration, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

“As the director of a charter school who came on the scene five years into my school’s charter, I faced a number of challenges and confusions. ‘Embracing Confusion,’ by Barry Jentz and Jerome Murphy (January), gave me a great perspective on the challenging work of running a complex organization, such as a school. Blending business/leadership thinking with the work of running a school is appreciated and useful and much needed in our top education journals.”
Walter Landberg, Director, Murdoch Middle Charter Public School, Chelmsford, MA

“…The dilemma the authors described is a basic dilemma of human nature: how to turn our self-doubt from a liability to an asset. If we could all do what the article describes, how liberating it would be and how many train wrecks could be avoided – in our classrooms, in administrative offices, in the halls of Congress, and even in the White House!”
Carolyn Coughlin, Organizational Consultant and Executive Coach, Hightstown, NJ (Phi Delta Kappan, Backtalk, 2005)

© 2007 Leadership and Learning, Inc.