My Lead Like a PIRATE Foreword

The leadership manifesto the educational world waited YEARS for!

The response to Lead Like a Pirate by Shelley Burgess and Beth Houf has been astounding! This is the 5th book in the “Like a Pirate” series and we couldn’t be prouder of the impact it is having on the lives of educational leaders everywhere. As we head into a major book study on it (Details below), I wanted to share the foreword I wrote for the book. I wouldn’t change a word!

Here it is!

“As I have crisscrossed the globe presenting the Teach Like a PIRATE program, one thing has become abundantly clear. The effectiveness of the people who trim the sails and set the course in schools can have an exponential impact on their system. Although it is true that a captain is nothing without a crew, the strength of the person holding the compass and gripping the wheel can make or break the success of the journey.

The problem is, when compared to books centered on teaching and learning, powerful books on leading are in short supply. The EduPIRATE movement has been gratifying to be a part of, but I have lost track of how many times I have been asked, “When are you going to publish a pirate book for educational leaders?” After years of development and planning, months of writing and rewriting, and many intense moments of deep personal reflection by all parties involved, I can finally answer that question.


And it is a paradigm-shifting, culture-reshaping, life-transforming manifesto of the highest order. It will change you. More importantly, implementing the treasure within will change your system and allow you to create schools that have both staff and students knocking down the doors to get in.

Much of the real power of the book comes from how Shelley and Beth, both incredible leaders in their own right, have melded their individual experiences, unique strengths and talents, and personal insights into a unified synergistic masterpiece of extraordinary clarity. You will walk away from the experience of reading this book inspired, motivated to take action, and fully prepared with the ideas, skills, and the mindset necessary to make the amazing an everyday reality on your campus.

Do you remember the passion and enthusiasm you felt when you entered this profession? Remember that aha! moment you had when you realized that learning and fun could go hand in hand? Remember how your entire day could be made just by seeing that light bulb moment of understanding on a child’s face? Remember how fulfilling it was to creatively design and then courageously implement powerful learning experiences in your class?

As a pirate leader, all of that can still be yours. And now you can create a culture where the best parts of education are the norm for your entire crew and the students you serve. This book is the compass to take you there. Enjoy the voyage!”

There it is! Pick up the book HERE on Amazon or HERE at Barnes & Noble.

Follow all the Lead Like a Pirate action at #LeadLAP on Twitter and be sure to go to to read their blogs and sign up for the mailing list. They also do INCREDIBLE PD for leadership groups and conferences.

PS: Join us for a powerful Twitter book study of Lead Like a Pirate with Jay Billy and Nili Bartley starting June 3rd! The schedule is below! Please share with the educational leaders (and future leaders) in your life!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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