Transformative Principal
Discover the secrets of school leadership in this weekly interview podcast with top leaders in education.


Alexis Gonzales-Black is a principal designer at IDEO.

  • Holacracy - One kind of self-organization practice. Distribute authority into the hands of those that are doing the work.
  • Series of circles that are self-running startups or businesses.
  • Put the organization’s purpose above your own ego.
  • Shift to Holacracy can be challenging.
  • What are the self-advocacy skills that people need to be able to be successful?
  • Where do you have influence over these structures?
  • Managing ourselves in a really interactive way.
  • We build stories around what might happen if we take a step out of our comfort zone.
  • The story you tell yourself is so important. Storylines
  • We’re never going to get it right!
  • We are a flawed species and we need to give people the ability to try new things.
  • Allow tension to happen. Tension is inevitable.
  • Own your tension and be the one who is responsible for resolving that.
  • My job as a self-manager is to deal with that.
  • Our job title becomes a uniform we can’t take off, rather than being a value we bring to the school
  • What do others expect of me?
  • What do others need of me?
  • What are some of the roles that I can offload to someone else?
  • Role Marketplace - bring your roles to the marketplace and share the load!
  • The workforce increasingly wants autonomy, mastery, and purpose
  • Flexible approaches to budgeting and staff assignment.
  • People points.
  • It’s holding us back from experimenting, where we definitely need experimentation.
  • How to be a transformative principal? Take one piece of yourself and offer it to someone else.

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