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"...An engaging, user-friendly, encyclopedia of wisdom and hands-on practices. All team leaders who desire to produce results that matter will treasure this book."

~ Jackie Walsh

Best-selling author

Educator & consultant, Walsh Consulting

Leading a team means more than running meetings. It’s leading collaborative learning for continuous improvement. Like effective teachers in the classroom, skillful team leaders decide what they are aiming to achieve and make small, intentional moves to produce powerful learning outcomes for teachers and students. 

In this long-awaited follow-up to her best-selling book, The Skillful Team Leader, acclaimed educator Elisa MacDonald presents nearly 150 effective moves, organized by intention, for any educator who leads a team.

In this newly released book, you'll find strategies to lead with purpose and direction, including how to:

  • foster an inclusive environment and strengthen team trust

  • interrupt bias and cultivate diverse perspectives

  • navigate resistance and manage conflict

  • facilitate data analysis

  • lead peer observation

  • assess your team’s collaboration

Written in a practitioner-friendly format with a light tone and relatable stories, this is a must-have book for all team leaders and those who support them in your school.

Read a review.

"It's refreshing to read a book that discusses high functioning teams within the context of moving the needle on student learning. No longer do we have the luxury of defining success based on whether teams follow norms, stay on task, and get work done. Rather, this book frames how we can be intentional about impacting student learning, teacher practice, and school culture and climate through skillful team collaboration."
Diane Sweeney,  Consultant and Author of
Student-Centered Coaching
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"...written in a clear, practitioner-friendly style, this book provides team leaders with an array of

useful strategies to address common team hurdles and realize the promise of powerful collaborative learning."

~ Jim Knight

Bestselling author

Founding Partner Instructional Coaching Group

All teams face hurdles. What distinguishes skillful team leaders from less effective ones is their approach in overcoming them.


Whether you are a team leader or a trainer of team leaders, this book is an essential resource for you.

Elisa MacDonald offers a skillful approach to team leadership rooted in values, mindset, intelligence, and skill. Readers will learn from reality-based examples illustrating common team hurdles in collaboration, shared leadership, goal setting and attainment, rigorous discourse, and continuous improvement.


This practical guide features:

  • Research-based and field-tested solutions for preventing and overcoming hurdles

  • Brief follow-up sections with tips for sustaining positive change

  • Ways to work beyond the team to shape and influence school culture

  • Prompts to apply learning to your own leadership hurdles

  • A common chapter format for easy reference and flexible use

"... one of the best books I have read in a long time... opened our eyes to the way teaming works most effectively and the ways we were trying to 'team" that were ineffective... 

I just keep learning every time I pick up this book..."  

Karla Carlson, Instructional Partner

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