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Unlocking Talent Within Every School Leader

First Edition

Foreword by Paul Bambrick-Santoyo, A Joint Publication with AASA, The School Superintendents Association

October 2021 | 264 pages | Corwin

The secret behind limitless leadership impact

Lack of mentorship and coaching is a leading reason for leader attrition in education, but it doesn’t have to be this way. If it’s true that “Everyone wins when the leader gets better,” then your community is counting on you to prioritize your own professional growth – so that YOU get better.

In Mastermind: Unlocking Talent Within Every School Leader, Daniel Bauer – highly sought-after coach and mentor to thousands of school leaders –  introduces readers to a strategic advantage relied on by business leaders since the 1930s. The mastermind is an exceptional PD model for leaders looking to level up – and if this advantage worked for people like Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford, and FDR, what could it do for you and your school? Framed around the ABCs of Powerful Professional DevelopmentTM, this book will provide school leaders with:

  • Templates and tools for starting and running successful mastermind groups
  • Protocols to encourage collaboration, dialogue, and problem solving so school leaders can work together to overcome challenges
  • Stories of impact from education mastermind participants all over the world

The question is – what would you be able to accomplish within your school if you showed up this year as the leader you were meant to be?

About the Author
Alarming Trends

What Successful People Do

The Origins of the Mastermind

My Mastermind Origin Story

What You’ll Find in This Book

Ichi-go Ichi-e

Part I
Chapter 1. The Problem With PD


Missed Opportunities

Chapter 1 Reflection Questions

Chapter 2. The Solution
Mastermind Snapshot

The Ideal Member

The Model

Chapter 2 Reflection Questions

Part II
Chapter 3. Authenticity



Chapter 3 Reflection Questions

Chapter 4. Belonging
Shared Purpose

Inclusive Environments


Chapter 4 Reflection Questions

Chapter 5. Challenge

Taking Action

Powerful Community

Chapter 5 Reflection Questions

The Only Game Worth Playing

A Brief Look Back

An Invitation

Reference List

Leading with a mastermind mindset is now more than nice, it is a necessity. In Mastermind: Unlocking Talent Within Every School Leader, Daniel Bauer shares practical tips from extensive knowledge and research on the impact of becoming a better leader and building better schools. Educators will walk away with tool sets, skill sets, and mindsets that will enhance their practices tomorrow.

Jessica Cabeen
Principal, Author, Lead With Grace, Austin, TX

A consistent theme from educational leaders is how isolating the work can be—how alone they feel. A powerful antidote to that is to join a community of peers that illuminates perspectives on education-related issues. If you’re looking for a surefire roadmap on how to engage in such conversations, look no further. Mastermind—an artful blend of research-based principles and real-world practices.

Jeff Ikler
Director, Quetico Leadership Coaching, Forest Hills, NY

Every school leader should read this book, and every school leader deserves to be in a mastermind group. Not only does Daniel Bauer outline the qualities of a great school leader, but he also defines the specific ways that we can grow together as a community of learners. At its core, this book reimagines the professional growth experience that school leaders need to be effective in their roles. A must-read!

T.J. Vari
Assistant Superintendent, Appoquinimink School District, Executive Officer at TheSchoolHouse302, Newark, DE

If you are not currently participating in a mastermind group, Daniel Bauer gives compelling reasons why you should be. He shares the necessity and importance of connecting with others in order to reach our maximum potential. The reflection questions, assessment tools, and visuals make this book an interactive learning experience. As you read, enjoy a growth opportunity at your fingertips!

Sanée Bell
Author, Be Excellent on Purpose: Intentional Strategies for Impactful Leadership, Cypress, TX

This is a must-read for educational leaders looking to transform antiquated public learning systems. Transformation starts within and around other likeminded leaders. Bauer’s approach to professional learning is a game-changer.

D'Andre J. Weaver
Superintendent, DeSoto ISD, Desoto, TX

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