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This is a reflection adapting Martin's How Successful Leaders Think to the education system. Business leaders and administrators share a key character trait. It is the ability to recognize not all decisons are based on choosing one answer from two alterntives. Good leaders see the potential to take the best from the two opposing issues, combine them, and create a completely new idea. In the business world, this skill is measured in profits. In the education system, this skill is measured in the success of the students.


Martin (2007) has coined the phrase, Integrated Thinking, in his article titled, How Successful Leaders Think. Integrated thinking describes the process all good leaders undertake when making crucial decisions. In the business world, the person with final authority makes the tough decisions. It is the same practice in public schools except there is no CEO by title. The leader of the public school is the school administrator. School administrators demonstrate integrated thinking daily through their interactions with faculty and staff.

In the school setting, an administrator‘s decisions may affect the overall performance of the students and consequently the accreditation of the school. In order to make crucial decisions, administrators depend on the faculty and stakeholders to share in the decision making process by offering suggestions. These suggestions along with the administrator’s personal experience and professional knowledge provide a foundation of ideas for developing a plan or making a decision.

Martin’s Integrated Thinking model for successful leaders is a process involving information gathering and patience. Recently at a local middle school, an administrator was considering all suggestions from the math teachers for an appropriate method to review for the Standards of Learning (SOLs) tests. The teachers volunteered opinions and shared class room stories relating to attention spans, motivation, and weaknesses. A few days later, the administrator came back with a plan for the SOL Review. The plan was a novel combination of ideas and expertise from everyone. The plan, which implemented on a trial basis, encouraged revisions. Martin says, that “Integrated Thinking generates options and new solutions” (2007, p. 67).

Often suggestions divide a group into two factions, pros and cons. A skilled administrator will listen to all ideas from the group without discounting any options. Next, the administrator will take time to consider all the angles of each choice. Finally, the administrator will brainstorm to create a new scenario from all the ideas. An integrated Thinker will not accept making decisions from just one of two choices. As in the example above, the successful leader will create a completely new scenario from which to make a decision.

Martin’s Integrated Thinking process is a characteristic of successful leaders whether they are in the business world or in the educational system. In the business world, Integrated Thinkers may be the catalyst for making millions of dollars by using an innovative approach to solve an old problem. In the education system, Integrated Thinkers model for students the integrated thinking process that inspires creative and innovative approaches to solve problems!


Martin, Roger (2007). How successful leaders think. Harvard Business Review, 85.6, 60-67.

Questions & Answers

what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
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Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
what is the stm
Brian Reply
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industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
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What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
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Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
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Source:  OpenStax, Integrative thinking and school leadership. OpenStax CNX. May 23, 2008 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10535/1.1
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