Ray Tiller

Equipping Christian Schools is dedicated to assist Christian school boards, leaders and teachers to develop the Christian perspectives, values, and skills needed to pursue their mission of effective Christian education.


Dealing with Toxic Leadership - some helpful books

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​Good Boss – Bad Boss- How to be the best and learn from the worst by Robert Sutton

In Good Boss - Bad Boss, Robert Sutton reveals the actions of the best bosses and contrasts these with the mistakes of the worst, so that you can learn to become the great boss most people dream of having. The stark differences between what superb and lousy bosses do is backed up by piles of research, and Good Boss, Bad Boss blends this with true stories to contrast the best and worst moves bosses make when taking charge, making decisions and turning talk into action. If you are serious about becoming a skilled and compassionate boss, Good Boss, Bad Boss is the essential guide.  Click here for Amazon listing.

The No-Asshole Rule - Building a civilized workplace and surviving one that isn’t – by Robert Sutton

If you can overlook the rude word in the title, you will find this to be a well- researched and helpful book about how bullying behaviour in the workplace worsens morale and productivity. A rule is suggested to screen out the toxic stuff.  Sutton suggests two tests to determine toxicity: 1. After encountering the person, do people feel oppressed, humiliated or otherwise worse about themselves?  2. And, does the person target people who are less powerful than him/her?  Sutton catalogues toxic workplace behaviours in his “Dirty Dozen”: Insults, Violation of personal space, Unsolicited touching, Threats, Sarcasm, Flames, Humiliation, Shaming, Interruption, Backbiting, Glaring, Snubbing.  Click here for Amazon listing.

Taming The Abrasive Manager: How To End Unnecessary Roughness In The Workplace by Laura Crawshaw

Taming the Abrasive Manager is an ideal resource for managers, human resource professionals, coaches, and anyone who works for or with an abrasive boss. Executive coach Dr. Laura Crawshaw— known as the “Boss Whisperer” for her work in this field—shares her discoveries on how to tame the deep fears that drive abrasive managers to attack their coworkers. In her straight-shooting style, Crawshaw offers invaluable insights gained from her encounters with abrasive bosses in corporate jungles who aggressively defend against threats to their dominance in the high-risk business of survival. These insights, combined with lessons learned from employees and organizations who have successfully reined in their unmanageable bosses, provide realistic solutions that will improve the workplace for everyone.  Click here for Amazon listing.

The subtle power of spiritual abuse - Recognizing & Escaping Spiritual manipulation and False Spiritual Authority in the Church by  David Johnson  & Jeff VanVonderen

In a breakthrough book first published in 1991, the authors address the dynamics in churches that can ensnare people in legalism, guilt, and begrudging service, keeping them from the grace and joy of God's kingdom. Written for both those who feel abused and those who may be causing it, The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse shows how people get hooked into abusive systems, the impact of controlling leadership on a congregation, and how the abused believer can find rest and recovery.  Click here for Amazon listing.

Healing Spiritual Abuse – How to break free from Bad Church Experiences by David Johnson

Are you a victim of Spiritual Abuse?

•    Are you discouraged from questioning the decisions or teachings church leaders make?

•    If you do little or no volunteer work for the church, do you feel like a second-class Christian?

•    Does your pastor insist on being addressed by a title such as "Dr." or "Pastor"?

•    Do you hear many broad, vague appeals to "surrender fully," "yield completely" or "lay it all on the altar"?

•    Are public reports about various ministry activities sometimes exaggerated?

•    Do church members feel safe talking only about past victories, not present struggles?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be a victim of spiritual abuse. Many of us have gone through bad church experiences that have left us feeling like failures. Blaming ourselves, we asked for God's forgiveness, but felt distant from the church and sometimes from God too. Often, however, the fault is not ours but that of Christian leaders who abuse spiritually. How can we recognize the signs of spiritual abuse? What can we do to gain healing from the wounds we have experienced? With clarity and refreshing honesty, Ken Blue answers these questions and offers hope and healing to the victims of spiritual abuse. In addition he shows Christian leaders how to avoid abusive patterns and instead offer Christ's gospel of grace to every casualty of bad church experiences.   Click here for Amazon listing.

Heads Up - Creating a mentally healthy workplace

This booklet, prepared by Beyond Blue, in association with the Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance, is an excellent guide for business leaders and managers to help make every workplace a mentally healthy environment for all employees. It argues that employees’ mental health should be as important as their physical health and safety. Mentally healthy workplaces are those that people look forward to attending, are open to individuals’ needs, and where employees and managers are flexible and supportive of each other. The development of such workplaces depends on leadership from the top.  Click here to download the "Heads Up" booklet.

Compelling Leadership by Paul Browning 

This short book draws from Dr Browning's research on the relationship between trust and the success of a school.  He says, "Through my years of watching and learning from others, and years of personal experiences where I have made mistakes and broken relationships, it is my conviction that the best way that I can create a school that students deserve is to focus all my energies on building trust. No vision, no strategy, no change reform or restructure will be achieved without trust. No amount of coercion, persuasion or force will ever achieve the results needed. Trust is the ingredient needed to take an organization ...".   

This book is designed to be a resource for anyone wishing to develop their leadership capacity and improve their school’s learning environment. Throughout this short book you will find suggested resources, reflection questions, group discussion starters and an assessment tool that you can use to appraise your current leadership practice. I do hope that you find it both an encouragement as well as a prompt for growth.  Click here to download the e-book.

The College has greatly appreciated the very high level of educational leadership provided by Ray. His breadth of experience, understanding of educational pedagogy and practice, and wisdom have been highly valued...

Continue Reading | Jill Healey, Executive Principal, Flinders Christian Community College