New book illustrates the 5 most important leadership skills

September 22nd, 2016

Fun, illustrated book from ed-tech expert Ann McMullan outlines essential skills for any leader

wallaby leadership

Leaders aren’t just principals, CEOs, and presidents, a new book asserts, but rather people from all walks of life benefit from leadership skills and training. That’s especially true in education where everyone from parents to teachers to students are often called upon to serve in leadership roles. But what does that entail?

The book, Life Lessons in Leadership: The Way of the Wallaby, uses a literary style similar to Spenser Johnson’s Who Moved My Cheese? to illustrate real-world lessons through the stories of engaging fictional characters. Co-authored by ed-tech pro Ann McMullan — formerly the executive director for educational technology at Klein ISD in Texas — and journalist Michael Barrett, the educational and entertaining self-help book teaches essential personal leadership skills through a clever combination of literary text targeted to adult leaders, combined with captivating, childlike stories.

Each of the book’s five short chapters focuses on an essential leadership skill and begins with McMullan’s lessons, written in prose, describing the importance of that skill. As the book flows from one chapter to another, McMullan demonstrates how each leadership skill builds on the others and how all are critical to the success of any leader.

Following McMullan’s description of each specific leadership skill, Barrett uses playful, rhyming language and joyful illustrations to share a related story featuring two lovable wallabies. Sheila and her baby daughter Josephine present examples of positive leadership skills, which are contrasted by examples of ineffective leadership. Readers can see sample pages from the book at

In her praise of the book, Kathy Hurley, the CEO of Girls Thinking Global and co-author of Real Women, Real Leaders, commented, “Ann McMullan and Michael Barrett have penned the perfect leadership book for people of all ages. Life Lessons in Leadership: The Way of the Wallaby is engaging, entertaining, and inspiring. Whether you are 8 or 88, this fun, very readable book provides a blueprint for developing the essential leadership skills needed to grow your organization and motivate everyone around you.”


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Material from a press release was used in this report.

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