The secret of effective leadership can elude even the best principals. In The Secret Solution, How One Principal Discovered the Path to Success, a principal travels a journey through four distinct leadership styles as he works to transform a school. On this journey, he encounters characters familiar to all of us who have worked in education, including superstars, fence-sitters, and even bullies. This quickreading parable provides practical guidance for both current and future administrators, immediately relevant in applying knowledge to practice. Readers will quickly recognize staff from their own buildings who come to life in this engaging story.

TODD WHITAKER is a professor of Educational Leadership at Indiana State University in Terre Haute, Indiana. He is a former teacher and principal and has written over thirty books and has presented to hundreds of thousands of educators around the world.

RYAN DONLAN is an assistant professor of Educational Leadership Department at Indiana State University in Terre Haute, Indiana. He is a former teacher, principal, and superintendent, and is an authority and trainer in promoting positive human relations, leadership development, and school improvement.

SAM MILLER is superintendent of the Solon Community School District in Solon, Iowa. He is a former teacher, coach, and principal, and serves as a consultant in leadership development and school improvement.

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Gamesmanship for Teachers

“Finally someone understands that it is not only foolish to legislate academic excellence, it is impossible.”— Robert D. Gulash, dean of students, Caseville Public School

“Ryan Donlan's perspective on teaching and education is provocative, even though his message may seem irreverent in places. He will challenge what you believe the state of affairs should be. He is impassioned, borne by his professional experiences. Through his opinions, he encourages the reader to consider carefully how things are and what should change.”— Michael B. Gilbert, professor and chairperson, Department of Educational Leadership, Central Michigan University

“With this book, Ryan Donlan has done what should be done on a daily basis for the veteran teacher. Too often these teachers are left to survive on their own—"they know what they are supposed to do." The veteran teacher needs support and praise for a job well done. As administrators, educators, and society as a whole, we are not positive enough and do not praise others for a job well done. Donlan has captured the essence of life for the veteran teacher. His book lends encouragement to those teachers and shows them how they can support themselves if nothing else. It is those teachers that make all other professions possible.”— Dale L. Moore, principal, Marlette High School, MI.

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The Secret Solution

​Uncommon Sense is Half the Work
Ryan A. Donlan​

How One Principal Can Lead Path the Right-Brained Way

Ryan Donlan & Steven Gruenert


Minds Unleashed

How One Principal Discovered the Path to Success

Todd Whitaker, Sam Miller and Ryan Donlan

Principals: Educational leadership continues to be the most powerful key to ensuring the successful future of all other professions, and thus, the quality of lives for people around the world. This book, your weekly reader, will allow you to have the conversations to help faculty and staff, to help kids. More importantly, these readings invite your thinking to go to different places in your mind as you search for meaning. They are designed to cause new thinking about some familiar issues, and of course, creativity in their solutions. It is this book’s intent to offer solutions for leaders at all levels to do things right, and to do what’s right, or better said, to do things “right-brained.”

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