What We’re Reading: “Putting FACES on the Data: What Great Leaders Do!”

During the school year, data is the focus of many meetings and conversations. While these meetings and conversations are important, it is easy to overemphasize the numbers and forget about the faces behind the numbers.

I recently read Putting FACES on the Data: What Great Leaders Do! by Lyn Sharratt and Michael Fullan. Similar to what is suggested in The Leader in Me book, Sharratt and Fullan encourage educators to go back to the emotional roots of education. One suggestion they present is to display student pictures alongside data. Adding this personal touch reminds everyone that while numbers are important, it is the individual student who is impacted by the decisions that may be made, based upon the data.

The authors also stress the importance of giving students ownership of their academic goals by teaching them how to set goals, track progress, discover preferred learning strategies, and celebrate accomplishments. As one of the writers on the team developing The Leader in Me, I have heard many examples of how Leader in Me Schools have succeeded in improving academic scores by teaching students to be involved in their own learning.

While data plays an important role in decisions, it is only when the emotional connection is made between the data and students that real progress takes place.

What are some of the strategies your school uses to keep the focus on students? Let me know by adding your comments below.


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Written by Judy Yauch
Judy has spent her entire career in the field of education in the roles of teacher, educational sales representative, education business co-owner, and writer. Her current position has enabled her to merge these past experiences and contribute to The Leader in Me process development since its inception. Since receiving 7 Habits training in 1998, Judy has been intrigued by the possibilities of the content. After experiencing the 7 Habits, Judy left the training with thoughts of the impact the principles could have had if she had learned them at younger age. When the opportunity came to help create The Leader in Me process and bring this content to children, Judy enthusiastically accepted the challenge. As a researcher and lead writer on the product-development team at FranklinCovey Education, Judy has turned her varied experiences in the education field and love of learning into content for The Leader in Me. Some of her contributions include the K–9 student materials, K–9 Teacher Editions, content for various training days, coaching content, The Leader in Me Online content, and numerous other facets of the process. Judy received her B.S. in emotional impairment and her M.A. in early childhood education, both from Central Michigan University. Judy lives in Milford, Michigan, with her husband Steve. She has the opportunity to see her two married children and three grandchildren often, as they all live within walking distance. Judy enjoys spending time in northern Michigan, flea markets, motorcycle rides, yoga, and long walks.  

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