written by the AAL team


Karl Haden & Rob Jenkins

The 9 Virtues of Exceptional Leaders: Unlocking Your Leadership Potential

Everyone has the inborn capacity to lead—it is only a matter of unlocking that potential. This book enables you to do just that, building on your natural ability and nurturing your leadership habits through specific behaviors. Throughout the book, the authors examine these habits and behaviors in detail and align them with The Nine Virtues: Humility, Honesty, Courage, Perseverance, Hope, Charity, Balance, Wisdom, and Justice. In addition, “homework exercises” at the end of each chapter—practical suggestions for developing the virtues—show you how to unlock your leadership potential. Effective leaders are not simply people who know a lot about good leadership; they are people who practice it every day. With the guidance in this book, you too can become the leader you were meant to be.

31 Days with the Virtues: Practicing the Habits of Exceptional Leaders

While the selections in this volume may be quickly read, we trust they will linger long on the mind. They are, after all, reflections. We hope the reader will take one day at a time, perhaps five to 10 minutes in the early morning or in the evening to prepare for the next day, to read and meditate on the quotation and the corresponding reflection. Each day’s reflection ends with a suggestion for practicing the relevant virtue. Whether you use our idea or think of another, the goal is always action. The virtues of exceptional leaders are habits; and like the habits of a virtuoso, they result from deliberate practice.

Perry Rettig

Battles in the Trenches: How Leaders in Academia can Learn from Elite Athletes and Coaches

Educational leaders work within a system that does not best leverage attributes of their professional employees. This book focuses on three areas: leadership, motivation, and organization, as they related to educational leadership. Each of these areas has a particular chapter devoted to it. Each chapter begins with a review of the extant literature covering the theme. 40 elite, professional, and Olympic athletes and coaches were interviewed for this book to learn their perspectives on what makes the best leaders in athletics in the areas of leadership, motivation, and organization. These interviews are subsequently interwoven into each of the three chapters outlined above. The book concludes with a chapter that pulls all these aspects together and utilizes a newly created Leadership Congruency Model.

Assuming the Mantle of Leadership: Real-Life Case Studies in Higher Education

Assuming the Mantel of Leadership is a book of real-life case studies and activities that are contextual-based within the reader’s own setting and experience. The reader is expected to respond to the cases and the activities by utilizing and reflecting upon their own institution’s policies and context. The scope of exercises is intentionally broad in order to cover situations across academic affairs, student affairs, and enrollment management.

Practicing Principals: Case Studies, In-Baskets, and Policy Analysis

As a professor of educational administration/leadership and as a former school leader, Perry Rettig found himself extremely dissatisfied with the dry, passive, and detached textbooks for such programs. He also found that the students in his programs had been disappointed, too. While traditional texts do a good job of detailing theory and conceptual models important to school leadership, these same theories and constructs are taught without any real-life and meaningful interaction. Practicing Principals is an interactive book that demands that students experience and thoughtfully analyze these theories and constructs in actual, real-life situations before they take on the job. Students, professors, school boards, professional organizations, and the administrators themselves are demanding that university programs become more authentic. With Practicing Principals, Rettig gives the novice the opportunity to practice how they would handle real-life situations and then analyze their work with their peers, their professors, and even their own building administrators.


Rob Jenkins

Building a Career in America’s Community Colleges

Consider this your field guide to a successful community college career. Learn firsthand the practical and proven techniques and how-tos for everything from getting your foot in the door, to dealing with students and colleagues, to successfully moving up through the ranks from faculty to administration. All of the tips and techniques, strategies, and practical advice come from Jenkins’ experience as an instructor and administrator. This practical primer is ideal for anyone already working in a community college and for those who are considering that career path. Throughout the book you will find highly engaging essays that are honest, humorous, and packed full of wisdom and insight. A great resource for lighting your way to a career in America’s community colleges, this insider’s guide tells what it’s really like to work in a community college and helps you answer the question, “Is a community college career right for me?”

Welcome to My Classroom

Rob Jenkins discusses his philosophy of teaching as well as practical tips and techniques for teaching to maintain student engagement and help struggling learners, as well as dealing with challenging colleagues and managing up the academic hierarchy.

Think Better, Write Better

Thinking rationally and writing clearly are two sides of the same coin, Both have tremendous value as career and life skills, in that those who do them well are more likely to be successful. Unfortunately, surveys of employers show that most people, even college graduates, are not particularly proficient at either. This book aims to address that deficit, exploring the link between thinking and writing and revealing, in accessible language, how to excel at both. The updated second edition includes new chapters on critical reading and audience analysis.

Perry Rettig

Enrollment Management: Successful Approaches with Dwindling Numbers

University leaders, both senior leadership and boards of trustees, are desperately looking for answers to enrollment concerns across the nation. This book is written by current practitioners in the field. These people live enrollment management every day; they know the field. They can talk to lay leaders from a practitioner’s perspective. Readers will enjoy reading a book that helps them to quickly understand enrollment management and how to quickly make a difference.

The Quantum University: New Knowledge Requires New Thinking

The Quantum University begins with an analysis of the current state of higher education organizational structure and leadership based on classical scientific approaches. It then focuses briefly why the classical approaches are inappropriate for human organization, such as universities. From this baseline, the book shares descriptions of quantum physics, ecology, chaos theory, and other newer sciences. These sciences provide us important lessons for how we run our universities. These new sciences are a much cleaner fit and metaphor for our institutional structures and leadership models

Shared Governance: A More Meaningful Approach in Higher Education

Shared Governance begins with the premise that today’s higher education governance practices have lost their focus and vitality. By re-examining the original suppositions of shared governance, along with an infusion of seminal democratic values and principles, a contemporary model is envisioned. From historical perspectives on shared governance, the book then takes a view of current governance models through the lens of Critical Theory and Open Systems Thinking. Political, corporate, and school system models are briefly reviewed before moving on to application to colleges and universities.

National Healthcare

Judith Albino

Oral Health in America

In this report from the National Institutes of Health, Scientific Editor and Co-director Judith Albino, PhD, and Scientific Editor and Co-director Bruce A. Dye, DDS, MPH, and numerous contributors offer a sweeping, comprehensive account of the state of oral health in America. This report also sheds new light on how people in the United States experience oral health differently, based on their age, economic status, and numerous other social and commercial determinants. And, while good oral health is vitally important to the health and well-being of everyone, the report shows that oral health care has not been, and is not, equitably available across America

Health Professions

Randy Danielsen

The Preceptor’s Handbook for Supervising Physician Assistants

The Preceptor’s Handbook for Supervising Physician Assistants is a helpful guide for clinical preceptors of physician assistant (PA) students during their educational program and for physicians who supervise PAs in their practice. This work encompasses the experience and passion of four dedicated PA educators with combined experience of over 100 years. Covering a wide variety of topics including supervision in the team environment as well as in individual practice, this handbook will provide the physician and physician assistant with the information and skills needed to be an excellent preceptor for students and a supervising clinician for graduate PAs.

Lisa Eichelberger

Understanding the Work of Nurse Theorists: A Creative Beginning

Understanding the Work of Nursing Theorists, Third Edition presents the difficult concepts of nursing theory through the use of art. While most theory texts are complex and more detailed than what is needed for students at an introductory level of theory, this text offers a different approach to teaching and learning nursing theory. Definitions and basic concepts are presented along with a brief overview of a selection of common nursing theories. The author encourages creativity through art in an effort to engage students and make them more active learners.

Other Nonfiction


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The AAL Story


The Academy for Advancing Leadership (AAL) is a health and higher education consulting firm. We work with organizational leaders to achieve their goals through strategic planning and professional development. We have helped over 150 institutions and thousands of leaders advance in their fields. Unlike other firms, our clients engage directly with accomplished and seasoned experts to achieve objectives with agility.


Celebrating Almost Two Decades in Business

Launched in 2005, AAL is a collaborative of scholars, educational specialists, and consultants providing services that help leaders in businesses, nonprofits, and academia pursue excellence, the application of knowledge, the discovery of ideas, and the quest of lifelong learning. The AAL team strives to build long-term relationships based on superior service, mutual trust, and intellectual inspiration. We focus on professional development, consulting services, and the application of assessment technologies and informatics to solve our clients' challenges. We hope to get to know you and assist with your personal, professional, and organizational growth.

N. Karl Haden, PhD

President of AAL


Advancing health and higher education.


AAL builds and strengthens your unique value through results-driven consulting and professional development.

Core Values

Scholarship through continuous learning, discovery, dissemination of knowledge, and interprofessional collaboration.

Innovation through risk-taking and disruption of the status quo.

Integrity through doing the right things for the right reasons.

Excellence through superior quality, client satisfaction, and the assessment of outcomes.

Philanthropy through volunteerism and financial contribution.

Success Stories

“I've taken quite a few leadership courses and seminars; none come close to the material involved and coordination AAL. Sprinkle a little genuine interest in seeing us succeed and well intentions and you have the best leadership mentors PERIOD.”

Dr. Khaled Hussein

BronxCare Health System

“The program was very valuable in the way that it gave us some real tools, some real opportunities and ways to evaluate ourselves and our own approaches to leadership and then gave us an opportunity of how to apply that to interprofessional education. I think that was the best … the applicability of the tools that were provided to us and how we can utilize those were just amazing. It was very valuable and an opportunity to evaluate yourself with the tools that they provided to give an introspective look into your own leadership style and what other people thought of your leadership, and that was very powerful.”

Dr. Kevin Brueilly

Wingate University Levine College of Health Sciences

“I think the program was excellent. There were many excellent sessions. They were very stimulating. They kept us moving, very thought provoking. I thought the program overall was well designed, and as I said very thought provoking. For the inaugural program, it was well put together. You could see the passion in the instructors, who were very well versed in the topics that they talked about. I’m really pleased to be a part of this, and as a social worker, I really got a great sense of how interprofessional education can be very instrumental in terms of social workers working in healthcare settings. I think this is the wave of the future, and this program will gain traction in the future. I’m just glad to be a part of it.”

Dr. Martell Teasley

University of Utah College of Social Work

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