Hardwiring Excellence in Education is about leadership.

This book is for anyone who practices leadership regardless of their position in an organization. Each chapter focuses on the Nine Principles® Framework tools and tactics that build leadership skills to improve all aspects of our work and organizations.

Our goal is to create inspiring workplaces by building strength in our people so we can accelerate results. Educators are passionate people with great purpose. Our work is important and worthwhile, and we are driven to make a difference in the lives of others. This book helps leaders be at their best to achieve excellence.

Paperback: $28 | Kindle: $9.99

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  • Hardwiring Excellence in Education shows how we can develop positive workplace cultures where teams feel empowered to solve problems rather than admire them. If your team is stuck in the “been there done that and it didn’t work” loop, and they’re struggling to achieve results, Janet provides a practical path forward with this guide. The tools and tactics in this book build consistent leadership practices that help us serve others at high levels.

    Jon Malone Regional Director and Chief Executive, Northwestern Illinois Association, IL
  • Hardwiring Excellence in Education is an important and timely book. These are challenging days for our educational systems and Janet gives thoughtful descriptions of values and principles that can support and strengthen them. She also offers clear and practical tools designed to build culture and leadership at every level. She skillfully applies her own expertise with tried and tested methods from workplace development to educational environments while keeping it very real by sharing her own personal experiences throughout. Every chapter underline Janet’s intention of developing leadership in everyone by “putting people first”!

    Dr. Kim MacQueen Vice-President, Innisfree Hotels
  • There are many leadership books that discuss “what” leaders should do to move their district from good to great. In Hardwiring Excellence in Education, Janet does a beautiful job of describing the “how” of the work through success stories of organizational partners across the United States. Great leaders are always working to build a continuous improvement infrastructure that will last long after they leave their leadership position. Turning the Nine Principles Framework described in this book into a habit will weave measurable processes into the fabric of an organization and leave a legacy of positive impact.

    Nannette Johnston Studer Education Leader Coach 2016 – 2022, Kentucky Superintendent of the Year 2014
  • Hardwiring Excellence in Education is an excellent resource for leaders to use as a tool to develop a leadership team. This book outlines each of the nine principles for leaders to follow to “hardwire” behaviors that lead to organizational excellence. Each chapter explains the principle, provides action steps to move an organization forward, and concludes by providing an example of “what right looks like” in practice within educational organizations striving for excellence.

    Dr. Jennifer Nebelsick Lowery Superintendent, Tea Area School District 41-5, SD
  • Hardwiring Excellence in Education is the epitome of a solid resource to keep organizational cultures honest and in real-time, facing the complexities of a changing environment. In this book, Dr. Pilcher does an excellent job outlining each of the nine principles for leaders to uniquely follow, while also self-assessing their realities to move from complacency to a place of greatness. More importantly, Hardwiring Excellence in Education provides the necessary narratives, actions, and conceptual examples for leaders to consider while shaping and operationalizing organizational excellence. This book is simply masterful!

    Dr. Vincent June Chancellor, South Louisiana Community College, LA
  • Hardwiring Excellence in Education is a timely account for all leaders as we reestablish practices transitioning from a pandemic. Distinguished executives, like Janet, understand that building capacity in your people positions the organization to sustain excellence long term. As a superintendent, I value the connection in the text between accountability and culture. Professional courage is necessary if the standard is not to be compromised. Meade County School chases a process for preparing our students for a quality life and I am reinvigorated with this resource to help our students achieve success for years to come.

    Dr. Mark Martin
    Dr. Mark Martin Superintendent, Meade County School District, KY
  • Hardwiring Excellence in Education feels fresh and current yet drives home the important concepts which are constant in our workplace. Janet does a great job of providing examples throughout the book - so no matter where an organization is on their excellence journey, a leader can identify with the book content. Janet states, “The most successful leaders are those who lead with an improvement mindset.” - No truer words are in this book. At a time when the world needs more leaders executing with an improvement approach, she helps us understand how to apply a leadership framework of evidence-based actions that have positive and impactful outcomes for our organizations.

    Dr. Natalie Harder President, Coker University, SC
  • The success of our community depends on how well we educate our students. Our leadership team and leaders have been and will continue to be key to position Ysleta Independent School District to achieve our mission. The tools and tactics in Hardwiring Excellence in Education provide valuable resources as we continue to develop YISD leaders. That includes, hearing from our families and employees about how well we are doing and providing the highest level of service to those we serve.

    Dr. Xavier De La Torre Superintendent, Ysleta Independent School District, TX
  • Janet Pilcher is one of the most visionary improvement leaders in the field today. Her new book, Hardwiring Excellence in Education, covers all bases on how to lead an organization in a post-pandemic world. It is an easy read that offers practical and actionable advice on handling almost any situation as a leader. This book is one that I will continue to reference and read repeatedly in reflection on how I am performing as a leader. The evidence-based leadership practices aligned with the nine principles has changed my life! Every leader should read this book and share it with their team! Come join the army of improvement leaders assembling across the United States!

    Dr. Ryan Carpenter Superintendent, Estacada School District, OR
Harwiring Excellence in Education book cover

Join the Book Club

and download the introduction and Chapter 1 for free.


Twice a month on Mondays from 2-2:45 p.m. CT • Join our exclusive book club and embark on a transformative journey into educational excellence. Discover practical strategies and insightful principles that will empower you to create a culture of excellence within your educational institution. Engage in thought-provoking discussions, gain new perspectives, and collaborate with like-minded educators dedicated to enhancing student outcomes. Together, let’s inspire change and make a lasting impact on the future of education.

Introduction: Hardwiring Excellence in Education • June 12
Chapter 1: Commit to Excellence • June 26
Chapter 2: Measures That Matter • July 17
Chapter 3: Build a Culture Around Service • July 24
Chapter 4: Develop Leaders to Develop People • Aug. 7
Chapter 5: Focus on Employee Engagement • Aug. 21
Chapter 6: Be Accountable • Sept. 18
Chapter 7: Align Behaviors with Goals and Values • Sept. 25
Chapter 8: Communicate at All Levels • Oct. 9
Chapter 9: Reward and Recognize Success • Oct. 30
Summary and Reflection • Nov. 13

Hear stories of excellence.

Hear from education leaders whose stories are shared in Hardwiring Excellence in Education on the Accelerate Your Performance podcast hosted by Dr. Janet Pilcher.

About the Author

Janet Pilcher

Dr. Janet Pilcher

Janet is the founder and executive leader of Studer Education and a managing director for Huron Consulting Group. She has an extensive background advising educational institutions on strategic planning, leadership development, employee engagement and operational improvement. Janet and her team partner with education leaders to create learning organizations where people have purpose, do worthwhile work, and make a difference.

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