ISM’s 2016 Study on Executive Leadership: The Relationship Between School Success and the Functioning of the Head of School


$156 Non-Member

[$143.00 Gold Member]

Leadership matters.

ISM has long asserted that a key factor of school success is the ability of the Head of School. Specifically his or her ability to translate resources (financial, human, intellectual, etc.) into a healthy school culture that gets ever better at delivering the school’s mission.

ISM’s Stability Marker™ #3 is “Executive Leadership,” is one of the six first-tier items in our Stability Marker assessment tool that helps schools measure and chart their course for greater stability and success in mission-delivery. ISM, up to this point, examined the impact of head leadership only from the point of view of faculty culture. We have recently conducted a study to look at the potential other contributors to the success of executive leadership by exploring Head characteristics, measures of school success/performance, as well as faculty culture.

We'll cover these topics and more:

  • Share with you the results of our recent study on Executive Leadership
  • Unpack our conclusions and specify the implications for schools and Heads of School

Run Time:
Total run time is 60 minutes. The presentation will run approximately 45 minutes with 15 minutes designated for Q&A.

Who Should Attend:All school leaders, particularly School Heads and Board Chairs.

staff photo bryan smyth

Bryan Smyth, Ph.D.

ISM Consultant | Director of Research


Bryan’s central purpose is to help students flourish. He believes that the enhancement of school environments and cultures is the best way to facilitate growth in children and adults.

Current Role

As a Consultant and ISM’s Director of Research, Bryan:

  • Oversees ISM’s research initiatives
  • Provides on-site scheduling consultations, having had extensive experience creating and implementing unique daily schedules and annual calendars for both boarding and day schools.
  • Leads scheduling-focused workshops and webinars

Bryan joined ISM as a Consultant in 2013, following 13 years in independent school administration.

Prior Experience

Bryan came to ISM from Mount Pisgah Christian School, GA, where he served as the Vice President, Head of the Upper School, Guidance and College Advisement Director, varsity head coach, and psychology teacher over the course of his tenure. Prior to that, he was the Associate Head of School at Brandon Hall, GA.

He is also a licensed clinical psychologist whose practice specialized in the psychological assessment and treatment of adolescents and their families. This varied background and set of experiences affords him the ability to view a school’s form and function from multiple viewpoints, leading to solutions that take into account all perspectives.


Bryan holds a Ph.D. and master’s degree in clinical psychology from Marquette University, WI, and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Illinois. He also earned an MBA from Reinhardt University, GA, that focused on the application of business principles to the management of independent schools.

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