Kentucky school board member and 2011 KSBA conference speaker has new book out on leadership power through personal purpose

Greg Coker, a member of the Simpson County Board of Education and a keynote speaker at KSBA’s 2011 Winter Symposium, has authored a book on the topic of his motivational message,Building Cathedrals: The Power of Purpose.

Here’s an excerpt from a recent news article on the book:

One day in 1671, Christopher Wren observed three bricklayers on a scaffold, one crouched, one half-standing and one standing very tall, working very hard and fast. To the first bricklayer, Christopher Wren asked the question, “What are you doing?” to which the bricklayer replied, “I’m working.” The second bricklayer, responded, “I’m building a wall.” But the third brick layer, the most productive of the three, the future leader of the group, when asked the question, “What are you doing?” replied with a gleam in his eye, “I’m building a cathedral to The Almighty.”

The characters in this simple yet powerful story not only changed my life, they provided the contents and the outline for my newly released book “Building Cathedrals: The Power of Purpose.” Is there a “Christopher Wren” in your school system? On your school board? Are you that “Christopher Wren?”

The fire provided a powerful metaphor for the setbacks and devastation in our personal lives. Devastations like death, divorce, job loss, alcohol/drug abuse, losing an election. School devastations like poor test results, leadership turnover, budget cuts, etc… Pre-1666 London was very medieval;10,000 people annually dying of the plague. The number one cause of the plague: rats and fleas. Post 1666, rats and fleas were eradicated and the leaders of London were determined and succeeded in rebuilding a great city. What are your “rats & fleas?” Our schools can be better, stronger and more effective post devastation.

In my book and keynote speech that I deliver to school systems, I introduce a powerful metaphor, a “cathedral,” as a personal expression of purpose and encourage others to not only find, pursue and build their “cathedral,” but help and support others in building their “cathedral.” So, what’s your “cathedral?” Do you see your local school board as a “cathedral?” Is it time to start building your “cathedral?” Maybe building your “cathedral” with more energy, more passion, more dedication? The “bricklayers” provide the foundation for a rich and needed discussion on faculty/student engagement, school culture and team dynamics that occur in modern-day school systems. Which “bricklayer” are you? What role do you play in helping that “bricklayer” to see the “cathedral?” Is your school system a culture of “bricklayers” or a culture of “cathedral builders?”

Building Cathedrals: The Power of Purpose” may be purchased online at

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