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Are You Heading in the Right Direction?

Ever see the movie, Planes, Trains and Automobiles with Steve Martin and John Candy?

I love the scene where they are heading down the highway and everyone is beeping at them and yelling...you're going the wrong way...

It's more funny to see it (watch it here) 2 minutes

The sad part is...this just happened to me the other day. 

I have a lot going on right now...my mind is cluttered with emotions and tasks at hand. 

I was trying to get back to my school when suddenly I realized, I was going the wrong way. Not the wrong way on a road (like the classic scene). The opposite direction of my school. 

This is probably why I constantly use my GPS on my phone. 

In order to get from one point to another I need to know:

1. Where I am.

2. Where I am going.

If I get off track, the GPS will adjust my route. 

Wouldn't that be great to have as a school leader?

Do you ever wonder.....

How to build a GPS for your school leadership. 

How to measure where you are and...

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Leaders Model The Way

#growth #leadership Mar 15, 2024

I’ve got two amazing kids!

I am extremely blessed as they are good human beings and are way more advanced than I was at 11 or 16. Maybe even at 30!

Sometimes they do stuff, like leave their dirty dishes around, the lights on, argue, say a word out loud they shouldn’t, give attitude, bad mouth others, whatever…anything that gets my wife or I on a different emotion.

I've realized that all of the nagging to get them to do something different is pointless.

Because people don’t do what people say. People do what people see. 

That is the Law of the Picture from John Maxwell’s 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. 

I wish I had read a book or had a mentor like John Maxwell in my life in my twenties when I was a young teacher and baseball coach. I had a giant ego, a character that lacked integrity and humility, and a mouth to match. 

I recall making my JV Baseball team run and run and run when I heard them cursing or throwing equipment. Not 20...

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Planning for Your New Employees First Day

engagement Jul 28, 2023

I wanted to share a quick story and resource...

Two years ago I was hired as the interim executive of a well known bi-lingual, Montessori charter school 30 days before the first day of school. 

We hired a dozen staff in 30 days, some from out of the country, and had great inservice and day one experience for everyone...well, that's what I thought. 

I asked the mentors to schedule a new hire meeting about eight days in to check in with the new hires.

I came to the meeting late and just asked them to start with a simple, "What's going well?", "What can be improved?" icebreaker activity.

I walked into the room and was blown away about what was on the whiteboard.

What's Going Well?

What Can Be Improved...

If you couldn't read it here's just a few of the items on their list...

  • I don't know where things are (toilet!)
  • I don't know how to call the front office
  • I don't have a key
  • When is pay day?
  • When is HR orientation?
  • Do we have a staff handbook?

The list goes on....


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Leave Your Legacy While Your Living

#legacy #mothers day May 14, 2023

My Mom died during surgery on February 3, 2015. I did not know she was having the surgery.

Fortunately, I happened to call her that afternoon. I had not heard her this excited in years. The new doctor finally believed her, about the pain she was in. He diagnosed her with poor circulation that was creating her loss of feeling in the legs and constant back pain. She had already had multiple surgeries on her back to this point, none of them working. But this time it was different. She had hope. Hope that this time it would work and she could spend time playing on the floor with her two grandchildren.

She never had that chance. 

When he repaired her arteries, they were too weak to carry her new blood flow. They exploded, and she died almost instantly on the table. 

I don’t share this to upset you or get your sympathy. I share this to remind you a few lessons I learned in life:

Sacrifice the right things: Go home. Be present. Call the people you love and tell them...

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How do you know your students are learning?

This question as a principal, Am I sure the students are all learning? Use to keep me up at night. 

However, then I learned that the best way to ensure students are learning is through daily classroom walkthroughs.

These walkthrough must be intentional and focused on making sure that students are not just learning but mastering the curriculum taught. 

That the atmosphere is affirming. 

That the students are engaged in the process.

That the teacher is aware of everything that is happening between the four walls of the classroom. 

While you are walking through each classroom, the validity of the information you receive through assessments and benchmarks will be affirmed. 

The first step in effective leadership is making a choice that is in harmony with our goals and desires.

I personally believe that the academic growth your students make, and the development of the teachers that lead them, will directly correlate to the effectiveness and the...

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Every have a bad toothache?

Just because there are not strong applicants does not mean you allow negative behavior to exist in your school. 

Here is an example.

Just recently I was on a coaching call with a leadership team when they began to describe the behavior of a staff member as being toxic to their culture. Just being mean, not following school expectations, making their teammates feel uncomfortable. 

When I asked them why are they still working there they shared, “well, there are not too many good candidates right now.” Then they justified it with, “Their scores are really good and We won’t be recommending them for renewal.”

I asked if they had ever had a toothache, a bad cavity or infection? 

“Oh yes,” they replied. 

“And when you went to the dentist did they say, well, it still chews just fine, let’s give it another six months and see how it’s doing then.” Or did he say, "This needs to be repaired immediately or the...

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Leadership Evolves Daily, Not in a Day

#growth #leadership Jan 29, 2023

Recently I was in a conversation with a group of  school leaders and they were sharing how expensive a professional development quote was for their staff.

I shared, well, If you think the price for training is expensive, just wait until you get the bill for incompetence. 

This is a common problem in the field of education. Schools will not invest in their people. They succumb to the “position” trap.

They assume by having the position they don’t need more training. Or worse, they don’t have the position but once they do THEN they will sign up.

What they don’t realize is that leadership evolves daily, not just in a day. Not in an event. 

Even if we are avid readers or listen to podcasts, read blogs and articles, this doesn’t mean we will be better leaders. It just means we are more informed. 

We pour ourselves into work, family, mentoring co-workers, and are involved in community groups or activities.

Being involved with these...

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Put Your Family First

I believe that when a leader puts their family first, the community benefits. When the leader puts the community first, both they and their family suffer.

Starting at home is always the key to affecting others in a positive way.

Being positive models at home is critical for your legacy. Remember, people (especially your children) don’t do what people say, people do what people see.

I grew up in a broken home. My parents divorced before I was a year old. Both my mother and father were married multiple times. We didn’t speak much about values or relationships (except the bad stuff!)

When I married my wife (twenty years this June!) I honestly never thought it would last. Divorce is all I experienced.

It’s hard to grow and improve when the only model you have is your own.

It wasn’t until I started to pay closer attention to other couples, couples who had lasted decades and their children, did I begin to learn what it truly meant to be a leader in your home.


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How To Design and Live The Best Year Ever!

Uncategorized Dec 31, 2022

I believe that wisdom and insight do not come from experience.

Wisdom and insight come from EVALUATIVE EXPERIENCE. Reflection and processing what went well. What went wrong? How will I improve?

You see, I regret the decisions I did not make more than the bad decisions I did. Then I would have insight on whether or not I was on the right track. 

There is GOLD in the reflection process. The problem with us school leaders is we do not always take the time to do so. We are so busy being busy. 

I know, over this past twelve months I was the head principal of three different schools. All while running my strategic consulting and leadership development company. We served over 10,000 leaders in 2023! Providing consulting and training services for over 100 schools. I finalized and published my book on the Ten Indicators of High Performing Charter Schools. 

My team and I were able to take over ten weeks in vacation in 2022. I spent the month of June in France traveling from...

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A Strategy to Prioritize Your Time

#growth #prioritize Nov 17, 2022

In professional development sessions, administrator certification programs, administrative meetings,  we spend a lot of time teaching and telling leaders what to do.

We do not spend enough time teaching leaders what to stop doing. 

I believe in order to be more effective as a leader, you must know what to stop doing.

 One of the most powerful leadership principles I have learned from my leadership mentor John Maxwell is the Law of Priorities from Maxwell's 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership.

The Law of Priorities teaches us that busyness doesn’t equal productivity.

You see, activity is not necessarily accomplishment.

More than half of the school leaders I initially begin to work with as their coach or thinking partner do not need to learn more leadership skills.

They need to learn what to stop doing and where to prioritize their time.

They need to stop trying to do it all and stop trying to learn HOW to do it all.

I challenge you this week to celebrate...

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