I believe when you do what you love, it is NOT really work.
Seven years ago this was my last week of “real work.” I mean a place where I had to report every day, be somewhere at a certain time and oh yeah, had a boss.
I still remember finishing up my last day as a consultant for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction to start my own consulting, training and coaching business specifically schools and school leaders.
It was July 3rd of 2014.
I walked out of DPI with nothing but a cardboard box of "stuff" and a crazy vision of being the difference-maker in the leadership development of individuals and organizations.
To be honest, I had NO IDEA WHAT I was doing, but I was a little angry.
I was angry and frustrated with seeing SO many outstanding people, leading charter schools across the state, who were NOT meeting their potential. School leaders that were stressed to the max, working late hours, feeling under-appreciated, failing in...
I believe that when it comes to improvement (personal or school) consistency is more important than intensity.
One school that exemplifies this principle is Piedmont Community Charter School in Gaston County North Carolina.
In 2015, Piedmont was in the middle of a leadership transition and was underperforming in the areas of academics and student enrollment. It did not have a reputation for being a school or rigorous academics, especially in high school.
The new Head of School at the time, Jennifer Killen, had an incredible challenge ahead of her. She knew that she would have to work diligently not just on her own leadership capacity, but the skills and the quality of her team.
Fast forward to this past year and Piedmont Community Charter School was recognized as one of the “Best High Schools” by U.S. News & World Report. They also moved into a state of the art new facility. Piedmont Charter’s new campus...
If I were to ask the question: “Do you want to grow?” How would YOU respond?
I believe it would be a resounding yes, I want to grow! But the truth of the matter is that for most of us, we avoid any form of pressure because we don’t want to feel uncomfortable. You see, we have been taught that comfort is a place to be desired and strived for.
I would like to introduce a new thought today.
In John Maxwell’s 15 Laws of Growth, the Law of the Rubber Band, he says: “True life begins at the end of our comfort zone and we arrive there by stretching.”
When it comes to tension and stretching, a rubber band is a great example.
Rubber bands are ONLY useful when they are stretched. You would not be where you are professionally, and who you are personally, without some form of tension or stretching taking place.
For many, the thought is, when I graduate from college and...
Ever jump into a project, diet or other life-changing program with incredible determination and intensity; but after 5-10 days we find that it is more difficult than anticipated and we end up quitting. Allowing our previous habits to win out and overwhelm our new found passion?
Choosing what is comfortable over the change we so desperately desired.
We blame everything from the program to our genetics.
When what we need to do is take a look in the mirror, be gentle on ourselves, and follow the Law of Consistency.
In John Maxwell’s 15 Laws of Invaluable Growth, he stresses the idea that in order to make significant change, consistency has to be one of the main ingredients.
He concluded that “Motivation gets you going, but discipline keeps you growing.”
There have been many times in my life as a college student (I’ll stay up all night and study), teacher (I’ll wake up early to get my lesson ready), dieter (I...
“I am overwhelmed,” they shared. “I am just...I have a lot to do. I’ll be working all summer, which is fine, I can cancel my vacation and go next year.”
As a coach and thinking partner for hundreds of school leaders, I hear comments like this every week. School leaders that are too busy, too overwhelmed, too engaged in everything to participate in a training session or prepare for their coaching session.
When the truth is, their feelings and emotions are not being overwhelmed. Their feelings and emotions are coming from being under-purposed. From not having clarity in their purpose, vision and goals.
Your purpose is why you do what you do. The filter through which you direct your creative power and how you make decisions. Think of your purpose as the sun and everything revolves around it. From your purpose, you begin to see and create vision. I teach Purpose, Vision and Goals in our Empowerment Mentoring program.
When you are not...
I don't believe people quit organizations.
I believe people quit people.
Here are some examples of why I quit jobs in the past.
When I was a teacher I did not see a path for professional advancement from my principal and district. So I left for a charter school that showed me a two year plan to be the Director of Exceptional Children during my interview as a Special Education teacher.
When I was a Grants and Special Projects Leader at a University I wanted to travel to local school systems and assist principals and utilize my skills as a trainer, I left because the Dean shut down all travel and asked me to "just do research".
When I was a middle school director of a charter school I wanted to was not considered for the head of school position by my superintendent, I left to become a state wide consultant for the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) that provided me a platform to be more and do more.
When I was at DPI after three years my boss said to...
Recently I was leading a governance strategic retreat, which is one of my favorite professional training services I offer, and I asked a question to the board about how many board members does your bylaws allow.
A member replied, “nine”.
I counted the members in front of me, looked at the board and said, “Well there are 10 of you here, so I hope not. When was the last time you reviewed the bylaws?”
We pulled the bylaws and identified that seven was the max! They had been out of compliance for years based on their own bylaws.
This is just one of the many common mistakes I see in governance bylaws...many were written so long ago they are out of touch with the school's current structure.
Here are some other common mistakes you might find in your bylaws.
Many people in our world feel devalued instead of valued by others, and it harms them deeply. It keeps them from enjoying life and reaching their potential.
Most of you know my story as a recovering gambling addict. It wasn't until I got a round a table, with other like-minded people, that I began to study and discuss words like honesty, humility, trust, accountable, loyal just to name a few from this little yellow combo book that fit in your pocket. I was 30 years old and had never been asked a question like, what are your values? What does it mean to be honest, to be trusted, to be trustworthy? It was a powerful experience.
I had no idea that my lack of values was not just causing me pain internally, it was showing up in ALL of my results. My inability to advance in my career. My failing relationships. My failing finances, personal health and...
Nowadays, a greater number of people feel that a good way to liberate themselves with what they feel is by speaking themself out.
Everybody is so ready to take on the latest society prattle, be it about politics, economy or societal claims. Whatever opinion you had in mind, it will always be different from the other person you are talking to even if you are tackling the same subject.
When Mahatma Gandhi said, “I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet” it reminds me of the challenges of being in education.
It is not bad enough that a good percentage of our general public has nothing but negative comments to say about teachers and schools but many times, we teachers and fellow educators are the most guilty of sabotaging our own school culture by talking and tearing down each other.
Think about your current workplace and ask yourself these questions...
Where does the negativity come from?
Do you need to adjust who you spend time with?
I have read that the two most important days in a person’s life are the day they were born and the day they figure out why.
Today I celebrate my 45th birthday and I have extreme clarity on why I was born, to be the differencemaker in the leadership development of individuals and organizations.
I love waking up each day to serve our School Leadership Community which you are apart of. So even though we have probably never met. basically I wake up thinking about how can I best serve YOU!
Thank you for letting me live out my purpose.
As I reflect on the last 365 days, the challenges that so many faced, the loss of love ones and hate and anger shared, I cannot stop and be grateful for the extra hours, 100’s of extra hours, I got to spend with my family in quarantine. Great memories.
We did travel out of state once and visited my grandmother who had just turned 90! She was cleaning out her closets and handed me this folder that contained hundreds of sermons written by my...