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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.

Here...

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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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Take Time to Pause

#leadership #reflection Nov 01, 2022

I believe between every stimulus and its response, every piece of information and our decision, there is space. A brief pause. 

It is brief, but always enough time and room for our philosophy or interpretation to be inserted. 

Within that space creates choice.

  • Will we use it to think?
  • Will we use it to examine?
  • Will we use it to wait for more information?
  • Will we use it to insert our own story, give into first impressions, harmful instincts, and old patterns?

 The pause is everything.

The pause before…

…jumping to conclusions.

…prejudging.

…assuming the worst.

…rushing to solve your child’s problems for them.

…forcing a problem into some kind of policy

…assigning blame

…taking offense

…turning away in fear

As a younger leader I struggled with my emotions. I would not say I am cured but 15 years of evaluative experience, yoga, better exercise and self care. Learning to create better relationship...

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One Easy Morale Raising Strategies

#feedback #morale Oct 24, 2022

I believe that not communicating is still communication.

Here is what I mean. 

I was recently talking to a teacher who left her school mid-year. I asked if the pay was a factor? They shared that, “It’s was not about the money. It was just that no matter what I did, how long I had been there, I just never heard anything positive. If I make a mistake however, I heard about it immediately, but if I did my job the silence was overwhelming.”

Why is feeling appreciated so important in a work setting?

Because each of us wants to know that what we are doing matters.

Without a sense of being valued by supervisors and colleagues, workers start to feel like a machine or a commodity. 

Steven Covey wrote, “Next to physical survival, the greatest need of a human being is psychological survival, to be understood, to be affirmed, to be validated, to be appreciated.”

 Here are some signs your employees do not feel appreciated: 

  • Workers appear...
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Be a Pro at Gratitude

#gratitude #leadership Oct 19, 2022

Showing gratitude is a win-win.  Harvard research shows that just thinking thoughts of gratitude makes you measurably happier, regardless of whether or not you act on them.  Setting time to think or write thoughts to yourself about the gratitude you feel has positive effects on your general outlook in your life, and also on the relationships you have.  So if you go out and share your thoughts, notes, letters, or posts about the gratitude you feel, then that feeling becomes contagious and everyone wins.

I am truly grateful for so many things that I am fortunate to have in my life - my family, my friends, and my dog to name a few - and there are so many ways to show them my appreciation.  But how do we show that gratitude professionally?  I know how to show my wife and my kids and my parents appreciation, what is the right way to show that to people we work with?

This question popped into my mind while reading a book recently- How to Win Friends and Influence...

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Are You Playing Chess or Checkers With Your Team?

A mentor once asked me, "Tom, are you playing chess or checkers with your team?"

Clearly he was challenging me to think about my strategy to grow my team and the business. I wasn't really sure of his metaphor so I started researching and thinking about his question. What are the actual the differences between the two board games?  To someone with a painstakingly low SAT score like myself, the answer is simple: Chess is  simply “harder.”  It requires more knowledge, thought and strategy (please don’t tell that to any professional checkers players). Checkers has fewer rules and is so easy to explain. When it comes down to it, the only identical trait they share is the size of the playing board.

Traits

Checkers

Chess
Board Size 64 Squares, (8×8) 64 Squares, (8×8)
Game Piece 12 of all the same pieces 16 pieces (8 pawns and 8 pieces of hierarchy)
Piece Capacity King ME Pawns can grow to (Rook, Knight, Bishop or Queen)
Movement ...
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Become a Stronger and More Effective Leader (Law of Process)

Most people will last anywhere between three hours and three weeks when it comes to implementing new behaviors in their lives. Most quit because they do not see the results. Growth happens on the inside before it will show on the outside. Basically, just because you do not see it, doesn’t mean it is not working. 

Becoming a stronger, more effective leader takes time. John Maxwell’s third law of leadership from his 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, the Law of Process, states that leadership evolves daily, not in a day.

As a leadership coach, speaker and trainer, I am privileged to interact with hundreds of organizational leaders each year. There are many who believe that because they attend a conference, read a book, or participate in one of our leadership calls that they are now a leader.

Successful leaders are indeed learners but the learning process is ongoing - a result of self-discipline and perseverance. As said by John Maxwell, “Microwave leaders do...

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