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Eight Tips When Reviewing Your Bylaws

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.

  • Bylaws having policies embedded: The bylaws should be structure in which the board operates. This includes number of members, terms, term limits, definition of quorum, and officers responsibilities....
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Know What Your People Value

#leadership core values Jun 07, 2021

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, accountableloyal 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. 

There is an old saying, a paper bag doesn't stand up straight. Without values a person is empty and weak. 

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...

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Be Sure To Wipe Your Feet

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?

What do...

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Control the Tongue and Control the Whole Body (Lessons from my Pop Pop)

#leadership communication May 13, 2021

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...

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Create an Open Ear Policy

I believe that something more important than an open door policy... Is an open ear policy.

An open door policy means that the people you serve have to trust you enough to come in the door.

An open door policy means that once they come into your office they believe you will listen to them and they will be heard.

You see, no one truly listens until they feel they have been heard. 

So today, and for the rest of the week, year, and your career, listen to other with the same passion that you desire to be heard by others.

This means leading by walking around, asking questions, being curious.

In fact, if you are not sure what questions to ask here are three:

  1. How are you?
  2. What are your working on?
  3. is there any way I can help you?

Then just LISTEN. No interruptions, no added information, no “that happened to me too” just listen. 

I guarantee you learn how to lead that person at a higher level and you will have earned credibility with them. 

Keep making a...

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Who You Listen to Matters

I believe that it is easy to find people willing to give you advice. 
 
It’s hard to find people with advice worth giving. 
 
Who you listen to matters.
 
Before you ask someone what they think, make sure they do.
 
Before you get advice on how to accomplish something, anything, make sure THEY have done it before. And done it well. 
 
Don’t seek affirmation. Seek information. 
 
Practical information. 
 
Based on evaluative experience.

There’s a process and a system for you to follow to get from where you are right now to where you want to be.
 
I teach all about this in the various studies, courses, and programs that I provide.
 
If you want to improve the performance of your school, your business, or just start living a more fulfilled and empowered life, our team is ready to serve you.
 
As a gift, here is the first lesson of our Empowerment Mentoring series, just fill...
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Stop Doing What Doesn't Work

Hey, I am Dr. Tom Miller and I have a big idea to share.

I believe that everything needs to fight for its life to get on your agenda. Here is what I mean.

I remember when I was a principal, just coming back from spring break, spending the last week reflecting and analyzing where we needed to go over the next 90 days to be fully prepared for the next school year.  

I would share these ideas with my team and instead of them showing excitement for a new idea they would think...oh no, that's one more thing! When will we find the time to do that? How will we do that? How will this impact ME?  

Like many school leaders, I struggled from "shiny object" syndrome. I love to learn about what is working in other schools and tinker with strategies. The more I learned, the more I put on my team, without taking anything away.   

My inability to prioritize, isolate, and focus on the most vital, game-changing actions that ensure significant improvement in teaching and...

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Keep Communication Simple

communication Mar 15, 2021

Ever felt left out of a conversation filled with Education Jargon?

Especially all of those acronyms...

How did you handle not knowing?

How did you read the room and help others?

Did you just go with the flow? Or were you courageous enough to ask a questions? 

As the facilitator or speaker, did you even notice that no one understood? 

Be honest...

Personally, I’ve been on both sides. 

When I was a Special Educator I would lead meetings and talk to teachers as though they all had a degree in special education and psychology. Many parents never spoke during the meetings, they just signed and thanked us.

SILENCE is NOT AGREEMENT.

It wasn’t until recently when I was the LEA at an IEP meeting, watching the body language of the parents through the virtual meeting did I realized how we were not going a good job of keeping the communication simple. The parents looked lost and concerned but they were not seeing anything.

I interrupted the teacher to ask if we could...

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The New Normal?

 

Hey everyone,

Communicating the desire for the "new" normal has significant impact on not only your morale, but those you lead can have a significant impact on morale, working conditions. 

I have spent some time this week reflecting on my experiences hearing folks wanting and wishing for the "new" normal. 

Watch or listen to the lesson to get a better understanding of what this person is actually saying and how it is impacting the low morale on your team or in your school. 

I offer multiple strategies that I know will work (I use them) to help you and your team be in a better place emotionally and physically!

 You you prefer to listen to this lesson: 

Once you are finished...

Are you ready to go from:

  • Wanting to change to actually changing?
  • Envisioning your goal to actually achieving it?
  • Being the person you are right now to becoming the person you want to be?
  • Breaking through your 'Immunity to Change'...
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How to Listen So You Can Lead Others Effectively

I believe that those leaders who do not to listen to their people, will eventually be surrounded by no one who speaks. 

Learning how to listen is a vital step in becoming an effective leader. According to research conducted by Personality Insights, the average executive spends two hours talking each day but eight hours listening.

Here is an example. 

After spending two hours at home with my eight year old son, I estimate that the average stay-at-home parent  spends 12 to 16 hours a day listening!!!

Well... at least one of the five levels of listening (more about this to come). 

Whether we realize it or not, whether we are intentionally engaged or not, we are always listening. Sometimes we are listening to new ideas, listening to a story, to music, to the background noise of a television, or in a true conversation where we are sharing our thoughts and conveying important information. I don’t know about you, but after a day of listening and...

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