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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.



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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You Get Too Many Emails (Follow These Pages for High Quality Free Resources)

#leadership Aug 14, 2022

Hello {{first_name}},

I know you get WAY TOO MANY emails each day. I know because I have been in your shoes the last two years being the interim principal for six different schools. Your list of emails is like....

SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, parent complaint, teacher need, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM....

If you are looking for help with how to manage your emails I added a lesson I did years ago on how to STEP READING YOUR EMAILS (link at the end). 

I appreciate you being on our School Leadership Community list and I hope that anything we send you find valuable and can help you today or tomorrow. 

Knowing you get SO MANY Emails I wanted you to know that every day of the week you can go to any of our Social Media pages and get quality resources to improve all aspects of your school and life. 

Bookmark this resource page and subscribe to the social media page that best meets your needs. We are about to hit our 200th Podcast Episode and have over 100,000 downloads. 

Every day I...

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Three Questions to Raise Academic Performance

#leadership academics Aug 13, 2022

Just because the goal to raise student achievement is clear in your head, does not mean it’s clear to your team.

Here are three questions your instructional leadership team and teachers must know the answer to.

Download a copy of my book and read chapter two, Quality of Student Work for more resources


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You Cannot Be a Selfish Leader (Feedback)


Don’t BE SELFISH as a leader….

Lead your team through this easy accountability strategy and raise their performance and build a more cohesive team.

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How to Retain Talent

#leadership culture Aug 10, 2022

Worried about keeping your top talent?

Desire to build on the talent you have?

This research article was shared with me from a mentor on why organization’s are losing their top talent.

In this quick lesson I share multiple solutions for any leader to begin building their High Performance Culture.

Click Here to Download the Article

Raising Your Awareness,

Dr. Tom

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How the Best Leaders Solve Problems


I believe that problems shape our leadership soul.

Solving them is what we are paid for as school leaders.

However, if you desire to solve the root cause of the problem, you need to implement this strategy first.



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How to Build Relationships and Connect With People (4 Questions)

#communication Aug 07, 2022

You have less than four seconds to make a first impression.

Utilize these four questions and listening strategy to find common ground with those you serve!

You’ll see great results and deeper relationships as a result.

Looking to accelerate your communication? Looking to feel more confident with your communication? 
Aim to communicate with clarity so your team executed at the highest level? 

I encourage you to join our Master Communication Course. Sixteen (16) lessons on the practices and principles of effective communication. 

Click Here to learn more.


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How to End the School Year With High Morale

#leadership culture Jun 03, 2022

I believe what is appreciated appreciates. And in turn, was is depreciated, depreciates. 

Here is what I mean. 

One of the services my company provides is facilitating climate surveys and exit interviews for  schools.

I was reading through the notes from one school and saw this response from a departing teacher.   

When I turned in my resignation letter no one from the administrative team came to talk to me. I felt devalued as an employee.”  

It made me think about my practices as a school leader. 

How do I treat people? Do they feel appreciated around me? Or depreciated? 

I know that I have definitely avoided many rooms and halls of staff who turned in their resignation or who have been told they are not coming back.  

I am definitely guilty of not engaging some staff. 

I come up with excuses in my head. They don't want to talk to me. I am just glad they came today...terrible right?

But then I started to notice...

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How To Become a Massive Person of Influence

#leadership May 28, 2022

I have learned that if you aim to be an influential leader you have to give up the right to complain down. 

Think about it, no one wants to be led by a complainer. 

You simply cannot lead and whine at the same time. 

For example, as a principal, you cannot complain in front of employees about other employees. You’ve not only modeled poor leadership but you’ve also made it alright for your employees to do the same. 

As a teacher, you cannot complain about other teachers to parents in front of your students. You’ve now decreased your peer’s credibility and in the meantime, lost some yourself. 

As a parent you cannot complain about your school, your principal, your child’s teacher in front of your child. This has now given your child the right to do the same. To not follow rules or respect teachers or classmates.

When I was a special education teacher I had a GIANT EGO. I thought I knew it all. Mainly because I was very...

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