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Inspect What You Expect

 

"Hey, I’m Dr. Tom Miller and I’ve got an idea I want to share with you today: To be an effective leader you must inspect what you expect. 

An expectation is defined as believing that something is going to happen or believing that something should be a certain way.

However, any expectation not communicated is merely a thought. 

I know I struggle with communicating clear expectations. It is something I have to work on daily. I will allow my faulty assumptions to close that expectation gap. Which has never led to great results. 

As a consultant and coach for school leaders across the country, the lack of clearly understood and communicate expectations is the number one issue I see in broken relationships, poor performing teams and the cause of most conflicts.

As a result, the organization suffers and people quit other people. 

Here are seven steps you can adopt to communicate clearer expectations:

Get clear yourself. Most things are crystal clear in...

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Five Strategies for Making a Positive Change: The Dr. King Way

leadership Jan 20, 2020

On this day we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and I wanted to share my reflections with you on how to create a positive change in your organization, community, home and life...the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. way.

Listen to the archived lesson by clicking below.

My notes for each of the five strategies: 

On this day, as we celebrate the life of Dr. MLK – his quote the desire for lifelong learning fosters an equally strong tendency to listen. 

Strategy #1: Listen: Lead by being lead: Listen to the needs of the people – only those who do not seek power, are lucky enough to hold it. To be a life long learner, it takes listening.

  • Four benefits to listening
    • Builds trust
    • Enables learning – when we talk – no learning
    • Facilitate understanding
    • Creates a connection – listen and then lead
  • Constantly learning from experience so he could do better the next time 
  • Do better and be better – 
  • As a leader, growth never stops – when...
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A Little About Me

Uncategorized Jan 19, 2020

Hey, I'm Tom and there are several of you that I've connected with recently, but haven't met yet.

I'm father to the two amazing children and future world leaders, Devyn (12) and Matthew (soon to be 7), a big-time NY Yankees fan (I loved them when they sucked and Andy Hawkins threw a no-hitter and lost so don't @ me),Chicago Bears and Carolina Hurricanes (my first hometown sports team).

My hobbies include playing ice hockey (our team just won the championship at PNC ARENA), deep sea fishing, reading leadership books and watching my kids play sports. I also love living like a tourist (my #1 life goal). This means wherever I go I typically never order my own food, I seek to visit a unique or historical landmark and I hardly have a clear agenda!

I've completed five marathons, one ultra marathon. Notice I said completed and not ran. Today I love yoga and haven't run for a few years (The ultra got me).

This goal aligns perfectly to my work as a human behavior consultant and teacher of...

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Being "busy" is the Slow Death of a Leader

Hey Leader!

I want to thank you for investing these last six years with our team at Leaders Building Leaders. I know I am a better leader because of you. Every day you challenge me. I want to be better for you, with the best and most relevant content. To teach you what I am learning so you can be better----faster!. 

Today I have an idea to share with you and a challenge. 

Being “busy” is the slow death of the school leader. 

Being “busy” cannibalizes the things that you should be doing.

Being “busy” causes us to focus on the wrong things. 

Being “busy” minimizes productivity. 

Being “busy” can actually cost you time, money and progress towards your goals.

As a principal, and now business owner, I am extremely active when it comes to work. 

I look busy. I act busy. People definitely think I am busy because that’s typically how they acknowledge me when they call or see me, “I know...

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My Car Was Stolen. Here's What I Learned

leadership Jan 03, 2020

At 9:22 a.m. on December 21, 2019, I was lounging on the couch as it was the first day of the holiday break. Dorsey, the family dog, was giving the look. If you have a dog, you know the look. 

On went my shoes, grabbed my ear buds and tuuk as I hit the garage door opener. Dorsey took a sprint out the door and into the driveway. Yelling for her to come back I noticed something looked different. 

The driveway had tons of space. I walked out thinking I parked the car on the street for some reason. 

Nope. 

At 9:34 am I dialed 9-1-1 with one phone, and Googled “What to do when your car is stolen” with another. 

You might be asking, how could your car be stolen...from your driveway!!!

If you do not prepare on the front end, you will be repairing on the back end. 

For the next 60 hours, from the car being stolen until it was found, here is what I learned: 

For things to change, you need to change: Don’t leave your car unlocked,...

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Fall In Love With Your 2020 Goal

#goals #leadership Dec 31, 2019

This is one of those topics that I could write about all day every day.  Goal setting, goal achieving, goals goals goals!

We all have goals.  Each and every one of us.

Some of us think we gave up a long time ago and don’t have any but we do.  Every day we wake up with the goal to live another day.  Ok, maybe that is a stretch but don’t we all have goals to some extent?  And why is it so important to have goals? 

The most successful people on this planet didn’t wake up one day with an idea and a few minutes later after they got dressed became successful… No way.  They had an idea and they developed a plan.  Within that plan there were goals – some big, some little – some attainable, some way out there. 

And each day, they worked at it – chipping away, having triumphs and failures along the way but tweaking and re-evaluating and working toward goals. Goals!

We have had goals from the day we were...

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An Easy, Simple and Fun Process to Plan Your Best Year Ever!

 

Hey leaders, Dr. Tom Miller here and I want to share with you something I believe is critically important to your short and long term success.

Time has a wonderful way of demonstrating to us what matters.

Best selling author John Maxwell teaches a "Year in Review" process that I have  been implementing over the past four years to double my income but work less days. Travel to different parts of the world, reduce personal debt so I could increase retirement contributions, and improve my personal health (40 lbs. weight loss) as well as lowered cholesterol.  

You see, John believes that it is not experience that will determine your growth and success, it’s evaluative experience.

Without evaluative experience I am basically doing the same thing over and over, but expecting a different result. That’s the definition of insanity. 

As the days on the calendar end for 2019, it’s critical to look over the last year and determine:

What made this year...

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How To Receive Grants For Your School Even When You Do Not Know How

grant school leadership Dec 19, 2019

Hey School Leaders, 

I know you are swamped with work and holiday planning, but I’ve got an idea I want to share with you today: 

Possibility thinking increases your possibilities, draws opportunities and people to you, and allows you to dream big dreams. 

Possibility thinking is changing the question from Can I? to How Can I?

Some time ago, a charter school was in a challenging financial crunch. During the board meeting, the principal announced that the school needed to find money to invest in a game-changing curriculum and program that would improve their academic programs and really help their teachers save time and energy. 

The principal explained to the board that the teachers were creating most of the lessons and materials and spending lots of time and energy searching for content rather than focusing their time on connecting with students, analyzing data, and mastering their craft.

The budget was too tight to buy ALL of the resources.

...
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How to Improve Your School for Little to NO Money

leadership Dec 17, 2019

Hey fellow school leaders!

I have a thought I wanted to share.

I believe that your current level of thinking and doing has brought you your current results. 

This is true in ALL aspects of your life. As a middle school director we had strong academic results but a high turnover of our staff based on our unhealthy school culture and micromanaging leadership style. 

Despite having a pretty solid administrative team to lean on and being enrolled in an Education Leadership doctoral program with a dozen other principals and higher education leaders to learn from... 

...the feeling of isolation was overwhelming at times!

Many hours were spent hiding in the office closet with the public school law guide book hoping to find answers!

It wasn't until the opportunity to visit other high performing schools and strategically collaborated with more effective school leaders did the school's results change for the better (healthier culture, trust, teacher empowerment, increased...

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An Educator’s Job Simplified

Uncategorized Dec 12, 2019

As the Spelling Bee Champion for Litchfield Elementary School in 1981, I know the feeling of triumph well. However, my glorious spelling bee win ended at the school level because in order to win at the district, state, and national levels, you actually have to show up, and I didn’t. I meant to. I was all set. Then I talked with first runner up. 

On the day of the district spelling bee, I went to school knowing that after announcements and the Pledge of Allegiance, I’d be called out of class to meet my mom in the office. From there, a school bus would drive us to the district Spelling Bee. My mom drove a perfectly fine yellow station wagon with that 80’s wood siding, but the school wouldn’t let her drive us there. We had to ride the bus. I guess even the school was embarrassed by that wood siding. 

Giving Away My Chance

The first runner up was a stranger to me, but on that morning of the district spelling bee, she came up to me on the playground,...

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