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Four Secrets Teachers Hate About Their Principals

Over the summer 30 teachers across the state participated in our Teacher Leadership Consortium, an eight week program focused on teachers learning how to become a greater influence in their school. The teachers learned how to best lead their peers through communication and connecting with people, the foundations of coaching, lead effective meetings, listening, and how to deal with difficult people. During one of the sessions I asked them about what are some of the challenges they face in regards to their school culture and their principal. I pulled out these four common complaints the teachers had. Be sure you don’t break these!

1. Cancel key meetings: Let’s be clear here, not all teachers hate when meetings are cancelled. However, when a key meeting is scheduled (i.e. school improvement meetings, critical professional development sessions and 1:1 conferences) and cancelled, they gradually lose interest in being part of these critical teams moving forward. Especially if...

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Four Tips to Creating More Success in Your Life and Career

Success is defined as the accomplishment of an aim or purpose. Now, what success looks like to you, I cannot answer that. Only you should define what success looks and feels like. If you don't have this vision in mind, stop reading and take at least five minutes to think about it. Write down whatever you see mentally and put it somewhere in your daily view. Then come back to this blog and read four tips I have learned as a coach, mentor and consultant to hundreds of leaders across the globe. 

Tip #1: Act on the Right Choices: Dr. Jim Rohn taught us that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with but my mentor made me realize recently that our success is the sum of the daily choices we take action on. Think about it. Every day as a principal, CEO, business owner, or parent, you make hundreds of decisions based on thousands of choices. You act on those decisions which lead to other choices, decisions and actions. Choosing not to act is still action. Every...

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Three Critical Tasks You Never Write Down To Do: But Should


If you are like me you like lists. You cannot start your day without writing down some sort of plan, some list of items that you aim to accomplish that day. Now, if you are even more like me that list is probably filled with items that are either not the most important tasks you should be focused on that day. Working with school leaders across the country I have learned there is one major difference between the good and the great. The great are relentless when it comes to how they can best utilize their time and develop their team. 

Watch the video or read below to learn three three items that should be on your “to do” list every single day as a leader that you are probably overlooking!

Develop your top people: Leadership author Liz Wiseman stated, “Leaders who are multipliers increase intelligence in people and in organizations. The people on the team actually get smarter and more capable thanks to the people around them.” As a leader you need to spend...

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Start of the School Year Resources: Law of Priorities

The Law of Priorities states leaders never advance to a point where they no longer need to prioritize.

Great leaders know that activity is not necessarily accomplishment. Some of you have already started your school year, others are days away from inservice, the rest of you may still have a week or two of vacation before staff arrive.

To quote the great John Snow from Game of Thrones, "Winter is Coming".

Well, in your case, "The first day is coming" and you and your team must be prepared. (See our best resources at the end of this blog).

As a former teacher, principal, executive director and board chair you know what I have realized is most important when it comes to that first day? That first work day, first open house, first school day? 


My challenge to you is to be intentional about identifying the most important activities that need to be accomplished in order to have the best "first day" experience for staff, parents and students. For your team to...

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No Trust. No Unity. No Progress: 4 Strategies to Nourish the Board/Management Relationship

Uncategorized Jul 25, 2019

Research has revealed that North Carolina is one of the lowest performing states when it comes to principal retention. The average tenure for a public school principal is less than three years School Leaders Network. In fact, since I started my company (July of 2014), 52% of the operating public charter schools have turned over their school leader at least once. A good percentage of them have had as many as three transitions in five years. 

What is the cause of this turnover? I believe the turnover is caused by the lack of intentional nourishment between the board and the school leader.  

Watch my short video here to learn the four strategies you can implement today to begin developing a stronger, sustainable relationship. 

This blog was written and recorded by Dr. Tom Miller, founder of Leaders Building Leaders. Tom has spent the last seven years as a charter school consultant, researcher of effective charter school practices and human behavior. He...

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It Works, Only if You Work it

Uncategorized Jul 19, 2019
W.C Fields said, "Twas a woman that drove me to drink. I never did have the courtesy to thank her."
With that in mind, it was a woman that drove me to try yoga. Six years later I can say that through a daily practice of yoga, I am in the best physical, mental and emotional state of my life. Thank you to my wife and partner, Jennifer Miller, for getting me to look past how ridiculous I look and feel in 95% of the poses. I know it is good for me!
What potential daily habit do you know is good for you yet you are afraid to step outside your comfort zone or have a perceived barrier like time in your way of a better more fulfilled life?
Consistency compounds over time. So whether it is putting away an extra 3% to 5% of your income into retirement, reducing your screen time by 30 minutes and replacing it with 30 minutes of a walk, eliminating one food or drink item from your diet, you will see results.
Just think, if you set a goal to be 1% better each week at...
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Your Most Important Job as a Leader

Uncategorized Jul 17, 2019

Author and speaker Jim Rohn told us, "You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with." To be successful in life, to achieve your goals and dreams, it has to be done with other people. I love this quote from John Maxwell, "Nothing worthwhile has ever been achieved alone."

This made me realize, I was doing it all wrong as a leader. I knew people were important, but I wasn't spending too much time making sure I had the right people, in the right positions at the right time.  Your most important job as a leader is finding the "gold" in the people you surround yourself with. 

Learn where I went wrong as a principal when I was looking in the wrong places, and at the wrong qualities in people. 

If you want to download the tool I mention in the video that will help you identify the right people to surround yourself, click here


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What Have You Learned the Hard Way?

There's only one thing more painful than learning from an experience, and that is NOT learning from an experience.  

A couple of years ago my family and I were at a friends house for a 4th of July barbecue and someone brought fireworks. The list of goods included bottle rockets, Roman Candles and sparklers (which are more my speed). 

Out of the corner of my eye I happened to notice that the teen was attempting to light a Roman Candle in the street. He was struggling to get the lighter lit and was lighting the candle with the fuse pointing towards him and the crowd. See where this is going?

When the fuse finally lit he held the candle towards the sky, like he saw everyone else, however he had the lit fuse facing towards him. It was like watching a movie as I thought, is that right? I yelled for him to turn it around. At this point others noticed what was going on and yelled as well. He looked at us and dropped his hands, luckily pointing the rocket away now....

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Fund Your Dreams Just Like Ted!

Uncategorized Jun 18, 2019

Ted Duncan, charter school director, has big dreams for Brevard Academy. As the School Director, he wants to not only change the lives of his students, he wants to change the lives of everyone living in Brevard, people and critters included. 

James Allen said, “Until thought is linked to purpose there is no intelligent accomplishment.” 

During a thinking partner call last year, Ted happened to share his dream with me. I said, “You know I’ve helped schools win millions of dollars in grants. Right? If you are open to the consideration, I’d love to make your school dreams come true.” We then scheduled a meeting at Brevard that included Ted; Brevard Board Chair, Mark Campanini; and me. We talked about how grant writing assistance could help them achieve the mission of the school and reach for some of those dreams. I asked for a list of all the ways that Brevard could use grant funding assistance, and if you're a school...

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Fund Your Dreams Through Grant Writing

Uncategorized Jun 11, 2019


Schools need money. That's a fact that we are all too familiar with. I’ve only talked to one school leader who complained about having too much money to spend before the year was over. The rest of the school leaders start sentences with, “If we had money, I would….” Then they describe in great detail what they wish they could do to transform their school, their students lives, and their community. Now is your chance!

Join me on Wednesday, July 17th, at 4:30pm for a FREE

   grant writing webinar to fund your school dreams.

 Register HERE.

I've helped schools win over $3 million dollars in grant awards. You could be next. 

If you haven’t ever written a grant before, you might be thinking, “I’m no writer. I can’t do this.” Or you’re thinking, “We’re all so busy that even if we were awarded the grant, the reporting would kill us.” What if you’re wrong. What if grant writing...

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