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Eight School Leader Habits That Create Results

leadership Sep 05, 2019

When I was a public charter school principal my team will tell you I had some horrific habits and very little discipline. Whatever article I happened to read the week before, that's what the faculty meeting focused on. I would arrive at school each day prepared to observe, coach, lead and implement strategic initiatives. Then, the school day started and I got out the firehose. The next thing you know cars are lining up for afternoon dismissal and my beautiful list of things to do has not accumulated one check off. I was active, but not productive. 

And it seems the unconscious mind is running us on its automatic pilot mode, 95% of the time! According to best selling author and subconscious mind expert Dr. Bruce Lipton, "The conscious mind provides 5% or less of our cognitive (conscious) activity during the day – and 5% they say is for the more aware people, many people operate at just 1% consciousness. 

No wonder over time I simply got on auto-pilot.

We were a good...

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Winning With People: 30 Second Rule

leadership teamwork Sep 02, 2019

Since everything we accomplish is with or through people, every Monday I'll be sharing a lesson from John Maxwell's book, Winning with People. If you want to accomplish more and enhance the relations at your school or organization, begin implementing these practices and share with your team. 

When people first meet or greet someone, they are typically worried about how they will look or sound, searching for ways to make themselves look or feel good. In John Maxwell's book, Winning With People, he shares a lesson he learned from watching his father connect and lead people for almost 70 yeas now. It's called the 30-Second Rule.

"The key to the 30-second rule is reversing this practice. When you make contact with people, instead of focusing on yourself, search for ways to make others fee good," John notes. 

This might look like:

  • Looking at your calendar in the morning, if you know who you are going to see, maybe at a meeting, take a few moments to pause and think about...
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The Most Dangerous Leadership Style

communication leadership Aug 29, 2019

The most dangerous leadership style is assumptive leadership. An assumption is something you accept as true or certain. For example, when I was a principal and my teachers were not at their doors at 7:30 greeting students my assumption was they were either late to work or chose not to follow our agreed upon expectations. 

The problem was, rather than walk to the classroom to understand what the reality was and check on the teacher and seek to understand, I would  hold onto it, allowing the feeling of resentment become more entrenched. 

I know how wrong my assumptions usually are. The key is that it’s just a story I’m making up. Often, the other person isn’t even aware I’m holding on to an assumption.

Has this ever happened to you? Have you led by assumptions in the past? 

I have learned that in the absence of information, we assume the worst. As a result, create a fictional divide between people that can dismantle working...

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Winning With People Weekly Tip: It Starts With You

chuck wepner Aug 26, 2019

Some of you may know the story of Chuck Wepner, the “Bayonne Bleeder’ he was referred to. Wepner, was the struggling boxer who famously almost took Muhammad Ali (The Champ) the distance on March 24, 1975. Wepner is also is the motivation behind the Rocky stories written by struggling writer at the time, Sylvester Stallone. The story goes Stallone was offered over $400,000 for the rights to the screenplay, a great deal of money in the mid 70’s. He turned the money down for $20,000 and agreement that he would play the role of Rocky at actors minimum wages ($340 a week). For the rights to the story, Wepner was offered $70,000 or 1% of the overall movie’s gross profits. Wanting a guarantee payday, he took the $70,000 costing him over $8 million dollars. Stallone, as you know, became one of the most recognized actors in the world and over 40 years later Rocky films have grossed over $1.6 billion dollars world wide. 

It’s easy to second guess Wepner now,...

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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? 

EVERYTHING IS IMPORTANT!

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. 

Download the four strategies here. 

New board chair? Download my 10 tips I learned as a board chair!

This blog was written and recorded by Dr. Tom Miller, founder of Leaders Building Leaders. Tom has spent the last seven years as a...

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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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