Remove the isolation from the principal position. Click here to apply to become a member of our Empowered Executives "Inner Circle"
About Tom Upcoming Events Contact Us Blog Store COVID-19 School Leader Resources Login

Learn How to Empower Your People

During a recent leadership training, I facilitated a seminar with twenty organizational leaders. I asked them the following question: 

“When I think about delegating, I worry about ______________?” 

They were asked to fill-in-the-blank on a sticky note and place it in the middle of the room. 

We then took a tour around the room and discussed the responses. Overall, the leaders’ concerns fell into 3 key categories: 

Time Management

  • “Being done on time.”
  • “Missing deadlines.”
  • “The job getting done.”
  • “Being done in a timely manner.”
  • “It getting done.”
  • “Completing the task on time.”

Quality Management

  • “Being done correctly.”
  • Lack of attention to detail.”
  • “Quality of work.”
  • “Completing the task correctly.”
  • “Being done right.”
  • “The work being focused on the right things.”
  • Loss of focus on the...
Continue Reading...

Celebrate Monday's: Look How This Charter School Teaches and Celebrates Its Core Values

core values Mar 02, 2020

Hey school leader,

Thank you for being such a valued member of our school leadership community.

I believe culture is the sum of all of the behaviors by the human beings in the organization.

The best way to ensure the behaviors by the humans are focused on the right things are to adopt agreed upon values.

These values cannot just be word on paper. They need to be discussed and defined. They need training and to be communicated daily through the actions of the leaders.  

If the values are not followed it's everyone in the organization's job to say so. Not just the person at the top of the organization. 

This why I loved visiting Pine Lake Prep as part of our Teacher Leader Consortium this past week. The staff, students and stakeholders spent an incredible amount of time working through an adoption process of their core values. 

Setting and changing the culture of a school might be the most important job of a leader as it doesn't matter how strong your...

Continue Reading...

Want Shorter and More Productive Board Meetings?

governance Feb 25, 2020

As a public charter school consultant and trainer the question I get most often is, how do we make our board meetings shorter and more productive?

The answer is pretty simple in theory, but getting there takes focus.

Focus on what is most important. 

Since 2012 I have researched and studied effective governance practices. The last five years I have served on a charter school board as governance chair and two years as the board chair.

Here is what I learned.

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

The key to facilitating an effective and purposeful board meeting begins with the setting of the monthly agenda.   

Who Sets the agenda?

The agenda is a collaborative process set by the head of the school and the board chair. 

When is the agenda set?

The development of the next months agenda begins at the end of the previous board meeting.

At the close of the meeting the board chair should:

  1. Ask who is taking minutes to...
Continue Reading...

When This Comes, It's Too Late to Prepare

leadership Feb 23, 2020

After watching the Carolina Hurricanes game last night with family a great lesson in leadership first spoken by the late great John Wooden came to light...

"When the opportunity comes it’s too late to prepare."

In case you missed it, David Ayres, a 42 year old zamboni driver for a Toronto ice hockey rink was forced to play as the emergency goalie for the Carolina Hurricanes vs. the Toronto Maple Leafs because of injury in front of over 18,000 fans in a must win game for Carolina. 

The Canes won 6-3 and Ayres received star of the game.

Ayres gave up two early goals but settled in to shut out the home team over the last 20 minutes. His teammates mobbed him when the game was over. 

Whether it was during his junior hockey days or maybe driving around on the zamboni in an empty rink; my guess is Ayres has played that scene in his head thousands of times.

And when he finally got his shot, decades after he first imagined, he was ready mentally and...

Continue Reading...

Why Are You Really Asking Me This Question?

I believe that asking questions is the most powerful tool in leadership. 

In John Maxwell’s Good Leaders Ask Great Questions, he notes: 

  • Questions unlock and open doors that otherwise remain closed.  
  • Questions are the most effective means of connecting with people.  
  • Questions cultivate humility.  
  • Questions help you to engage others in conversation. 
  • Questions allow you to build better ideas.  
  • Questions give you a different perspective.  
  • Questions challenge mind-sets and get you out of ruts

All of these points seem like excellent reasons why people should not only ask but also encourage others to ask questions because good questions inform and great questions transform. 

However, lately, I have seen many relationships go awry because the individual being questioned  has interpreted the inquiry as an attack rather than a simple means to attain more information and clearer understanding.

I have...

Continue Reading...

How to Have a Difficult Conversation

communication leadership Jan 31, 2020

Every day we have crucial conversations.

However, there is one single factor that determines whether that crucial conversation is difficult or not. 

Want to know this secret I have learned? Sometimes in the hardest way possible. 

Take 30 minutes to listen to our latest podcast and begin how to master this secret. 

 

Continue Reading...

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...

Continue Reading...

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...
Continue Reading...

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...

Continue Reading...

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...

Continue Reading...
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Close

Want to receive positive daily thought messages and transformational leadership content? Fill out the form below and begin receiving our best content tomorrow.  

50% Complete