Treat a man as he appears to be and you make him worse. But treat a man as if he already were what he potentially could be, and you make him what he should be. -Goethe
Just this past weekend I was looking for something to be on in the background as I worked on our new web page sharing our new Youth Leadership Programs and the classic Lean on Me (Morgan Freeman as principal “Crazy” Joe Clark) was available on Netflix. I love this movie not just for the transformation Clark brought to Eastside High, but the transformation Clark goes through himself through the movie. Clark’s tactics are highly criticized even 30 years later, but there is one thing he did extraordinary well is see the possibility in the 2,700 students and hold them to that standard at all times. He communicated a vision of success through discipline and hard work, while painting a picture of possibilities for each adult and student in the classroom regarding their future. He said,...
When you think of Alfred Nobel, what comes to mind? You might be like me and not have known his first name, but that last name conjures up the faces of the best of the best of humanity--Mother Teresa, Malala Yousafzai, Nelson Mandela, and Barack Obama to name a few Nobel Peace Prize winners.
Alfred Nobel is the man responsible for the Nobel Peace Prize, but did you know that he was also a chemist, engineer, and innovator who manufactured weapons? He had dedicated his life to developing nitroglycerine as an explosive; one of his brothers, Emil, was even killed during one experiment. Ultimately, he invented patented and sold a new product called dynamite, drastically reducing the cost of blasting rock, drilling tunnels, and forming canals, not to mention the endless tension between Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd in the Bugs Bunny Show.
Where the focus goes, the energy flows.
For most of his life, Alfred had focused on explosives, but in 1888, that all changed. His...
For over 30 years John Maxwell has written and recorded leadership lessons which have been used to mentor tens of thousands of people every single month. One of the most memorable lessons I remember listening to is as a leader, it is your responsibility to find people with great potential and how to create an environment for them to flourish and emerge as “full fledged” leaders. The lesson was called “Searching for Eagles.”
Here are the ten marks of an eagle from that lesson:
It’s an inspiring and...
Recently while consulting for a charter school having challenges with their school culture, a group of teachers were complaining about their board not understanding their school, not attending school events or touring the school. I asked one teacher, “Is that what you expect them to do? Do they know that? I have been a board member for over four years now and I’d be really surprised to hear that is what is expected of me.”
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...
As a kid my grandparents took me across the country multiple times camping. I got to experience and see some of the Nation’s historic (Mt. Rushmore) and God’s (Grand Canyon, Yellowstone) creations before I was 12 years old. I still remember those long days by car and my grandfather telling me stories about his childhood. Those experiences have meant so much to me, I have always wanted to create that experience for my family. Except their mother isn’t really the camping type. She is a “glamper” at best.
Now, I love baseball. I have almost 40 years of playing and coaching baseball memories that are ready to be shared at the drop of a hat. My wife has been with me for more than half of those years and loves the game as well. So we decided as a travel goal we would visit every Major League Baseball stadium. This past week we traveled to Toronto to see the Blue Jays versus the New York Yankees. I’ve been a Yankee fan since I was a kid and my son,...
Dr. Mary Majors, principal of Anderson Creek Academy, has had a storied career in education leadership impacting thousands of children and families. Over the last four years she has transformed an underperforming charter school, then in its second year, to today being the highest performing public school in Harnett County.
Anderson Creek Academy (ACA) opened in 2014 and was designed to be a part of a housing community designed by partners David Levinson and Steven Shotz. Their vision aimed to bring homeowners a one-of-a-kind experience that promotes the core values of health, education, sustainability, fellowship and camaraderie called Anderson Creek Community. Levinson and Shotz, knowing that education is a critical element to community success desired to create a school with a family atmosphere where students’ academic success comes first.
The ACA board hired Dr. Mary Majors, a veteran principal from the schools in the Department of Defense District to take to...
As an Executive Director of the John Maxwell Team I have had the privilege of being taught and mentored by John over the past five years. John will take the time for us to ask him direct questions based on where we are in our leadership journey. One question that seems to dominate the Q and A sessions is, “What is the secret to getting people to buy in and be committed to the team?”
At some point in your life, maybe even as you read this, you have asked yourself this same question. How do I get my team fully on board?
John’s answer is very simple sentence. “I cannot do it without you.” He shared, “Leaders can become great, only when they realize that they are the ones that need people.”
To truly achieve something great you have to shift your mindset from ME to WE. John will remind us, “Any dream that you have that doesn’t involve other people, is simple too small.”
To be honest, this is an area I...
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...
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:
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...