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...
Hey, I am Tom and I have a big idea to share. If you want really win and build strong relationships with other people, you must first win with you!
Here is what I mean.
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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.
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....