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What Do Your Customers Say About Your Organization?

As a school leader, you are in the people business. If it is good for the people, it will be good for your business. 

I recently met author and thought leader Jeff Henderson. He wrote the book, Know What You're FOR.

Jeff has an incredible path to success, working with Fortune 500 companies like Chic-Fil-a and some of the largest churches and school districts across the country on their purpose, values, orientation, culture and marketing.

In Jeff's book, he shares that there are two critical questions that every organization needs to ask and work daily to ensure the answers align.

  1. What do we want to be know for? (Your Vision)
  2. What are we know for?  (Current Reality)

The first question you need to ask yourself and your team. You will probably get a handful of different answers.

Here is our What are you FOR statement: 

Leaders Building Leaders, at its core, is about making a difference. Our brand is for principals and school leaders who desire to unlock their...

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Casting Vision for Your Organization

#live2lead Sep 14, 2021

I have learned from my mentor, John Maxwell, that great leaders know the way and show the way.  He goes on to say that, "The smallest action is better than the biggest intention. No one ever intended their way into greatness." 

As a leader, your first step is being able to see the big picture, the overall vision for the organization, initiative or product.

Have ever heard the quote, Without vision, the people will perish?

This doesn't mean that people will actually perish. It means that because people do not see where we are going. As a result, I am not going to put forth much of an effort. Creating not just a lack of productivity, but a lack of effort. 

The leader must have the ability to effectively communicate this vision to his or her team, collaborating with their team to systematically get the steps and plans down.

They must see the challenges ahead and chart a course that everyone can follow. This is the Law of Navigation, which says "anyone can steer the...

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How to Communicate During Difficult Times

Communication has never been more important than now, as we find ourselves still in the midst of a pandemic and navigating our staff and students being back in the school building. 

Let’s talk about getting started.

It’s the hardest part of anything you do.

Sometimes we put off tasks for days, weeks, or months that only take minutes. We even do this when we know the consequences could be disastrous if these tasks go unfinished. Why do we do this?

Because we are creatures of habit. We cling to what we know. Fear of the uncertain, of the unknown, is the most basic and primitive fear that we experience – and it keeps us from getting started.

And what happens if you never get started? 

Well, if you don’t start a car, how far does it take you? How quickly do you get where you want to go?... 

If you don’t get started, you go nowhere. You do nothing

But you don’t want to do nothing… you want...

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How to Create Your Dream Job

#decisions Jul 01, 2021

I believe when you do what you love, it is NOT really work. 

Seven years ago this was my last week of “real work.”  I mean a place where I had to report every day, be somewhere at a certain time and oh yeah, had a boss. 

I still remember finishing up my last day as a consultant for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction to start my own consulting, training and coaching business specifically schools and school leaders.

It was July 3rd of 2014.

I walked out of DPI with nothing but a cardboard box of "stuff" and a crazy vision of being the difference-maker in the leadership development of individuals and organizations.

To be honest, I had NO IDEA WHAT I was doing, but I was a little angry. 

I was angry and frustrated with seeing SO many outstanding people, leading charter schools across the state, who were NOT meeting their potential. School leaders that were stressed to the max, working late hours, feeling under-appreciated, failing in...

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From Here to There: A School Leadership Success Story (Piedmont Community Charter)

I believe that when it comes to improvement (personal or school) consistency is more important than intensity. 

One school that exemplifies this principle is Piedmont Community Charter School in Gaston County North Carolina.

In 2015, Piedmont was in the middle of a leadership transition and was underperforming in the areas of academics and student enrollment. It did not have a reputation for being a school or rigorous academics, especially in high school.  

The new Head of School at the time, Jennifer Killen, had an incredible challenge ahead of her. She knew that she would have to work diligently not just on her own leadership capacity, but the skills and the quality of her team. 

Fast forward to this past year and Piedmont Community Charter School was recognized as one of the “Best High Schools” by U.S. News & World Report. They also moved into a state of the art new facility. Piedmont Charter’s new campus...

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Live the Law of the Rubber Band

If I were to ask the question: “Do you want to grow?” How would YOU respond?

I believe it would be a resounding yes, I want to grow! But the truth of the matter is that for most of us, we avoid any form of pressure because we don’t want to feel uncomfortable. You see, we have been taught that comfort is a place to be desired and strived for. 

I would like to introduce a new thought today. 

All living things grow and that growth requires stretching. 

In John Maxwell’s 15 Laws of Growth, the Law of the Rubber Band, he says: “True life begins at the end of our comfort zone and we arrive there by stretching.”

When it comes to tension and stretching, a rubber band is a great example.

Rubber bands are ONLY useful when they are stretched. You would not be where you are professionally, and who you are personally, without some form of tension or stretching taking place. 

For many, the thought is, when I graduate from college and...

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Follow the Law of Consistency

I believe that consistency wins over intensity.

Here is what I mean.

Ever jump into a project, diet or other life-changing program with incredible determination and intensity; but after 5-10 days we find that it is more difficult than anticipated and we end up quitting. Allowing our previous habits to win out and overwhelm our new found passion? 

Ever say as a principal, I am going to get all of my observations (10) done this week. Then on Friday realizing you barely completed two. 

The feeling of guilt, disappointment or blame overwhelms the need for true reflection and growth. 

“Well, I got a lot done.” “Well, we had those issues with the angry parents.” “We had two birthdays, I couldn’t not eat the cake!” “It was a long week, exercise just didn’t fit in the schedule.”

We blame everything from the program to our genetics. 

At the end, choosing what is comfortable or easy over the change we so...

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I AM Overwhelmed

“I am overwhelmed,” they shared. “I am just...I have a lot to do. I’ll be working all summer, which is fine, I can cancel my vacation and go next year.”

As a coach and thinking partner for hundreds of school leaders, I hear comments like this every week. School leaders that are too busy, too overwhelmed, too engaged in everything to participate in a training session or prepare for their coaching session.

When the truth is, their feelings and emotions are not being overwhelmed. Their feelings and emotions are coming from being under-purposed. From not having clarity in their purpose, vision and goals. 

Your purpose is why you do what you do. The filter through which you direct your creative power and how you make decisions. Think of your purpose as the sun and everything revolves around it. From your purpose, you begin to see and create vision. I teach Purpose, Vision and Goals in our Empowerment Mentoring program. 

When you are not...

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People Don't Quit Organizations

culture leadership Jun 17, 2021

I don't believe people quit organizations. 

I believe people quit people. 

Here are some examples of why I quit jobs in the past. 

When I was a teacher I did not see a path for professional advancement from my principal and district. So I left for a charter school that showed me a two year plan to be the Director of Exceptional Children during my interview as a Special Education teacher. 

When I was a Grants and Special Projects Leader at a University I wanted to travel to local school systems and assist principals and utilize my skills as a trainer, I left because the Dean shut down all travel and asked me to "just do research".

When I was a middle school director of a charter school I wanted to was not considered for the head of school position by my superintendent, I left to become a state wide consultant for the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) that provided me a platform to be more and do more. 

When I was at DPI after three years my boss said to...

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Eight Tips When Reviewing Your Bylaws

Recently I was leading a governance strategic retreat, which is one of my favorite professional training services I offer, and I asked a question to the board about how many board members does your bylaws allow.

A member replied, “nine”.

I counted the members in front of me, looked at the board and said, “Well there are 10 of you here, so I hope not. When was the last time you reviewed the bylaws?”

We pulled the bylaws and identified that seven was the max! They had been out of compliance for years based on their own bylaws.

This is just one of the many common mistakes I see in governance bylaws...many were written so long ago they are out of touch with the school's current structure. 

Here are some other common mistakes you might find in your bylaws.

  • Bylaws having policies embedded: The bylaws should be structure in which the board operates. This includes number of members, terms, term limits, definition of quorum, and officers responsibilities....
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