I believe that it’s not experience that grows the leader, it’s a combination of two key principles and action.
A leader’s growth will come from two things:
1. Evaluating your experience
2. Taking action based on your evaluation
Every week I end with these questions three:
What went well?
What went wrong?
What role did I have in these problems and success.
Then I write out the action steps I will take this week to move my experiences into evaluative improvement.
Try this for the next 30 days and I guarantee you will see a significant difference in your emotional and physical health while getting better results.
Raising your awareness,
P.S. Did you grab the quarterly School Leader Checklist, a tool from ourPrincipal Leadership Academy, I sent out the other day? If you are looking for an easy to use tool that will help you as a school leader become more productive by empowering the leaders around you click the link below to grab your copy.
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...
“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...
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...
Hey, I am Dr. Tom Miller and I have a big idea to share.
I believe that everything needs to fight for its life to get on your agenda. Here is what I mean.
I remember when I was a principal, just coming back from spring break, spending the last week reflecting and analyzing where we needed to go over the next 90 days to be fully prepared for the next school year.
I would share these ideas with my team and instead of them showing excitement for a new idea they would think...oh no, that's one more thing! When will we find the time to do that? How will we do that? How will this impact ME?
Like many school leaders, I struggled from "shiny object" syndrome. I love to learn about what is working in other schools and tinker with strategies. The more I learned, the more I put on my team, without taking anything away.
My inability to prioritize, isolate, and focus on the most vital, game-changing actions that ensure significant improvement in teaching and...
My family and I recently had the opportunity to embark on a Gulf Stream fishing trip. We caught over 300 lbs of Mahi Mahi, Wahoo, Barracuda, Bonito and a few other species.
Our fishing spot was three hours one way, sixty miles offshore. We left the dock at 5:00 am, fished for seven hours in 90 degree heat and returned home with over 300 lbs of fish.
On the way back to shore, I climbed to the bridge of the 50 foot boat and I happened to notice both the captain and the first mate were sleeping.
After I had a small tantrum regarding our safety I realized great leaders understand when they need to be at their best - expending the most energy in order to meet their mission.
Our captain put the boat on autopilot, allowing the captain to conserve his energy and be at his best for the key tasks of the day:
Thirty-two years ago today, June 7, 1988, I was the first!
The first player in Newtown’s Little League’s history to hit a home run and the newly built Chandler Field off Trevor Tuminsky. I was twelve years old. It landed way out in the trees over the left field fence. I am grateful to my coach, Tom Davis, for tracking it down and giving it to me in this case. I am not sure if it is the actual ball, but it is mine.
Many other players hit multiple home runs that season after mine. Some probably much further. Many I am sure hundreds of players have since put one over the fence in thirty two years. But to me, the only one that matters, was the first one. The one that paved the way for the rest.
Being first is a leadership model I have utilized my entire career, especially after I heard Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture. In it, Pausch describes an award he gave, “The First Penguin”, to his graduate students for stepping out of their comfort zone and trying...
Mr. Clarence Henderson, civil rights leader who was a member of the Greensboro Four who were arrested at Woolworth's lunch counter in Greensboro joined our Charter School Leader Community to discuss the current racial unrest, peaceful protest, and how school choice and charter schools, and educators in general can contribute to a better society.
Here were some of Mr. Henderson's teaching point quotes:
“The new protest is the ballot box.”
“It’s not what’s behind you or in front of you that matters. It’s what’s IN you that matters.”
'We the people, not they the government."
"And so no matter what way a person other person sees me, that doesn't bother me, because I don't allow anybody to occupy the space in my mind because they have not paid in rent to be there."
"It doesn't matter your political party you can advocate for equality."
“Silence is consent.”
And so many more.
We will be...
Hey everyone, I am Tom Miller and I wanted to share this quote with you.
John Maxwell shared, "Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.”
If you knew me 5, 10, 15 or 20 years ago, you would more than likely remember a person of lesser character, limited personal accountability, empathy, and awareness of how my actions impacted others. I have worked hard over the last 5 to make significant changes to be the father, spouse, and community leader.
However, over the last week, watching the turmoil unfold, I have come to realize that I am not even close to the leader that I need to be.
John Maxwell shares, “If you want to change and grow, then you must know yourself and accept who you are before you can start building.”
Last week, when George Floyd died I said, “Wow, this is terrible.” But it was just “another” incident.
When the protesting began, I said, “I just hope it doesn’t get violent.” ...
During this COVID-19 interruption to the school calendar as most us have experienced it, our team at Leaders Building Leaders, in partnership with Rhonda Dillingham, Executive Director of the North Carolina Association for Public Charter Schools, created a community and predictable platform to INFORM, CONNECT, GUIDE and UNITE school leaders from across the globe in hopes of creating the best educational learning experience for all stakeholders. We meet every Thursday at 1:00.
This past Thursday Ed Reed, Social and Emotional Learning expert, school administrator and counselor in a Maryland school system, was our guest speaker and shared with us the "WHY" behind building an effective Social and Emotional Learning program and "HOW" to begin laying an effective foundation before students return to school this fall.
Ed has served in various leadership roles in private industry and secondary schools recognized among the top 100 schools in America. After spending over 20...