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Worrying is Like Bubble Gum for the Mind

habits leadership mentoring Mar 31, 2020

"Hey, I’m Tom Miller and I’ve got a quote I want to share with you one of my favorite quotes from my mentor Paul Martinelli. "Worrying is like bubblegum for the mind." 

Many times, thoughts that consume us are such – ‘Did I do right?’, ‘Could I have done better?’, ‘Am I enough?’, ‘What will be the result of this?’. 

In fact these are such familiar thoughts, that they are often on in our daily habits without our awareness. 

Lots of times, we are in these grey situations where there is nothing obvious that we’ve done wrong, but nothing that we’ve done terribly right either. These thoughts can paralyze you. 

One example is when a client or a potential client emails or calls me. My mind immediately goes to…”What did I do wrong?’ I sometimes delay in opening the email or listening to the voice message. 

Do any of these thoughts ever enter your mind? How do they make...

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Charter School Leader Community COVID-19 Collaboration

leadership Mar 20, 2020

Hey everyone, 

Our team and strategic partners meet every Thursday at 1:00 dozens of public charter school leaders meet virtually to Inform, Connect, Guide, and Unite charter and business leaders during this time. We will continue to do so until we are back in school Here is the link to add to your calendar

Start by saving these School Leadership Community Created Resources to your DRIVE:

Google Folder Access

Shared COVID-19 Resource Document 

Here is access to the archived recordings (latest to earliest)

April 2, 2020

Experts weigh in on:
Build is as we go, Tom Miller 5 minutes
154 Funding, Cory Draughon, 20 minutes
CARES ACT, Legal and HR Update, Lisa Gordon Stella, 15 minutes
State Emergency Leave, Acadia North Star 10 minutes
Education Plan Updates, 10 minutes
Grading and Legislation, Rhonda Dillingham, 10 Minutes
Call to Action (Self Care!) Tom Miller

March 26, 2020 (Discussion points: Unemployment, Hourly Employees, FERPA, Student Attendance,...

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How to Thrive Through COVID-19 As a School Leader

 

Hey, although these might seem tough times it is what we as leaders were trusted to do when we were appointed. 

Your job as a leader is to be microscopic on the present and telescopic towards the future. 

In less than 100 hours we went from organizing a possible break in school to a mandated two week closing. 

We went from canceling a few sporting events to being self-quarantined and no gathering of ten or more people. 

Some states have already canceled their end of year assessments, some are telling schools to start preparing for a full digital platform through the end of the year. 

Looking at our third and fourth quarter Principal Checklist through our Blue Print4Success program there are some critical organizational objectives (enrollment, hiring, strategic planning, budgeting) you need to be thinking on.

We have so many unknowns over the next 30 days every day matters to the future success.  There is one thing I know for sure...

when you confuse...

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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...

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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. 

 

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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...

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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...
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My Car Was Stolen. Here's What I Learned

leadership Jan 03, 2020

At 9:22 a.m. on December 21, 2019, I was lounging on the couch as it was the first day of the holiday break. Dorsey, the family dog, was giving the look. If you have a dog, you know the look. 

On went my shoes, grabbed my ear buds and tuuk as I hit the garage door opener. Dorsey took a sprint out the door and into the driveway. Yelling for her to come back I noticed something looked different. 

The driveway had tons of space. I walked out thinking I parked the car on the street for some reason. 

Nope. 

At 9:34 am I dialed 9-1-1 with one phone, and Googled “What to do when your car is stolen” with another. 

You might be asking, how could your car be stolen...from your driveway!!!

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

For the next 60 hours, from the car being stolen until it was found, here is what I learned: 

For things to change, you need to change: Don’t leave your car unlocked,...

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An Easy, Simple and Fun Process to Plan Your Best Year Ever!

 

Hey leaders, Dr. Tom Miller here and I want to share with you something I believe is critically important to your short and long term success.

Time has a wonderful way of demonstrating to us what matters.

Best selling author John Maxwell teaches a "Year in Review" process that I have  been implementing over the past four years to double my income but work less days. Travel to different parts of the world, reduce personal debt so I could increase retirement contributions, and improve my personal health (40 lbs. weight loss) as well as lowered cholesterol.  

You see, John believes that it is not experience that will determine your growth and success, it’s evaluative experience.

Without evaluative experience I am basically doing the same thing over and over, but expecting a different result. That’s the definition of insanity. 

As the days on the calendar end for 2019, it’s critical to look over the last year and determine:

What made this year...

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How to Improve Your School for Little to NO Money

leadership Dec 17, 2019

Hey fellow school leaders!

I have a thought I wanted to share.

I believe that your current level of thinking and doing has brought you your current results. 

This is true in ALL aspects of your life. As a middle school director we had strong academic results but a high turnover of our staff based on our unhealthy school culture and micromanaging leadership style. 

Despite having a pretty solid administrative team to lean on and being enrolled in an Education Leadership doctoral program with a dozen other principals and higher education leaders to learn from... 

...the feeling of isolation was overwhelming at times!

Many hours were spent hiding in the office closet with the public school law guide book hoping to find answers!

It wasn't until the opportunity to visit other high performing schools and strategically collaborated with more effective school leaders did the school's results change for the better (healthier culture, trust, teacher empowerment, increased...

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