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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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Podcasts for Your Travels!

leadership Nov 27, 2019

If you are one of the 55 million people who travel on Thanksgiving Day you may want to take something or someone to listen to pass the time.

Our Principal Office Podcast has over 50 hours of content that has been downloaded over 17,000 times.


I've linked some of our most downloaded below, plus two that will work well for the holidays!!!


Travel safely!

Learn Directly from Henderson Collegiate Executive Director Eric Sanchez

Steps to Effective Teacher Feedback

Setting and Achieving Goals

Have that conversation with the difficult adult in the room!

Connect with Everyone!

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How to Hold Effective Board Meetings

As a governance coach and consultant the question I get most often is, how do we keep our board meetings on track? The answer is the pretty simple.

Focus on what is most important. 

I have learned the hard way, as a consultant and a board chair, that if you do not prepare on the front end you will be repairing on the back end.

One of the keys to facilitating an effective and purposeful board meeting begins with the setting of the monthly agenda.   

Who Sets the agenda?

The agenda is a collaborative process set by the head of the school and the board chair. 

When is the agenda set?

The development of the next months agenda begins at the end of the previous board meeting. At At the close of the meeting the board chair should:

  1. Ask who is taking minutes to state the discussion items from this meeting that will need to be action items next month.  
  2. Review the school’s Strategic Outcomes Based Calendar and note any reports or items due next...
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The More You Tell the Less You Lead

coaching leadership Oct 24, 2019

You only get answers to the questions you ask. Otherwise, doors remain locked forever. 

If you are in any leadership position, and breathing, odds are you will be solving a problem today.  Take the opportunity to not tell people what to do, instead, ask them questions.

Three things will happen.

1. They will feel more part of the team.

2. You'll get better long term results.

3. You will learn how your team approaches problems so you can identify the gaps in your leadership and communication. 

Here are a few questions you can ask:

  • What is the cause of this problem? (It’s critical to get to the root of the dysfunction)
  • How do we solve this problem? (There are no bad ideas when you are brainstorming)
  • What specific steps do we need to take to solve the problem? (Follow up with who is responsible for what?)
  • How will this action lead us to our goal? (If you cannot answer this question with clarity your problem will not be solved)

Questions are the most effective way...

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Winning With People Lesson #8: Encourage the Dreams of Others

Have you ever told anyone your dreams? Recently my six-year old son Matthew asked me, “What did you want to be when you grew up?” “A professional baseball player,” I said with great certainty. Then my memories went right to someone in my family telling me when I was 12, “You have no shot of making it.”  That was 31 years ago but it still stings. I actually did play all the way to college and played one year in an adult wooden bat league. Just good enough to not embarrass myself most days.

As a coach, mentor and trainer I am privileged to hear the goals and dreams of many. A privilege I never take lightly as it shows a great deal of courage and trust. I am very conscious of the power of my response. The wrong word, tone or body language can crush a person’s dream; the right word can inspire him or her to pursue it. If someone thinks enough of you to tell you about his or her dreams, take care. And keep these things in mind to encourage...

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Everything Worthwhile is Uphill

fears leadership success Oct 10, 2019

My son is six years' old and recently we removed his training wheels from his bike. We live very close to multiple parks but every time I suggest we take the bike to get there, he immediately gives excuses about not being able to climb the hill leading to the park, "My legs are too small, I don't have the energy, walking is healthier, my scooter is safer." I shared with him that everything worthwhile is uphill and if you want to enjoy the park, you have to pay the price. 

Price is the number one obstacle between you and your potential and many leaders lack the willingness to pay the price. They treat their pursuit of leadership like a New Years resolution. They give up based on distraction, or pursuit of something shinier. 

Being a highly effective leaders is cool to want, neat to say, something great to pursue, it is just hard to stay with it. That is price you must pay to be an effective leader.  

What separates the greats from the others is their tenacity,...

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