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Focus Your Energy for What Matters

leadership priorities Jun 27, 2020

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.

It is certainly a day I will never forget that was filled with many leadership lessons. 

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: 

  1. Analyzing the weather conditions 
  2. Plotting the correct coordinates
  3. ...
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What Matters Most to You?

family priorities May 25, 2020

Hey everyone,

Just a quick message here on a quote I recently read that I believe is critical for any leader to think on,

Things which matter most can never be at the mercy of things which matter least. 

Six years ago, Budd Dingwall, who has been an amazing friend and mentor to me said during a mastermind call. "You know Tom, as a principal the to do list will never be empty. You'll never feel caught up. The school will be there tomorrow. But you might not." 

He went on to share about how as a principal he missed precious family time to be the best principal he could be.

And he was!

How many principals do you know that have earned two Blue Ribbon School Rewards?

Each at a different school in a different state! Budd is an incredible servant leader although he doesn't spend his days walking the hallways, he is still leading by walking around in my mind. 

I knew what Budd was trying to convey to me; but I was just about to launch my new business and the "to-do" list...

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What Should You REALLY Be Doing Today?

I believe that leaders never advance to a point where they no longer need to prioritize.

Great leaders know that activity is not necessarily accomplishment. That is why they follow the 80/20 rule, or as many call it, the Pareto Principle. 

The 80/20 rule sounds like a mathematical formula and in some ways it is but don’t fret, this isn’t a lesson on statistics.  The rule came from an Italian economist, Vilfredo Pareto, who stated that 80% of the Italian income was earned by 20% of the Italian population. 

What this means is that 80% of your outcomes come from 20% of your inputs.  

Here are some relevant examples: 

  • Productivity (20% of your time per day brings 80% of your results)
  • Habits (20% of the cups that I own are used on a regular basis)
  • Happiness (20% of your activities create 80% of your happiness) 
  • Revenue (20% of your product brings 80% of the revenue)
  • Assets (20% of my wardrobe is worn 80% of the days per year)
  • Mileage (20%...
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Three Critical Tasks You Never Write Down To Do: But Should

 

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...

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Start of the School Year Resources: Law of Priorities

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...

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