Monday Moanin Thoughts # 195 Minnows Or Whales?

Happy Monday Moanin day after Super Bowl 2016 to all of you. I hope your team was victorious.  During the past several weeks, I have had numerous discussions with educational leaders about what is the most important issue they are dealing with. During these discussions,  I sometimes will refer to  John Kotter’s work about urgency.  Kotter writes about complacency, false sense of urgency, and true sense of urgency. The goal and challenge for all of us is to work at operating only on what is truly urgent.  Another version of this is what a staff member shared with me years ago. While working at Ford Motor Company his supervisor would talk about minnows and whales. His boss would remind his staff  that if you spend time dipping for minnows you may miss the whale swimming by. This week it is crucial to find and focus on the whales. Don’t get sidetracked and distracted by the little things that may be minnows.

This week take action and lead with urgency. Ask yourself, is this a whale or a minnow?

Monday Moanin Thoughts #194 This Week- Focus On Your Strengths

Welcome  to the  first Monday Moanin of February 2016. As a new month begins it occurred to me that many of you may be starting new semesters or grading periods. You are also half way to finishing the 2015-16 school year. As you reflect on the first half of the year it may be easy to think of all the issues faced and the decisions made that you would like to do over. In other words it is common to focus on what  your challenges are.

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Monday Moanin Thoughts #193 Solid Advice For Educators- Focus On Attitudes

Happy Final January 2016 Monday Moanin to all of you. Over the past few weeks I have met with several educators from the Tri-County area of Detroit. The most common concern among them is building climate and culture. In their 2015  book, School Culture Rewired authors  Todd Whitaker and Stave Gruenert write; “If culture is a school’s personality, climate is its attitude. The biggest difference between the two is that attitude is far easier to change than a personality.”  Read more

Monday Moanin thoughts #192 Do Our Schools Reflect Dr. King’s Message?

Welcome to another January 2016 Monday Moanin. Today we celebrate the American federal holiday marking the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. Let’s honor Dr. King’s memory as we begin our work this week. The following Dr. King quote can help us reflect on the work we are doing in our schools.

” The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character, that is the goal of education.” Read more

Monday Moanin Thoughts #191 Lead Better In 2016

Wow, winter is back in Michigan on this frigid January Monday Moanin. Hopefully you are all off to a productive start in 2016. Last week,  MMT #190 asked, what are you going to start in new year?  This week the focus and challenge is about enhancing your leadership effectiveness. Over the past several weeks there have been hundreds of posts and blogs written about leaders improving  their skills.  The authors all had their own opinions on what areas of leadership needed to be enhanced. The challenges for all leaders is what is most important to focus on. In writing this MMT , I  summarized all of the blogs and settled on these 3  traits for your consideration.  Focusing on the following traits will help you lead better in 2016. Read more

Monday Moanin Thoughts # 190 What Are You Going To Start Doing In 2016?

Happy first Monday Moanin  of 2016.  I hope that  you had a wonderful Holiday break. During the weeks leading up to break I met with many administrators. Among the many topics we discussed included a question from Ken Blanchard, what do you want to start doing?  Listed below are some questions and suggestions to help as you reflect on what you want start in 2016. Read more

Monday Moanin Thoughts # 188 Just Asking; Will We Ever Get On The Same Page?

Happy Monday Moanin to everyone. During this past week I began to wonder why can’t educators get on the same page? Why can’t we figure out what we need to focus on in all of our schools? It seems to me that if we all have a similar vision and focus, all learners will benefit. Instead we compete against one another; state against state, county against county; district against district, school against school, principal against principal,  and teacher against teacher. This competition is unhealthy and not productive. I feel it is a distraction. The competition to have the highest fund balance and be better than any other district keeps all of us from  collaborating and determining what our learners need.  I don’t have all of the answers, but it seems that some cooperative goal setting might be in order.

Quote of the week: To paraphrase Dr. Dave Richards; ” Are we getting learners ready for our world or theirs? “

Monday Moanin Thoughts # 186 Five Quotes To Guide Your Week

Welcome to the final Monday Moanin of November 2015. In today’s MMT, I am excited to share five quotes/ideas that may guide you as you begin your week. Consider using them as a reminder or help provide you direction as you plan for a productive week. Here is hoping one of these will resonate with you:

Sheryl Sandberg shares; “Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence.” Read more