Monday Moanin Thoughts #168 Connectors For Planning Summit 2015

Welcome to a warm, wonderful Michigan Monday Moanin to all of you. Later this week I will be hosting 95 educators from the Tri-county area of Detroit at the 4th Annual Hickey Leadership Group Planning Summit. The Summit is for leaders from individual schools and districts to work on their plans for the upcoming 2015-16 school year. As I was preparing for the opening activity I considered many strategies and options. I ended up with two openers listed below.  Consider giving them a try as you open your year. Read more

Monday Moanin Thoughts #167 Prepare For 2015-16 As If You Are Interviewing For A New Position

Happy Summer July 2015 Monday Moanin to all of you.

For the past several weeks many of my mentees have been preparing for interviews. Through the process of conducting mock interviews and planning meetings I wondered, could I answer all of the questions and challenges of the interview process? My last interview was over thirteen years ago and you may share a similar time frame. It got me thinking, why not self assess and take inventory of your performance by preparing for an interview? When I reflect on my preparation for past interviews, many things come to mind. I think of the deep internal audit I conducted of my strengths and weaknesses. I reflected on my philosophy and vision. I defined the difference between a manager and an instructional leader. I focused on what was good instruction and the importance of building a culture of readiness among staff to handle the changes and challenges of educating learners in the 21st Century. Read more

Monday Moanin Thoughts #165 Five Quotes From Habitudes To Guide Your Week

Happy July 2015 to all of you. Recently I have started to read The Habitudes Series , by Tim Elmore. His vision is that there are images that form leadership habits and attitudes. I have just completed the first two books in the series. Below are five of my favorite quotes taken from them. Refer to them often this week and let them guide your practice.

  • “Leaders must make sure their emotional tank is full before they lead others. Never lead out of need.”
  • “Authentic leaders author their own life; they don’t pose as someone else.”
  • ” The iceberg represents your leadership. The 10% above the water is your skill. The 90% below the water is your character. It’s what below the surface that sinks the ship.”
  • “Good leaders don’t depend on their position to get the job done. They leverage personal power, not positional power, with people.”
  • Leadership is not about your power but your empowerment of others.”

Thanks to Tim Elmore for the Habitudes. I wish all of you a great week and keep finding the good stuff.


Monday Moanin Thoughts #164 More Lessons From Annual Camping Trip

Happy June 2015 Monday Moanin to you. Wow , what a beautiful weekend I just experienced in Western Michigan. For the past several years my family and I have  been lucky enough to participate in an annual camping weekend. I am not going to lie, I am not Captain of the all camping team. In fact many times, including this year I manage to forget a critical component needed for the trip,( tent poles). So we had to buy a new tent. However, every year I learn more about team work and applying Manby’s seven principles. Below is an archived blog from June of 2012.  Enjoy!


Posted June 24, 2012

I just spent the weekend at PJ Hoffmaster State Park campground  near Grand Haven, Michigan and couldn’t help but notice love, support, collaboration, and teamwork in action. For the past decade my wife and her  two college roommates and families get together to camp. It is hard to believe that we have taken all of these trips. We are all older and our children now have have significant others, some are still in school and we also  have grandchildren in the mix. Wow, what a gift!! Read more

Monday Moanin Thoughts #162 Rest, Reflect, Reinvigorate

Happy mid June 2015 Monday Moanin to everyone. For many of you this may be your first week without students or of summer vacation. After a long and challenging school year it is important to recharge and get some rest. Enjoy some quality family time and have your share of fun. After a few weeks of rest and renewal it is time to get to work. The following ideas hopefully will assist as you begin planning for the summer and upcoming 201-16 school year. Give consideration to the following strategies. Read more

Monday Moanin Thoughts #161 Finish Strong, Refer To These Quotes

Welcome to this June edition of Monday Moanin Thoughts. This may be the last week of school for many of you. As a result it may be a week filled with many distractions. It may be a time that you feel, ” lets just get this year over.” I hope that you fight that feeling. It may just be the perfect time for you to lead as if it was the first week of  the 2015-16 school year. This morning I spent a few hours on Twitter soaking up lots of good stuff from my PLN. Listed below are a few quotes that may help you focus your thoughts and actions as you begin 2015-16.

@principalpaul posted; “The true strength of our classroom lies in the collaboration of learners, not in the knowledge of one expert.”

@Dr_TravisBurns posted a James Comer quote: “No significant learning can occur without a significant relationship.”
Read more

Monday Moanin Thoughts #160 When Times Are Tough, Leaders Don’t Hide

Happy first Monday Moanin  of June 2015 to everyone.  June signals many things in education. Across the state of Michigan thousands of students are graduating and schools are successfully bringing their year to a close. June is also the time where Michigan school districts are dealing with the realities of a poor funding system and the ramifications of being a right to work state. As a result, this week could be when individuals find out their fate. Some will be laid off, or reassigned,  some involuntarily transferred, and still others will have their program eliminated.  Coupled with a challenging evaluation system, and pay and step freezes it can be difficult to find the good stuff. Read more

Monday Moanin Thoughts #159 Memorial Day 2015, Lead With Courage

Happy Memorial Day 2015 to all of you.

Today we honor our heroes on this Memorial Day 2015. I can’t help but think of what character strengths our fallen held during their service to our great nation. The list of these strengths would be a lengthy one. One way to honor these men and women would be to lead by focusing on one characteristic they all shared, Courage. Read more