Monday Moanin Thoughts #297 Happy Mothers Day, Lead Like Mom

Happy Monday Moanin! Yesterday we celebrated  Mother’s Day 2018 and I hope all Mom’s had a special day with their families. Most of us can reflect on how our own mom’s have influenced us as people and leaders. When I think of my mom, I am filled with many examples of how she helped shaped my life and those of my five brothers. Luckily, she still influences all of us  to this day. Rose Hickey is a  95-year-old dynamo. Her gifts are many and she still is the leader of our family. After my dad passed away in 1991, my mom modeled for all of us resiliency and strength.  It was not an easy time, yet she led us through our grief and though missing him, continued to enjoy and live a rewarding, full life. In the past two years,  she has battled many health issues and visits to the hospital and rehab facilities.In November that she moved out of her condo and into a retirement facility.  This morning, my wife and I visited her at her apartment and she is doing well.   When she was in rehab part of her physical therapy for balance, was having putting contests with her PT.  For her gift, we bought her a putter, 3 Pro V’s and new putt return machine. She was having a ball and made several putts. She is amazing and still strong and resilient. Read more

Monday Moanin Thoughts #296 MSU Agribusiness Management Graduate Talks The Three C’s

Happy first Monday Moanin of May 2018 to all of you. This past weekend I attended my daughter Emma’s Commencement Exercises from Michigan State University. My wife and I are so proud of her accomplishments and we are thrilled that she became the third person from our immediate family to be a Spartan graduate. Me in 1977 (ouch), son Paul in 2003 and now Emma in 2018. Read more

Monday Moanin Thoughts #295 The Final Weeks Of School Need ENERGY From All Leaders

Good morning everyone and  welcome to the 295th edition of Monday Moanin Thoughts.  Over the weeks since spring break, I have met with several building administrators to listen and discuss the work they do. I have come away with many impressions and at the top of the list is that administrators are very good at identifying the challenges of their job. If you ask them how things are going, you will hear a steady stream of passion about the challenges they are facing. However, when the conversation shifts towards talking about their highlights, there is usually caution, apprehension, reflection, and then some reluctance  to share.  Why is it that challenges are easy to discuss and highlights are a struggle?  Could it be that challenges tend to be more urgent? Continued focus on challenges and what is not going well can rob leaders of the positive influence they need to lead. It is important to recognize and validate all of the many highlights that occur daily. This spring, make a commitment to provide positive ENERGY  and celebrate all of the good stuff happening in your organization.   Read more

Monday Moanin Thoughts #294 Don’t Forget About Instruction, Finish Strong

Good morning to all of  you wonderful educators on this chilly , icy Michigan 2018  Monday Moanin.   The spring is a challenging time for students to stay focused on their studies. Who is kidding who, it is difficult for adults to stay focused also. As a result, now is a great time to revisit , refocus, and share with each other some instructional  best practices that will help keep the learner focused  on learning and less  on the distractions of springtime. Listed below are some reminders that may help. Teachers,  you may want to consider the following reminders and suggestions.  Read more

Monday Moanin Thoughts #293 Most Popular Tweets January-March 2018

Happy Monday Moanin to everyone and welcome back to many of you from spring break 2018. To assist you with your work this week, consider focusing on a few of  my top tweets from January to March 2018. They will serve you well as you begin the closing weeks of your school year.  Read more

Monday Moanin Thoughts #292 It’s Time For Some Spring Cleaning

Happy final Monday Moanin of March 2018. For many, this may be the final week before spring break 2018. For most of us in Michigan we have reached the time of year to begin the annual event of spring cleaning. It’s the time we open up the windows and get rid of the cooped up, cabin fever, stale winter air and be open to the newness and hope of springtime.  This may also be a perfect time to conduct a professional spring cleaning that will help to let go of some things and freshen up your practice. Use the questions listed below to guide your reflection. They are: Read more

Monday Moanin Thoughts #291 Get To Work On Your Spring Message

Welcome to the latest Monday Moanin Thoughts. For many, this is the week before we have a well deserved Spring Break. My mentor always encouraged me to write a welcome back message to staff as they return from their break. If you are planning to do the same, consider getting started on it now.  The goal is to validate the hard work and commitment of your staff and set the stage for the final weeks of school. Below are four prompts from leaders they sent to their staffs that set the tone as they began the home stretch to the end of the school year. Read more

Monday Moanin Thoughts #290 Begin March 2018 By Leading Better

Welcome to the first Monday Moanin of March 2018. Wow, spring will be coming soon. This week I met with several educational leaders and it became clear how difficult and challenging it is to be a leader in schools today. Some of my observations about their challenges included issues like poor funding, teaching and learning, school safety, shrinking autonomy, student testing, and staff/student morale. So, how do you deal with these and other challenges and still keep your organization effective and growing? This week, how are you going to lead? Consider focusing on the three areas below.

  • Lead by taking care of the little things. Be well planned and organized for the week. John Maxwell writes; ” Don’t try to conquer the world until you’ve taken care of things in your own backyard.” 
  • Spend this week leading from your strengths. Reflect on what you do well and stay in that lane. Enhance your practice. Maxwell shares; ” Set your priorities and focus on your strengths today.”
  • Lead with the right attitude this week. Lead with your glass half full. Your staff doesn’t need to hear you blame others for the challenges everyone faces. Take responsibility for your attitude. Maxwell reminds; “Life is full of surprises, and the adjustment of our attitudes is a lifelong project. The pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The leader adjusts the sails.”

Lead this week by taking action and keep finding the good stuff.

Monday Moanin Thoughts #289, Fight Being Isolated- Build A Community

It is hard to believe that this is the final Monday Moanin of February 2018. In much of the country and certainly Michigan, we are dealing with the challenges of winter. Less daylight, cold, snow, ice, rain, flooding, fog , and let’s not forget the roads with potholes the size that could swallow up your vehicle. It is also the time of year where you spend more time indoors. It is rare that you talk to your neighbors, much less see them. Similar things can happen in your schools. It is easy to become isolated and not see or be available to others. So, this week let’s fight isolation and work at being more community minded. This week, consider trying some of the things listed below.  Read more

Monday Moanin Thoughts #288 Take A Pulse Check, What Kind Of Tension Is In Your Organization?

Good morning and happy Monday Moanin to all of you. Many authors agree that successful organizations and teams need a healthy tension to be productive. My definition of healthy tension is an organization rooted in a collaborative climate. Some examples include staff engaging in discussions about instruction, learning,  growth and possible changes in how individuals teach and students learn. The opposite is an organization that focuses on teacher/adult happiness that may not have enough tension or discipline to change and improve. Some describe this as a more congenial environment than collegial.   Read more