A few years ago a colleague of mine suggested that I read a book Monday Morning Leadership by David Cottrell. In it Cottrell reflects on eight sessions he had with his mentor. It is a concise read , filled with sound ,insightful leadership principles. In one of the chapters, Cottrell was encouraged to lead from something his mentor referred to as the learning zone as opposed to leading from the comfort zone.I use this as a reminder to avoid complacency and to challenge myself to take risks without fear of failure. Read more
There are many schools of thought on building culture and the amount of tension that an organization can handle. Many authors use the terminology healthy tension to describe a successful, productive culture. My interpretation of healthy tension is rooted in a collaborative culture. Read more
For the past several weeks I have had the pleasure to have monthly coaching sessions with several building administrators. These outstanding people are doing great work with their communities. Several of my meetings are conducted in their offices. Read more
Leadership is hot topic. Visit any bookstore or website and you will find several models and opinions of how to improve your organization and enhance your skills. After reviewing several authors in preparation for the blog, I have decided to simplify this complex subject. As a school leader, focus on a few of these areas and your performance will improve and be enhanced. Be intentional on the 5 C’s. Read more
This is an archived blog from January 2012.
Being a leader in today’s schools is a difficult challenge. There are mandates, shrinking resources, learning gaps, new supervisors, micro managing school boards, and state legislatures to deal with. These challenges can cause you to act with caution and less confidence which could negatively impact you as a leader. Read more
Welcome to the first Monday morning of 2012. I trust all of you had a wonderful break and are energized to welcome back your staff and students. Besides enjoying my family, I used the break to conduct many one question interviews with learners of all ages. I was interested in finding out what did learners appreciate about their teachers. What made them successful as instructors? Here are some of the comments I received: Read more
As we approach another Holiday break I wanted to write about what a great job Principals do in leading their buildings and how much I appreciate their efforts. Listed below are the 1o things I appreciate about them.
- The way they provide recognition of students and staff.
- How they support and encourage teachers with new ideas and strategies.
- Their ability to understand good instruction.
- How they visit classrooms and encourage students to do their best.
- The passion they bring on a daily basis.
- How they accept total responsibility for their buildings.
- Their communication skills and how they use different vehicles to get the message out.
- Their enjoyment of kids and how their decisions are made with the kids in mind.
- How they lead with humility and treat everyone with respect.
- Their ability to provide hope and humor for everyone in their school community.
I appreciate all that you do. You do it everyday with class and integrity. Thank you so much.
Have a great week and find the good stuff.
Within the next couple of weeks, students and staff will be taking some much needed time off to celebrate the holidays with their families. For leaders of organizations this can be a tricky time. Should I relax and cancel my December staff meeting? Should I stop my one on one meetings with staff because of the distractions this time of year? Should I not hold kids accountable for their behavior because we are almost to break? The answer is stay on task and LEAD with high expectations. Read more
For the past several months public education across the country has been attacked and defined by several as failing and ineffective. In fact, many state legislatures have passed laws increasing the number of charter schools, reducing teacher pay, imposing an 80-20 health care provision on educators, and reducing the amount of state aid to schools. All of these pieces of legislation do little to help improve public education. In fact it is clear that politics is being played while support is being given to privatizing many areas of education. Read more
This is a great week for everyone to practice gratitude. Make a commitment to seek out ten people and thank them for who they are and what they do. It can be students, staff members, community members, or family. This small act is a powerful way to appreciate one another. By practicing more gratitude and acting with more optimism, researchers believe that good health is enhanced. Read more