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I remember early on in my career as a school leader wanting to solve every problem that came my way. In fact, I thought that is what strong leaders did.  I won’t lie, not only did I think I could fix every problem, I wanted to fix every problem.  Yes, it made me feel good that I was helping others and most of the time they appreciated it. However, what I eventually learned was that not only did the problems never seem to go away, they seemed to multiply ten times over to the point of frustration. Over time I began to see others as weak and was critical of them, as though somehow they were incapable of solving their

Nothing cuts through the core of our heart and soul more than unkind chatter at work among colleagues that is meant to be hurtful. Often times, personal details about an individual are shared with others with the intention of causing personal harm and damage to one’s reputation.  These comments, regardless of whether they are false, true, or somewhere in between scattered with uninformed half-truths, are toxic to schools, businesses, & organizations alike. My interactions with others over time have convinced me that gossip is one of the biggest culture killers we are facing today in the work environment.  And until we begin to address the gossip in our work places, we will never reach the standard of excellence most organizations

Up until a few weeks ago, I was still struggling on my decision of what my focus would be for my one word for 2018. Three years ago I selected the word “vulnerable” because I felt compelled to embrace my vulnerability in order to continue to mature and evolve in my role as a school principal.  Then a couple of years ago I chose two words in my desire to continue to grow as a leader by eliminating the word “gotcha” from my vocabulary and behavior and replacing it with “forgiveness.” By doing so, I could begin to forgive myself for some of my mistakes and poor choices I made early on in my career when my intentions may have

It’s been almost four years since the news swept across our community that we had lost a senior student as the result of a car crash. Natalie had just graduated high school early and was on her way to classes at our local community college when she was killed in a car accident.  This past weekend, a junior student in our school community took his own life for reasons we may never truly know.  Sadly, these tragic events are part of what every school community has had to endure at some point in time. Over the years I have learned that one of the most challenging and heart-wrenching experiences happens when our school communities are faced with the loss of a

Have you ever walked away from an interaction frustrated because the results you were hoping to see never materialized?  Have you ever walked away disappointed in an individual because you felt they did not follow through or did not complete a task or project in the way you had expected them to? If you are like me, it has happened to you more than once in your time as a teacher or school/district leader. If it continues to happen, then it might be time to address your own frustrations by examining your own practices.  Looking back, there were times I realized I needed to manage my approach differently if I was ever going to achieve the results I was hoping

It is not uncommon to hear people describe change as difficult. In fact, often we describe change as something that people hate, that people fear, or that people don’t like to do.  We think about it. Other times we talk about it. And then there are those times we just keep thinking about it or even talking about it, but not doing anything about it.  Doing something different or trying something new for the very first time can bring about an array of emotions, thoughts, and feelings. We’ve all been there. Perhaps our minds and bodies were filled with anxiety, nervousness, fear, worry or just left frozen, unable to act.  Or maybe those emotions embodied excitement, energy, or a celebratory

A couple of weeks ago I was part of a group discussion where a building principal shared that he had been called to the superintendent’s office.  You could tell by the tone in his voice that he was a bit nervous about why his superintendent had requested the meeting. He shared that it wasn’t the first time he had been called in to have “a talk.” This got me to thinking how often we behave in similar ways (both intentionally and unintentionally) as building and district leaders when it comes to managing conversations and our decisions, and the negative impact this can have on the overall culture of any organization. Please know I share these with you because at one