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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

A few days ago I was having dinner with a Superintendent when he presented me with the following question, “How do you address underperformance, especially when you expect your staff and team to perform at a high level?  Right now I am struggling with some folks who just refuse to get better.”  It was a fair question and one that I often get when I am providing training or coaching school leaders. In fact, if I am being completely candid, I would argue that this dilemma has reached almost epidemic proportions in schools and business organizations across the board. Underperformance is an issue, but failing to address underperformance is an even bigger issue. And it may not be going away anytime soon. I

This past month I wrote a blog post entitled, “Leadership…The Biggest Issue in Public Education?” in which I suggested that ineffective leadership, in my opinion, was the biggest obstacle keeping us from reaching the levels of success we all hope to achieve as leaders of any organization. The post resulted in several comments being left on my Twitter and LinkedIn accounts, both publicly and privately which I genuinely appreciated.  One business woman wrote to tell me how she had been recently scolded by her supervisor via email for not following the proper protocol in her presentation and how that had made her feel like a failure even though it had been well received by her peers.  She added that she

  A few weeks ago I found myself in the middle of a conversation with several school administrators during a workshop that I was conducting on the topic of school leadership. At one point during the presentation I posed the following question to the attendees – “What do you believe to be the biggest issue facing us today in public education that is resulting in many of our schools to be labeled as low performing?” The question elicited several interesting responses. I have listed a few of the most common reasons that were presented below: Standardized Testing State and Federal Mandates Lack of Funding, Resources Teacher Evaluation System/Accountability Micro-Managing School Boards Teacher Turnover/Shortage Poverty Poor Parenting Mental Health Issues I wasn’t surprised

I was having a conversation with a colleague of mine recently when he asked me if I was seriously considering a Superintendent position.  “Someday,” I responded. “I feel like I have another good run in me and besides, I want to be a part of taking a school district to the next level.  Leading an entire district would give me an opportunity to test my leadership skills on a greater scale.”  Without hesitating he responded, “Why would you want all of those headaches and why on God’s green earth would you expose yourself to all of that crap?”  “Because it is the most important work that we can do,” I said.  “And for what it’s worth, that “crap” you refer

With two days left in 2016, I was feeling an immense pressure to come up with my New Year’s Resolution for 2017. I had contemplated not committing to a resolution but that idea seemed evasive and quite frankly, like a cop out. After all, goal setting is healthy, not just for the mind, but for the spirit and soul as well. The last two years I participated in the #oneword challenge and felt good about working on trying to be a better me. Thus, I began the process of selecting my one word. I pondered such words as Investment, Purposeful, Kindness, Genuine, Compassion, Reflection and Gratitude. Yet, nothing seemed to inspire me quite like I had hoped. I am not