10 Steps to Addressing Underperformance

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

Keep Your “Eyes” on the Prize – 8 Ways to Help You Stay Focused

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

Leadership…The Biggest Issue in Education?

  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

Why Would You Expose Yourself to All of That “Crap?”

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

My One Word? Better Yet…My Mantra

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

What Do You Agonize About?

Lately I have been praying for some of my friends and colleagues in the education profession. Some of you may think that is odd while others may be saying, “don’t forget to send a few prayers my way,” but I am sincere in my thoughts because for 25 plus years, I lived in their world.

School Offices Must Serve as Sanctuaries

As Abby walked into the school building she had a sinking feeling in her stomach. It was November and she had just moved into a new community. She was nervous about starting a new school midway through the school year. This was her first day of school and she kept her eyes down, nervous, not

Want to Be a Successful Leader? Learn to “ARM” Yourself

Successful leaders who I have met and learned a great deal from over the years have shared a common trait; the ability to be strategic in their thoughts, their decisions and their actions. Not manipulative, but mindful not to minimize the impact they can have on others, especially students, parents and staff.  They recognize the

Culture Killers: Staff Issue or Leadership Issue?

I was talking with a 2nd grade teacher the other day about dealing with difficult people when during the conversation I noticed her eyes begin to tear up.  It was clear that she had been deeply wounded and that she was still reeling from the after effect of it all. “Is it possible this person

Wherever You Are Going, You Are Almost There

A couple of weeks ago I was hiking with my two daughters in Yosemite National Park when a father and his two sons walked up to us as we examined a map to determine which route to take next. The father looked at me and asked where we were headed.  “That is a good question,”