Category: People

  • 4 Ways to Boost Creativity

    Creativity – LinkedIn lists it as the number 1 job skill. School taut it as a top aim of education. Cultures value it as the cornerstone of art and entertainment. But how is it nutured? Per usual, this blog aims to give actionable ideas. So let’s avoid the philosophy and get to the tactics. Here […]

  • Ostentation as a Requisite for Modern Work?

    In a recent article (link below) from The Economist, the headline states: The rise of performative work It’s not what you do. It’s how ostentatiously you do it The article discusses how remote work demands employees to be performative – to look like they’re working. Let’s take the premise – It’s not what you do. […]

  • I’m Not A Cat, The Second Story

    The I’m Not a Cat Zoom call is so relatable. It, in some shape, has happened to each of us. And the lessons are many. Regardless of the stories we tell, there’s always going to be a second story. The second story is the one our audience hears, and it could be vastly different than […]

  • Story Telling

    You have a story. Your team has a story. Your organization has a story. You are uniquely positioned to tell that story and craft that narrative. But if you do not tell your story, someone else will. While most stories are positive, if someone else is telling your story, it might have unintended negative consequences […]

  • The Psychology of a Landscape Scale Crisis

    In yesterday’s post, I posited that a landscape scale crisis brings us the gift of a compass. But that’s not the whole story. In fact, there’s a psychology behind such a crisis that needs addressing. In the early days of COVID-19, it seemed like the right time for school leaders to put their heads down […]

  • Why Do We Do This To People?

    Educators are some of the busiest people in the world. If it’s not district mandates, or community needs, or regional mandate, it’s school leaders, it’s instructional coaches, or even Pinterest – everyone is telling the teacher and principal what to do and how to do it. Why do we do this to people? What’s worse, […]

  • When You Didn’t Know How To Act

    Think about when you showed up for your first day of graduate school. Maybe you weren’t exactly sure what to expect. What did you do first? Without even thinking about it, you looked around. You do it at conferences. It happens at meetings. Our brains are wired to look for cues on how to behave […]

  • Show, Not Tell

    You can tell people what to do. Or you can use cues to show them. Ever wonder why baseball players are always spitting? Ever wonder why viral videos lead to strange dance crazes? People mimmick what they see. No one told them what to do. They see enough others doing it, and they assume it’s […]

  • Canned Laughter and Other Cues

    Television productions understood a simple truth when creating sitcoms – the need to use canned laughter to seed the humor. If you’ve watched Jimmy Fallon or Stephen Colbert lately, you’ve noticed the lack of audience laughter makes their jokes a bit less funny. The reason herds work, is because animals look for cues on how […]

  • How Cognitive Dissonance Helps and Hurts Your Change Efforts

    Change is tough. We know that. Personal change, professional change, and organizational change can each be overwhelming. Especially when change is led by someone who doesn’t understand the five stages of change. In times like we’re experiencing now in Fall 2020, educational change includes all three areas of change (personal, professional, organizational). Here’s a quick […]

  • Staying True To Your Work

    You don’t need thousands to understand your work. You simply need the intended people to be impacted by it. Large followings aren’t needed. Only impact. Social following isn’t proof of anything. It only shows you know how to play a game designed by computer programmers. It doesn’t show impact. Verified account status, big-name publishers, large […]

  • Get to No First

    When dealing with a difficult situation or a challenging conversation it’s tempting to find agreement quickly. Agreement is not the goal. The goal is understanding why there’s a difficulty. To achieve this goal, you must get to no first. Make it the first aim in your conversation to uncover the objection, which often sounds like: […]

  • Honeymoons and Moonshine

    Landing the gig is the beginning. Often, it’s also the end. Passionate school leaders move up the career ladder eager to make a mark and help the school, the district, or the region. But that zeal soon faces the swamp of emails, meetings, phone calls, and the unanticipated deluge of problems asking for you to […]

  • Dual Realities

    There’s the leader’s reality, and there’s everyone else’s. The challenge of being a leader is having the self-awareness to manage the needs of your people with the goals of your organization’s. Without this management prowess, dual realities will exist – and maybe even clash.

  • Three Cs of a Successful Daily Routine

    Communication. Start the day with people. Manage your communications first thing in the day, and by doing so, you are making people your priority. Creation. Use your fresh mind in the morning to focus on producing and creating. Whatever projects you have will be better off with your early to mid-morning brain. Clean Up. Don’t […]