Discernment for our times

Discernment – A Road Map Here is a roadmap to this double-issue of eight entries. The world has changed Less and less of our world is settled and predictable. More and more is unsettled and unpredictable.  Discernment—knowing when to hold, fold, walk away, or find a better way—is at a premium. Turnover Never have we…

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Embracing Community Conflict

Addressing Community Conflict … And Living to Tell About It When in doubt, reach out: collaborate. The answer is in the room. Invite the group to help resolve issues of the group. Polarized Schools have become the battleground for polarized views on COVID, race, books, and more. When in conflict, we have only so many…

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Making tough personnel calls

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Principals … Key to Student Learning School improvement rarely (possibly never) happens without great leadership. Principals’ building-wide impact makes them one of the most important forces in student learning. Earlier blogs have highlighted the power of principal pipelines and ongoing capacity development for principals. This blog focuses on discernment: what to do when a principal…

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Value Based Budgeting

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Budget Priorities: What You Value Most Spring brings April showers—and enrollment projections, staffing allocations, and budgeting decisions. Essentially, we are doing three jobs at once: finishing strong, celebrating with grads and retirees, and hiring for the coming year. As one colleague puts it, “God blesses educators with a forgetful memory; otherwise, we would never go…

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Collaborating … when it is difficult

A Review: Collaborating with the Enemy By Adam Kahane Discernment suggests that we work with others to define the problem and work together on a solution. Complexity and polarization, however, often make this difficult. Adam Kahane has been at the center of many of the world’s toughest challenges, seeking to end conflict in Columbia and…

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One District’s Equity Journey

Puyallup’s Equity Journey  An interview with Dr. John Polm, Superintendent of Puyallup (WA) Schools. The Journey Begins Over the last decade Puyallup’s demographic has shifted.  From 18% Free and Reduced Lunch to 40%.  From 20% diversity to 47%.  Equity work began in 2017, mostly in curriculum and professional development. Professional Learning Timeline Looking back, Puyallup’s…

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More books on discernment and equity

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More Books … I’ll start with a list of books that fit our theme of discernment … and adaptive leadership (last month’s theme) … here are several titles that resonate: Leadership … discernment Collaborating with the Enemy: How to Work with People You Don’t Agree with or Like or Trust by Adam Kahane  | Jun 5, 2017 This…

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Leading well in turbulent times

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The Neutral Zone  According to William Bridges in his book, Transitions: The neutral zone is when the critical psychological realignments and re-patternings take place.  It is the very core of the transition process.  This is the time between the old reality and sense of identity and the new one.  People are creating new processes and…

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Advancing Equity in Times of COVID

Doing the Right Thing The time is always right to do what is right. – MLK Jr Just too crazy Yes, we are over the top with COVID right now and racial equity is a hot topic.  AND those two together remind us that our students of color have lost the most over our two…

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Transforming culture in uncertain times

Transformational Leadership When in doubt, reach out! Positional power is dead.  Fear, lack of trust, and chaos call for new leadership: collaborative, adaptive, transformational. Guard, Guide, and Grow Borrowing heavily from Bridges (Transitions), Deal (Corporate Cultures), and Heifetz (Leadership on the Line), three words seem to embody the need for transformative leadership in our times:…

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