Insider Scoop.

One of the most rewarding aspects of being a superintendent is the continuous learning journey, where I’ve had the privilege of discovering new knowledge and skills that I never knew I needed (such as navigating lawsuits, managing bus routes, and overseeing school construction).  Now, in my role as a coach/consultant, I am honored to continue…

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Navigating Change Successfully: Lessons from ADKAR

Change is a constant in today’s fast-paced world, yet many change efforts fail. Communication is essential for navigating change successfully. The ADKAR change framework is one of the most practical, hands-on approaches I’ve seen. The Challenge Change initiatives often face significant hurdles, and studies show that a large majority fail to achieve their intended outcomes.…

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Effective Districts Focus on District-Wide Goals.

Aligning District Goals and Superintendent Evaluation. As a new superintendent in Seattle Public Schools, I found that we had superintendent goals, board goals, strategic plan goals, equity goals, and many more in addition to our school improvement plans.  Over time we narrowed those to ONE set of goals. Research The research on effective districts (Waters…

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More Books on Belonging, Leadership and more

  How do we lead in tough times?  We are clear on our purpose and create a sense of belonging and ownership.  Bringing people together for a common cause. Belonging Empowerment Takes More Than a Minute Paperback – October 10, 2001 by Ken Blanchard (Author), John P Carlos (Author), Alan Randolph (Author) Super short novel format. Why top-down methods often fail and…

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Goalposts and Driving for the Finish Line

Most Strategic Plans Fail Set goals and goalposts for success. 70-90% of strategic plan initiatives fail to achieve their expected results (Kotter, Flyvbjerg). Those who succeed take—on average—four years of continuous work (Collins). Achieving strategic goals demands clear alignment and a relentless focus on execution. Use this check list to deliver on your goals. Goals:…

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Future Focused Purpose and Passion: Dr. Laurie Dent, WA Superintendent of the Year.

In a world where educational leadership demands resilience, vision, and a commitment to community, Superintendent Laurie stands as a beacon of inspiration. Recognized as the WASA 2024 State Superintendent of the Year, Laurie’s journey is one of purpose, passion, and unwavering dedication to student success. What fuels her remarkable achievements? Read more about her driving…

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Insider Scoop – A Look Behind the Scenes.

What have I been up to since my last blog? My goal in retirement has been to spend 10 hours a week on school consulting, 10 hours a week in support of non-profit leaders, and get a bit more rest and exercise than busy superintendents do.  Turns out, that means I am working pretty much…

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Investing in Fulani Children.

Schools For Africa … serving Fulani children in Nigeria. The Challenge: The Fulani people have herded cattle across Africa for generations.  As cities and farms grow, deadly conflicts break out between the Fulani herdsmen and landowners. Anti-Fulani hostility grows.  Their way of life is under constant attack, and they have nowhere to turn. Gaining Trust:…

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Growing Agency for the Common Good

Growing Agency – 90 Minutes with Peter Block – “Bringing people together as partners is our major task as leaders.” – Peter Block. Leaders get things done through and with others.  Leadership is about building strong relationships, establishing connections, and working towards the common good. While we may have specific tasks assigned, how we get…

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Review: Equity Focused Leadership

Book Review: Entry Planning for Equity-Focused Leaders – Empowering Schools and Communities By Jennifer Perry Cheatham, Rodney Thomas, and Adam Parrott-Sheffer. Read this book to “garner trust, insights, and impetus to make … transformational change.” A Powerful Framework and Resource Start strong, stay strong, and get stronger with this book.  “Entry Planning for Equity-Focused Leaders”…

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