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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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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Strategies for Leading Co-Owned Work

Strategies for Leading Co-Owned Work Co-owned work improves outcomes and ownership. Collaborative cultures unlock teams’ full potential and drive meaningful change. Consider these strategies for creating a collaborative co-owned culture. Listen – Get on the balcony … and the dance floor Read the context; measure the energy; consider what else is going on Listen between…

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Growing a culture of learning and love

An Interview with the 2023 Washington State Superintendent of the Year – Dr. Adam Swinyard, Superintendent, Spokane Public Schools (SPS). Congratulations, Adam, on being named Washington State 2023 Superintendent of the Year! WASA highlighted your work as a champion of equity in announcing your well-deserved recognition as superintendent of the year.   Q.  How do you…

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Chief Equity Advocate

1-minute summary; 6-minute read Core Question:  How do we touch hearts and minds for good? “Everything hangs on one’s thinking …” – Seneca “Whether you think you can or can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford Core Idea: What we aim at … we eventually achieve.   Words matter. Values matter. Start by defining our north star…

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District Goals – Key to Success

District Goals – Key to Success 4-minute read Four years + four goals = student success. Focused goals, well monitored, improve learning Reeves reports that:  Focus is a prerequisite for school improvement. Focus had the highest relationship with student achievement  Focus, with effective monitoring, and adult efficacy yielded strikingly positive results for all students and…

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Make a Movement. Leave a Legacy

Turn Moments into a Movement 5-minute read Leaving a legacy and leading for the future takes more than keeping the lights on – although there are days when that is a true accomplishment! Here are some thoughts about turning great Moments into Momentum and Movement.   13 Ways – and ONE CAVEAT – to Leave a…

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Growing a Culture of Care

Lessons Learned … Culture of Care. My Window on Education As an active full time coach/consultant I have the privilege of working with:  Three superintendent cohorts representing 50 Superintendents and nearly 200,000 students; two leadership development teams; and a dozen 1:1 coaching relationships.  I see weekly and monthly a broad sweep of educational issues as…

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