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…

Read More

Creating a Culture of Learning

Creating a Culture of Learning. Two themes. I hear two persistent themes through the pandemic. How do we build a culture of care; just to keep the wheels on and everyone functioning? And … How do we create a culture of learning to improve student learning? Both are needed.  Care and creativity.  Empathy and excellence.…

Read More

Five Books on Growing Culture

Culture – Five Books on Growing Culture  “In times of change learners inherit the earth; while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.” – Eric Hoffer “Strategy eats culture for breakfast.” – Peter Drucker Fitting it all together Sometimes you work on one section of a jigsaw puzzle…

Read More

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:…

Read More

Resiliency, culture and belonging for hard times

Resiliency Books What have you learned since we last met? –Ralph Waldo Emerson Five years from now you will be the same as today but for the people you meet and the books you read.  –Stanley “Tremendous” Jones Lately, my reading keeps coming back to the themes of resiliency, culture, and belonging.  Here are a…

Read More

We All Belong Here Campaign

Extending the Equity Table … from the school board to the community: Creating a culture where all stakeholders have a seat, a voice and a responsibility for change. By Dr. Wade Smith, Superintendent; and Dr. Julie Perrón, Director of Equity and Dual Programs How do we engage our community in positive ways to talk about…

Read More

Leadership Language

unknown person writing on chalkboard

Review of: Leadership is Language: The hidden power of what you say … and what you don’t … by L. David Marquet Navy Captain Marquet (author) took his submarine, the Santa Fe, from worst to first – in both performance and morale.  “This did not happen,” he says,”because I leaned harder on the officers and crew. …

Read More

Using Leadership ‘voice’ to advance racial equity

hands formed together with red heart paint

Equity Memo: 7 tips for sharing our leadership ‘voice’ You are incredible.  Thank you for your work in sharing our equity voice and vision with staff.  Six weeks ago, I asked district leaders to begin sharing our racial equity commitment – at every opportunity.  We worked on our leadership voice: the heart (feeling); the head…

Read More

One District’s Quest for Student Engagement

woman biting pencil while sitting on chair in front of computer during daytime

One District’s Improvement Work  Intro:  Learning by doing is key to improvement.  The Washington Superintendent Network meets quarterly to discuss key issues, share their work and learn from each other.  This month, Selah School District shared their improvement plan. I was impressed by their focus on purpose – equity, engagement and “growth producing relationships” –…

Read More

The Superintendent as Instructional Leader

man and woman sitting on chairs

21 ways to become a learning leader Superintendents and District Leaders Matter Teachers matter most in improving student learning.  Principals are a close second and are now expected to be instructional leaders.  What about superintendents and district level leaders.  Their role, though less visible, is every bit as essential in growing the culture and the…

Read More