Monthly Archives: December 2017

PMP:095 Encouraging Childlike Wonder in Learning

A few years ago, I sat in a gymnasium with bleachers filled with middle schoolers while I watched high school student Jesse Haynes, one of my own Skiatook seniors at the time, share about his new novel he published that year.

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“This is one of my teammates and me after winning our first tournament of the year,” he said, as he scrolled through a Powerpoint presentation of himself playing basketball. Then he showed a photo of himself with his dog, and another one of himself sitting in his favorite chair at home where he wrote his first book.

Jesse was one of those students who didn’t need much encouragement to pursue his dreams or creative ideas. And he enjoyed sharing them with others. In fact, he possessed a rare gift. He believed that he could accomplish whatever he was willing to take action toward achieving. And that was his message for that gym full of middle school students. Continue reading

PMP:094 Ten Takeaways on Communication & Lessons in Teamwork

Just a few days ago I was presenting to principals in Wichita, Kansas.

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I was a little nervous because I had been having trouble with my voice from some bronchitis in my lungs. The doctor had given me some meds to combat the congestion, and my voice was returning. At the same time, I was reminded what a gift it can be to communicate with words.

Have you ever thought about how much communication affects your work as a school leader? I once heard someone say that communication is 100% of a principal’s job. At first I wasn’t sure if I agreed. But when I began to think about how much a school leader is involved in planning, conversation, counseling or sharing, I had to agree that every part of his or her job includes some form of communication. Continue reading

PMP:093 Why are You Leading? 4 Questions for Refocusing on Your Destination

When I was in college I climbed my first mountain which was an active volcano near Guatemala City.

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We loaded a bus the night before and arrived hours before sunrise to begin our hike in the dark. As we made it up the mountain, the pale colors of morning began to greet us. With the altitude change came the hard work. Each one of us was catching our breath while plodding toward our destination.

The team leader for this climb had pulled all of us together before it began. He explained the route, described the climbing conditions, and gave each of us the opportunity to back out if the climb sounded too strenuous.

As we reached the last stretch toward the peak, the ground turned to rocky ash. Each step we would take forward would require the use of hands and knees. Soon we stopped talking as each person focused on the next step. Continue reading