Monthly Archives: February 2018

PMP:103 Standing Back Up When You Feel Knocked Down

Last Sunday my family and I were watching the Winter Olympics when the men’s 30km Skiathlon began.

Photo by Charles Deluvio – Creative Commons No known copyright restrictions

As the race started, Norway’s Simen Krueger fell. Snow was flying all around him as two other skiers and he crumbled into one another. As the other racers left them behind, Simen scrambled back on his feet. His pole was broken, and he was in last place.

But Krueger was not finished. He replaced his pole and began a cadence that helped him advance toward the other racers. Over the next hour, he passed 63 other skiers to push his way to the front of the race. 1 hour, 16 minutes, and 20 seconds later, he crossed the finish line, raising his hands in the air and beaming with joy and relief. He had won the gold.

When interviewed Krueger later, he was asked what was going through his mind after his fall. He said: “I thought it was going to be the worst day of my life with the start I had, when I was lying on the ground with a broken pole and a ski through my bib number.” He continued, “I was completely last in the group so I had to start the race again and switch focus to catch up with the guys.” Continue reading

PMP:102 Four Essentials for Advancing in Your Leadership

Last week I was speaking to a group of Assistant Principals near Montgomery, Alabama, when I noticed a familiar face at a table near the back of the room.

Photo by Valentin Antonucci – Creative Commons No known copyright restrictions

I saw a man whom I had met the day before on my ride from the airport to the conference center. Mr. Willie Lewis, a retired pastor, had told me his wife asked him to find something to keep him busy. So, he began driving for Uber. Now he had arrived early to drive me back to the airport.

As we made our way through the streets of Montgomery, we chatted about our work and families. He had been an author and also served as interim pastor to many congregations during his retirement. As we passed an exit sign for Selma, Alabama. I asked him if he had seen the movie, Selma, about the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Continue reading

PMP:101 Strategies for Messaging with Teachers

This summer my wife and I will celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary.

Photo by kenteegardin – Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License

For some reason, I’ve never thought of myself as older, but I realize now that I’m preparing for this anniversary, my children may categorize me that way. My wife, however, will forever be my young bride.

This reminds me of a story: An older married couple is celebrating their wedding anniversary, when the wife turns to the husband and says, “Darling, do you still love me?” And he replies, “Why, yes, I told you that I did 25 years ago.”

As school leaders, we may believe our teachers understand us just because we’ve delivered the message. But understanding is much deeper than simply hearing a message. And messaging with others in your school community requires more than simply relaying information.

Gary Smalley, author of The Five Love Languages, says that relationships are like a bank. To have a healthy “love bank” you must make more deposits than withdrawals. Continue reading