Tag Archives: messaging matters

PMP:101 Strategies for Messaging with Teachers

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

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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

PMP:097 Building a Community of Messaging with Entanglement, Engagement, and Mission

Last month I enjoyed some time away with family in West Tennessee.

Photo by Fredrik Ohlander – Creative Commons No known copyright restrictions https://unsplash.com/@fredrikohlander?utm_source=haikudeck&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=api-credit


When I was there, my son Jack and I hiked the backwoods behind my parents’ farm. There is a winding creek that runs behind the house. It’s filled with lily pads in the summer, and on the back end of the creek is a beaver dam that floods an area that is great for duck hunting. Although Jack and I didn’t do any duck hunting, we did enjoy tramping around the woods, walking fields, and just enjoying the time away. Continue reading

PMP:096 Wrapping up Another Year of Principal Matters + Bonus Takeaways

Happy New Year! As I look at the past year I am grateful for the connections, relationships and opportunities to grow personally and professionally.

Photo by Brooke Lark – Creative Commons No known copyright restrictions https://unsplash.com/@brookelark?utm_source=haikudeck&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=api-credit


I wanted to say a special thank you to those of you who check out posts, listen to podcast episodes, or have read my books Principal Matters or Messaging Matters and shared the content with others. Most of all, thank you for applying the lessons we learn together as you continue your service to your teams, your schools, and your own personal development.

Five years ago, I launched my website, and a lot has happened since then. I like to look back each year to gauge growth and set goals for the coming year. Plus, I’d like to share some bonus takeaways with you on helping schools manage grief, essential roles for school leaders, and interview tips. Continue reading

PMP:069 Entanglement & Why Messaging Matters

Invisibilia is a fascinating podcast about the invisible forces that affect us without us being aware. In a January 29, 2015 episode, the reporters narrating the episode were talking about a phenomenon known as “entanglement.”

Photo by TonZ – Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License https://www.flickr.com/photos/96947578@N00


They began by describing a physics experiment where scientists have been able to isolate particle atoms in separate locations, change the motion, and cause the two separate atoms to react to the change at the same time in separate locations.

That’s right. In one experiment, an atom contained in a box four feet away from itself in another box was demonstrating simultaneous responses in both boxes. These atoms are not mirror images of one another; this research suggests that they are one another. Separate but one: a phenomenon known as quantum entanglement. Charles Q. Choi from Live Science explains that scientists theorize entangled atoms may stay connected even if a universe a part!

Scientists are able to explain how to make this happen, but they are still unable to explain why this is possible. Continue reading

PMP:067 Wrapping Up Your School Year—Planning for Summer Break

Occasionally my wife will remind me when it’s been awhile since I’ve cleaned out my closet.

Photo by cobalt123 – Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License https://www.flickr.com/photos/66606673@N00

So I’ll take time to sort out what I don’t need anymore. I can easily fill a couple of trash bags with items to donate to the local Goodwill store.

Summer break is a great time to “clean the closets” of our schools. I’m not talking about literal closets (which can also be helpful), but I’m talking about issues, priorities, goals, and conversations that have been neglected as you have been finishing a school year.

We just finished another school year at my high school. We wrapped up curriculum standards, graduated seniors and hired new teachers for next year. Many people ask me what I do with my summer break. The short answer is: I prepare for next school year. I often tell others that leading a school is like landing a cruise ship. When you finish one tour, you spend the break restocking for the next launch. Continue reading