Leaders increase effectiveness by changing things up

I’ve been reading about the Adaptation Principle. This can take on many forms depending on the venue (it’s very popular in exercise physiology), but in organizations it goes something like this:

When we get used to things, we don’t notice them as much. We also don’t think about their meaning.


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Breath Support to the End of the Phrase is a Key Deliverable


How is being an effective band director like running a good business?


What if the best practices in band program administration collide with the best practices in managing and developing employees?

It is striking how the franchise prototype model outlined in “The E-Myth” coincides with an effective, student-leader-empowered, music program:

  • Must provide consistent value to customers (students), employees (staff and student leaders), suppliers (parents), and lenders (school district curriculum and administration).
  • Results must be attainable by people with the skill level they already have.
  • Must stand out as a place of impeccable order and structure.
  • All work must be defined in operations manuals. (Clear standards of “how we do things around here”)
  • Events must unfold in a predictable, orderly, way.
  • Must utilize a uniform color, dress, and facilities code.

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Things successful leaders avoid saying (Part 1)

today’s blog, take one:

Yesterday, while reading a very insightful blog post, two things were striking:

1) The post had very valuable ideas for all of us who teach and lead.

2) The writer of the blog consistently used his own successes to make his points, and used the words “me”, “myself”, and “I” quite liberally.

Using those words – AND using himself as the best example of the practices he was promoting – was quite distracting from the content.  He damaged his credibility with all the self-reference and bragging.


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Leadership Problem: Grace vs. Enabling

Cut people some slack.  Really, you never know what kind of a day they’re having, how bad their insomnia is, whether they’ve suffered a major loss, or whatever other darkness they carry.

Paul had an iPod in class, and earbuds in his ears.  This is a no-no, and standard procedure is to temporarily confiscate it for the day.  I reached out my hand, and he gave me a steely glare and said “It’s mine.  I’m NOT handing it to you.”


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