Leaders Say Please and Thank You

In my former profession as a high school band teacher, I attended a professional development session on classroom management. It was called “How to Have Pin-Drop Quiet Classrooms” or something like that. I believe in highly disciplined classroom environments, because that’s when you have the most fun. You can have discipline and positivity at the same … Read more

Leaders Encourage in These Three Ways…

Leaders know that encouragement is important, but it tends to be too rare and fall into just one or two categories: I believe you can do it. (Spurring someone on to meet their potential when they’re discouraged or not measuring up.) You are exceeding expectations. (Praising someone who has gone above and beyond, exceeded standards, … Read more

Leaders Know It’s Important to Know

I’ve written a lot on this blog about being others-focused instead of being self-focused. If I asked, I’m sure you could come up with a list of outward behaviors for each of the two categories. On the self-focused list would probably be words like tardiness, frowning, complaining, ignoring others’ needs, and declining to help. Words … Read more

Leaders Ask “Does it Need to be Said?”

I’ve heard a few versions of “Ask yourself if it needs to be said” before speaking out loud. When I heard Kristi Knous speak recently at the 90 Ideas event, I appreciated her 3 questions for leaders before speaking. I wrote Kristi, as I wanted to get her words just right, and she graciously emailed … Read more

Leadership is the Sum of Hundreds of Daily Interactions

We love big stories about exciting, game-changing leadership moments. But when you’re asked about the best leader you ever worked with, you probably don’t respond with a story or example of their biggest project or resume-builder. Instead, you talk about the way they made you feel. Years from now, people will forget the little things you … Read more

The Problem with “Why”

Early in my teaching career, a guidance counselor gave me brilliant advice when exploring the reasons why someone made a decision. It was counter-intuitive: Resist asking “why“. He explained the reasoning by asking me to think about what “why” opens up – the prepared answer, the agenda, the (by definition) inner thoughts and motives that … Read more