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Eliminate We/They

As a leader, how you communicate matters. When you model positive communication, you not only set an example, but you also set an expectation for how to interact within your organization. What you permit, you promote. It’s vital to take necessary steps to avoid “We/They” [...]

Building an Emotional Bank Account

As leaders we hear things like applying “soft” skills is not as important as focusing on “hard” data, such as student achievement. Our collective work with district and school leaders shows us otherwise. We’ve found that employee and student achievement is difficult to improve without leaders [...]

Succession Planning 101: Developing & Sustaining Excellence

“Organizations that extend development to all levels are 4.2 times more likely to outperform those that don’t.”  –Global Leader Forecast 2018 In order to thrive, organizations need to continuously develop people at all levels and across all teams. Success isn’t accidental. Intentionally [...]

Be Decisive

Be willing to make the tough decisions, and once you’ve made your decision, don’t go back on your word. Even if people are against you or disagree with you, it is important that you can confidently and decisively make smart decisions. – Like a Boss: Six Defining Characteristics that all [...]

Tips for New Leaders

In the beginning when a leader steps into a new role, everything is possible. Good leaders will take on new challenges in their careers with enthusiasm and optimism. Great leaders will do even more. If they want to have an impact in a new job, they know that they also need to push for greatness [...]

Succession Plan: A Key for Sustaining Organizational Excellence

The Evidence Based Leadership Framework creates the backbone for organizational success. The first two stages of the framework link intentionally building team capacity aligned to what is most important to accomplish in the succession plan. In the stage of identifying the measures that matter, [...]

Preventing Burnout & Retaining Your Best

Jim Collins in Good to Great reinforces the importance of having the “right people in the right seats on the bus” within your organization. Strong team members bring specific knowledge, skills, and experiences to the team, while great organizations intentionally develop learning and leadership [...]

Developing a Year at a Glance

It may take eight weeks or longer to replace a person leaving a position. During this transition, remaining team members are left filling the gaps. Therefore, preparing in advance for employee transitions is a direct benefit to every member of the team and the organization. Developing a "Year [...]

Cultivating a Culture of Unmistakable Value

How Can Organizations Set Themselves Apart? Effective, transparent leadership combined with a culture that’s focused on purpose is the key to delivering unmistakable value to those you serve. With thousands of brands competing for attention, it’s no surprise that organizations who prioritize [...]

Unleash the Power of Your People

When critical members of the team leave, it can be unsettling. Every organization has members who carry specific skills and knowledge that impact the entire organization. They know the technology systems, hold responsibility for major projects and understand the work flow to keep everything [...]

Plan Your Success, Then Celebrate the Win

All of us want to celebrate successes, wins for our team or organization. How do we know when we should celebrate? We must measure or track to our goals to truly have something to celebrate. What if we host a huge celebration mid-year and then do not hit the end of year goals?

The Ultimate Equation: Strategy + Execution = Results

Strategy sessions can solve problems, as well as spark ideas and innovation that lead to business success. At the heart of all strategy is the drive and desire to be the BEST. “Strategy is not planning — it is the making of an integrated set of choices that collectively position the firm [...]

The Nine Principles and the Pursuit of Excellence

The Nine Principles® are the guiding principles for improvement work for any organization that intends to be excellent. These principles set the behaviors and expectations for organizations to create and sustain a culture of excellence where individuals choose to work and achieve at high [...]

Drive Employee Results With Surveys

An employee engagement survey can be a very powerful tool within your organization. Employee engagement surveys provide important information and data regarding the perceptions of employees about their work environment. Likewise, the results from the survey can help teams identify action items [...]

Process Improvement Tool: Stoplight Report

The Stoplight Report is a way to communicate how ideas, concerns, and barriers are being resolved. Items added to the Stoplight Report might be collected during check-in conversations, team meetings, or a process audit. The Stoplight Report is shared to keep the team informed of priorities for [...]

Difficult Conversations with Those Who Violate Values

Having difficult conversations is never easy. However, it is a crucial part of being an effective leader. While it may be easier for a leader to ignore poor performance and staff feuds, delaying the conversation may tear down workplace culture. Similarly, it can negatively impact employee [...]

Use DESK for Difficult Conversations

The D.E.S.K. approach for low performer conversations provides leaders with a guide to get through difficult conversations and cut right to the chase (Studer, 2004). Take time to prepare for these conversations as they are difficult and require practice. 

Provide Feedback That Inspires

Telling people what we think about their performance doesn’t help them improve. Think about the last time you received constructive criticism. Did it actually prompt you to change your behavior? Did you agree with the person providing the feedback? Or did it provoke annoyance instead of [...]

What’s in Your Toolbox?

In AASA's School Administrator magazine, Dr. Janet Pilcher discusses specific tools and tactics to achieve high performance results in the areas of student achievement, employee engagement, service excellence and financial efficiency.