Twelve Books That Influenced Me in 2017

I love to read. It is a low-cost and highly pleasurable conduit for professional development and personal reflection and insight. I like challenging and thought-provoking fiction (The Goldfinch and Lincoln in the Bardo are two recent faves), as well as an intense thriller (Bluebird, Bluebird) and a good British mystery. High on my 2018 list is the book that Bill Gates called “the most inspiring … Continue reading Twelve Books That Influenced Me in 2017

Imagine a Culture of Learning

Imagine the world of learning that we want for our students. We envision classrooms and schools where scholars experience: Learning driven by agency and autonomy Deep critical thinking and problem-solving Self-reflective and self-aware development of emotional and social intelligence Collaborative interaction with others Creative expression Curiosity and imagination Innovation and entrepreneurialism These “dispositions,” Ron Ritchhart writes, cannot be directly taught or tested, but must be … Continue reading Imagine a Culture of Learning

Learning Our Way to Excellence

Wonderful experience co-presenting with my colleague, Donna Micheaux, at the 2016 Learning Forward Conference in beautiful Vancouver, Canada.  We facilitated a two-hour session with senior educational leaders from the U.S. and Canada in an interactive session designed to help leaders create an authentic system of learning of their schools and districts. We shared our theory of action:  When the learning for adults in the system … Continue reading Learning Our Way to Excellence

Leaders’ Emotions Are Contagious (Hint: Do Not Go to Cabo San Lucas)

Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren always read the sports section of the newspaper first. Sports, he believed, were about human accomplishment while the front page underscored human dysfunction. I agree and follow that order of newspaper reading with sports first.

Thus, I was intrigued by the recent Dallas Morning News article in which Kevin Sherrington posed the question of whether we should be worried about Dak Prescott’s focus during the Cowboys bye week. We shouldn’t be, Sherrington writes. Of course, we can’t think about a Cowboys’ bye week before a playoff game without traveling back to 2007 when Tony Romo and Jessica Simpson spent a long weekend in Cabo San Lucas… Continue reading Leaders’ Emotions Are Contagious (Hint: Do Not Go to Cabo San Lucas)

A person standing on the beach with arms raised waiting for the sunrise

Achieving Your Goals in 2017

Are you with me and 40% of Americans who make New Year’s resolutions each year?  Are you in the 8% who actually achieve these goals?  Here are some ways that we can be a part of the group of people who make real progress toward envisioning and achieving goals this year.

First, focus on actions that move  you toward your goal.  I came across an article several months ago pointing out that exactly 100 days remained in 2016.  I realized that to come close to achieving the goals I had set for myself in 2016, I needed to take some concrete steps… Continue reading Achieving Your Goals in 2017

a pair of beach sandals on the sand

Getting the Most from Your Vacation

As you head out for your much-needed vacation, I want to share an interesting article from TED that will help you get the most out of your vacation.  Unhooking and relaxing is good for your physical and emotional health, your relationships and your productivity when you return.  Click on the link below to access the full article. Secrets to a Truly Restorative Vacation from TED To … Continue reading Getting the Most from Your Vacation

Tree growing out of open book

Ten Books That Influenced My Thinking in 2016

The Immunity to Change:  How to Overcome It and Unlock the Potential in Yourself and Your Organization (2009) by Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey An Everyone Culture:  Becoming a Deliberately Developmental Organization (2016) by Kegan and Lahey Cultures of Thinking:  The Eight Forces We Must Master to Truly Transform Our Schools (2015) by Ron Ritchhart Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of … Continue reading Ten Books That Influenced My Thinking in 2016

dot mosaic that forms the shape of a head and face

The Neuroscience of Leadership

The Neuroscience of Leadership Why do coaches need great EQ? Why do leaders? What can neuroscience teach us about coaching and leadership? Last spring in the intermediate coaching class that I teach at SMU, we dove deeply into “brain-wise” coaching, coming to understand that—as Jenny Rogers, author of one of our texts, notes—good coaching grounds itself in the limbic system, the emotional center of the … Continue reading The Neuroscience of Leadership

a monarch butterfly in flight with wings spread out

Nested Learning

Last night in the graduate coaching class that I teach at SMU–our last class of the semester–we were discussing school reform topics and what the “outward” and “inward” work was for each.  One student remarked that she felt that it all came down to teachers modeling what we want to develop in our students–curiosity, emotional intelligence, creativity, etc. This resonates with me.  When I was … Continue reading Nested Learning