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Showing posts from January, 2009

Great Teachers Are Great Leaders

Do you remember your favorite teacher? What was it about that teacher that made class better, more effective, and more productive?
Was learning interesting, even fun? Did you realize at the time that your teacher was demonstrating great learning skill AND great leadership? Where else could high performance leadership be more important than in our schools?
There's a great article here about a great leader and teacher from Alabama, April Kennamer and her approach to teaching. Her keys to teaching including: Encouraging students to learn thru self-discoveryCreating curiosity in her students to compel them forwardPromoting respect for all things We could certainly benefit from more leaders who include those three components.  We tend to remember more when we discover the answers on our own, most team members are more inclined to stay motivated if there is an element of curiosity in their work, and we all benefit from both giving and receiving more respect. You could even make a case for s…

Celebrating A Change In Leadership

It's an exciting time in the United States. Historical in proportions, we welcome the inauguration of Barack Obama. Whatever your political leanings are, I hope that you can enjoy the exhilaration that so many of us are feeling at this change in leadership. At last, the future seems brighter.

It's not so much that we expect one person to change everything. That would be a mistake. Instead, it's a feeling that we can at last come together and make meaningful change with a new sense of purpose, a new direction of unity.
It's also because in a very large way as a nation we have set aside some dangerous divisions that so long splintered our great nation. We haven't eliminated prejudice, but we have let it be known that it can no longer rule. We haven't eliminated racism, but we have overcome it's ugly hold. We haven't perfected progress, but we have shouted loud our willingness to get back on board.
Let's progress together. Let's help build a better…

Reading "Influencer"

Influencer: The Power To Change Anything 

Some books belong in every leader's library. This is one. Get a copy right away and read it carefully if: 

* you want to change a habit
* you want to change an organization
* you want to the world
* you want to change anything


A leader's primary job is change, to move people from one place to another. In a world that is constantly changing, the paradox is that people usually resist change. Why bother? What's in it for me? What can I do about? These are questions your constituents ask, whether you know it or not. 

The high powered stable of authors (Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, David Maxfield, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler) have presented a masterful guide to leading change. Let's be honest -- there are dozens of books on change and change mangement out there, many of them with compelling content. In my work to get my masters degree I had to read a lot of them. While all useful, I wouldn't call any of them a cook book for change…

Further Up The Hill

Today I was reminded of this quote: 

"You can't help someone get up a hill without getting closer to the top yourself."
-- H. Norman Schwarzkopf 

Isn't that worth remembering as a leader? Effective leaders keep ambition in perspective. Are they helping others? Are they making a difference? Are they guiding people to a better place or situation?

In doing so, the benefits absolutely return. With a focus on service and helping, we all make it further up the hill. Who are you helping to make the climb? 

Doug Smith