Tag: #leadchange

Help wanted-Mass Exodus everywhere

There are signs, ads, and pleads to come from everywhere! So many jobs available and workers needed. Then reports add to the list of help wanted with continued struggles with teacher shortages and now a principal shortage. What is happening?

Teaching is a profession in crisis. A March 2021 survey by Education Week found that 54% of teachers said they are somewhat likely or very likely to leave the profession in the next two years – a bump up from 34% in 2019. According to NASSP’s fall survey, 91 percent of principals were very or extremely concerned about student wellness, more than any other challenge (in comparison, mask mandates had about 51 percent very or extremely concerned). More than a third said there’s not adequate student services staff, like nurses and counselors.

A report released by the NASSP indicates: The top three factors most likely to cause principals to leave in the next three years are heavy workload (37%), state accountability measures (31%), and the amount of time and effort needed for compliance requirements (30%). You can read the entire report in the link provided. Also, a blog by the Wallace Foundation provides additional information on the warnings of the need to support education now.


I directly worked with the Wallace Foundation many years ago as a Principal. The support, skills taught, and direct feedback provided strong foundations to continue to build on, helping the school community I served to improve and grow. Along with them and the Illinois Principals Association’s guidance, our continued success is reflected in students’ achievement at our school. We need to continue to make decisions based on the data we receive to stop these anticipated shortages. Please also read this research on the impact of school leaders on student achievement and teacher retention.


There are Solutions

We have solutions to the help wanted needs in our country. If you take a moment to think, I know you can come up with ideas. We stare so long at the problem we jump to a quick fix that creates another problem, and a long-term solution is available. Voice your ideas, opinions, concerns, and most of all, solutions to those we voted to serve us in Washington, D.C. We are independent thinkers and not group thinkers. We have our thoughts but are always open to listening to all ideas. Be the solution daily in a world that needs you.

Follow your plan

“Things that matter most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least.”

Johan Wolfgang Von Goethe

Leadership is a very complex word, role, title, and idea. When the word leadership is brought to a conversation, many thoughts, ideas, and images appear. As a female leader, I can speak to balance in leadership which is a myth no matter your gender or age.

Finding balance in leadership is not possible. We have to change our mindsets to allow ourselves to say no to things that are not in our plan for the season we are in at this time. It has taken me many years to understand this point, and yes, I still struggle! In my daily devotion, Ecclesiastes 3 points out the different seasons.

Ecclesiastes 3 1-8: To everything, there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

I had the opportunity to share thoughts with Dr. Susan Homes from Illinois Principal Association(IPA). I shared with her the season I am in at this time and the difficulty it was for me. There is fear that happens for any leader on the ladder of success. Leaders do not want to look weak or sound like they cannot lead. They never want to give any impression they are not capable. IPA has never made me feel this way. Dr. Homes is top-notch, along with every person working on this team. I would expect nothing else from an organization I grew up with as a leader.

If you are not working in an environment that is respectful, trustworthy, and encouraging, then work to change it by example or by providing ideas to lead up. It is always the season to model your values. Leaders always want to give 100% to all they serve each day. There will be seasons when they hope all those they help can support them when they need a hand. We need leaders who understand all of these components of leadership today more than ever.

I want leaders to know you do not have to do all to be all to everyone and everything! You do not have to read all the new books (I hope you read mine when it is available). You do not have to get on every social media platform. Life is not a sprint; it is a marathon! Pace yourself to enjoy, deal with, and overcome the season you are in at this time.

Today you are given twenty-four hours, and tomorrow, you will be blessed with another. Design your plan to focus on priorities. Do not let distractions get the best of you! Write out specific steps to follow to complete your plan! Here are some tips to avoid distractions.


  • Set a consistent calendar with designated times of no interruptions. Example: Friday night is Family & Friends night
  • Schedule office time
  • Check email at designated times only
  • Touch email and paper mail once-Do something with it
  • Organize your area to function-everything has a place
  • Carry a notepad or way to take notes to send while visiting classrooms or offices. (I like to write out cards I will send to them)
  • Have a spreadsheet to manage visits, positive encouragement-what is measured, monitored and modeled, will make a difference! M&M love the chocolate!

Take Action

If you are like me, you have items you procrastinate doing. Make your plan, write it out with the things you keep avoiding on top! Stick to the program and get it done! Follow up at the end of the day with a reflection piece on all you accomplished and then the extra things you did! Now you make the plan for tomorrow! Remember the season you are in and always be kind to yourself. The seasons change, and it will be time to do what you think you need to do when the season changes!

Plan, Plan, Shelf

For many decades I have been involved with implementing a strategic plan, creating a plan, asking if we have a plan, writing a plan, and then watching plans sit on a shelf. My author friend and leader, Dr. Bill Donahue, knows how to conduct and implement a strategic plan. He shares in his recent post in Lead Change Carnival; Beyond Strategic Planning, exactly what questions we should ask when planning.

I am reminded of Alice in Wonderland when I think about making plans. Before you make a plan, don’t you need to have an idea of the direction you are going?

It seemed in education when it came time to develop an improvement plan or a district strategic plan, it was more about getting the task completed than digging in more profoundly to solve issues.

Hey, take down that improvement plan from the shelf, blow off the dust and let’s see if we can change the dates and turn it in.

Let’s hope this is not how it works in the school districts or buildings, but maybe in a few. Many levers are not being utilized as we work to make improvements, and now, with this pandemic, we have added additional levers.

Dr. Bill Donahue makes some incredible points to ponder. How are you planning? Step inside his post to discover thoughts.

More Need of Two…..

One of my amazing author friends, speaker, Thought Leader, Julie Winkle Giulioni, shares the importance of two words. The simplicity of two reaches out more than just in rules. When we look at our issues or problems in life, solutions at the surface level may be a quick fix, but an in-depth review and detailed information provide systemic results. Learn more about how you can engage in conversations to spark curiosity, innovation, and….if you pause to ask, ‘say more.’

What made your list of leadership qualities to have in 2022?

Being a leader in 2022 is the same, different, or we don’t know? Do the qualities and skills need to be the same? What are your thoughts? Do we need different leadership qualities? What is the most important quality for a leader? Why?

I believe a job title does not define leadership. Leadership is part of our lives at different stages and areas. We provide opportunities for children to explore, experience, and engage in leadership. We have many lists of characteristics and qualities created over many decades to identify excellent leaders. Has leadership changed? Do the qualities change? How can we help children grow to become great leaders?

We need your help! Tell us what qualities do great leaders need.

It can’t be

Do you ever find yourself questioning? How could this happen? I do not understand. What I am seeing, hearing, it can’t be…… There are many things we are experiencing right now we cannot understand, but let’s work on breaking down how we handle situations or information we think it can’t be!

Fear is our most powerful emotion. Fear causes psychological changes, which result in behavioral responses. We have heard of fight or flight responding to situations we want to escape, like threatening conditions or danger. Our fear can produce additional anxiety, and conditional fear as society or the environment influences our feelings towards something. We have seen fear used to control others for decades.

What have you experienced in life, and fear took over your thinking? My example would be receiving a phone call from my doctor to deliver my biopsy results. I have had several biopsies done before, so I had no fear of the phone call. Then he began to deliver the news I was not prepared to hear. I am thankful my husband was with me to listen to what I said; it can’t be.

It is….

When we understand the fear we have is something we need to face, we have several choices to make in how to respond to overcome fear. We also must make sure the fear we have is genuine. In a society full of ways to reach out to us 24/7, understanding all facts is our best defense and offense.

  • Identify reliable sources to gather information
  • Take time to calm, reflect and regain stability before moving forward
  • Facing the fears you have is always a great way to overcome
  • Organize a support system; you need help from others
  • Talk about it with trusted support members
  • Get plenty of sleep, nutrition, and exercise
  • Connect for spiritual guidance
  • Journal writing

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

Franklin D. Roosevelt

I understand how……

I understand how it can’t be, but it is, and the way we can handle all situations we face. It is acceptable to experience temporary fear in situations, and in some cases, our fears are prompted by social pressure. I have heard the coined phrases of “groupthink” and influences from social media. It is in how our mindsets focus on handling the information we see, hear and understand.

My mindset is focused on solutions and always wanting to “fix” everything in life. However, the “fix” everything is not always possible. The solution often lies in how we react, respond and responsibly handle the situations we face. Cancer humbles everyone. Covid-19 seems to bring an array of responses from individuals. Combine both, and you may receive a reaction of panic. However, the response from me was, “It can’t be.” This prompted my thoughts on how we react to situations we do not expect.

Steps to take

  • Acceptance- One of the first things we need to understand is there will always be things we can control and something we cannot. We need to accept what we can do in our situations.
  • Educate- Gather all of the information about the situation.
  • Determine Goals- Set goals to achieve “wins” in the situation. A complete win over the problem may not be possible, but little success can be achieved.
  • Lessons- Understand in life, we experience different hardships at times. Knowing in each experience, we have opportunities to gain knowledge to share with others.
  • Positive Growth Mindset- Maintaining a positive mindset and surrounding yourself with positivity will keep growing as part of your life.

Be part of the solution by being a “Thought Leader.” Think your thoughts, be in charge of your destination with the choices you make and the reactions you have to situations beyond your control. Faith, hope, and pray as you practice self-care to keep you ready for all of life’s it can’t be!

22 Reasons to join Bethesolutiondaily.com in 2022

The New Year is almost here!

No need to have a fear!

#Bethesolutiondaily is the place for you!

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Enter your email and the solution will come directly to you!

Reasons to join

  1. Finding solutions for issues we face
  2. Connecting with others as we pose questions
  3. Gaining ideas for ways to engage others
  4. Discovering inspiration
  5. Motivation ideas
  6. Plans for implementation for improvements
  7. Techniques to use in problem-solving sessions
  8. Strategies to utilize to form a positive culture
  9. Communication skills, templates to use, and other tools
  10. Organizing to focus structured time
  11. Leadership concepts
  12. Qualities of leaders
  13. Questioning strategy and tips
  14. Social-Emotional learning information, skills, and activities
  15. Understanding issues facing education, how to find solutions
  16. Building relationships with families, students, and community
  17. Establishing professional learning and resources
  18. Resources, information to help with Poverty
  19. Providing guides, resources, research, and knowledge on issues facing education and society like Equity, social awareness, bullying, violence, emotions, and more
  20. What is our Why? How do we self-care? Do we reflect, renew and recharge?
  21. How to have Acceptance, forgiveness, and transformation?
  22. This cannot be the last reason because there are so many more opportunities to be part of the solution daily. So with this reason 22, join because “If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.”

Leading Others

In order to lead others, you have to know what kind of leader you are. I have written about this before, but it is essential to review and reflect continually. You also need to know who you are leading!

Do you realize you are leading even when you think you are not? Everyone watches you in your dress, your speech, your body language, and your actions. It is true! You think you can run out to the store to grab some milk to finish making those pancakes when a parent and student spot you. You have old boots, jogging pants, an old sweatshirt, no makeup, and hair in a ponytail because you just got up. It never fails to happen!

As a coach, the first thing I ask you is to tell me what kind of leader you are. This is so we can build from this point. The next step is to talk about how you model the leader you are for others. Our final step will be to ask more reflective questions to dive deeper for more insight.

The task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been.”

-Henry Kissinger

A leader who leads others to success knows who they are as a leader. Understanding who you are as a leader provides the ability to have authentic tools to develop and inspire those you lead—enhancing the skill levels of others by guiding them with feedback, gentle reminders, and sometimes harsh realities.

We can gain a great deal from the quote I selected. The use of “his leadership” indicates the challenges females have had and, I believe, still do to a degree in the acceptance into leadership positions. If we add in race with gender, we can reveal even more statistics of challenges leaders face.

The uphill climb in leadership continues to separate good leaders from extraordinary leaders. There are many tools to utilize in the journey from “Good to Great” as Jim Collins writes about successful companies with extraordinary leadership.

Strategies for Leading Others

  • Establish a vision
  • Define a clear mission
  • Identify core values and beliefs
  • Ask questions instead of providing the answers
  • Engage in dialogue, conversations, debate, and not one-sided threats or coercion
  • Build on strengths and weaknesses
  • Informed by data- simplified, targeted, unbiased and cannot be ignored
  • Disciplined action steps with accountability and responsibility
  • Expectations are modeled, addressing issues promptly of unacceptable behaviors
  • Shared responsibility to build on momentum and to have individuals in the right places to engage in moving forward
  • Accepting and admitting when mistakes happen. This is part of the learning process.

Quick fixes and instant results are not a formula you will find for successful sustainable development. Just like diets, it is a change in “how” we live day-to-day. Habits and mindsets are part of the process of change when we look at leading others.

It takes patience, practice, precision, and purpose. Our passion drives our purpose, and the rest comes as we establish our goals. Make sure not to set the bar too high or too low. You want the goals to be attainable, and you want to have some short-term wins.

Leadership is not a title or position; it is an individual guiding others to a destination, to achieve a goal, or to accomplish the understanding of purpose in serving others. Let’s be the positive leaders to light the way to a brighter tomorrow.

Teaching Together

Teaching together in a school can be great, or it can be a very challenging situation. Teacher collaboration occurs when members of a learning community work together to increase student learning and achievement. What happens when you have a few who do not want to go along with the team? There could be a few staff members who do not believe the children you serve can learn or improve.

If our ultimate destination as educators is student achievement, think of teacher collaboration as the journey. Collaboration is not a task to complete then move on; it’s an ever-changing and ongoing process. As a positive team member, it is your responsibility to help overcome those barriers in the journey to prevent student achievement from happening. Toxic cultures and climates impact student learning when teachers are not teaching together.

“Students will learn more and be more successful in an environment where all educators believe they can learn at high levels, and those educators work together to convince the students that they can achieve lofty academic goals teachers set for them.”-Transforming School Culture (pg.25) by Anthony Muhammad

Building a collaborative culture and a strong collaboration takes commitment to develop over time. The benefits are clear from these practices and beliefs. Authentic, collaborative communities address common issues, shared goals, school-wide initiatives, deeper teacher learning, and results in student achievement.

Strategies to build teacher collaboration

  • Create shared vision and goals
  • Identify group norms
  • Build a sense of community
  • Effective communication
  • Professional learning

Working as a collaborative team with a common purpose supports all in the process. Choose to be the solution daily by designing climates and cultures for all learners.

Wednesday Wisdom

Which comes first, wisdom or knowledge? Wisdom is built on knowledge. So does that mean you can be both wise and knowledgeable? Then you can’t be wise without being knowledgeable. What do you think? Is it the same as an egg before chicken or the chicken before an egg?

Knowledge is knowing about something. I have knowledge of the food in my garden and what grows on my trees. Wisdom is knowing how to apply the knowledge I have. In addition, how to use it in context. Like this old example: knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit, wisdom is knowing not to use it in a fruit salad. However, some people would say this is common sense.

I believe knowledge is gathered from learning and education. The more knowledge you gain about a subject area you can be identified as an expert in the area. Just because you have knowledge, it does not make you wise. When you have knowledge, you can make decisions with clarity of facts and truths.

In order for individuals to gain wisdom, it must be gathered from day-to-day experiences and is a state of being wise. Wisdom is the practical ability to make consistently good decisions in life from the individual’s knowledge and experience.

Wisdom is a virtue. Is that a true statement? Wisdom can only be acquired through experience. Anyone who is interested in trying new things, reflecting on the process, analyzing, testing your knowledge and having a growth mindset has the ability to gain wisdom. In this process one should have knowledge first in order to become wise.

How do you compare knowledge and wisdom? Do you know individuals who are wise?