Connected Principals Posts

“The best leaders are lifelong learners; they take measures to create organizations that foster and inspire learning throughout. The most effective leaders are those who realize it’s what you learn after you know it all that counts most.”  ― John Wooden Two organizations. Both have success. Both highlight high achievement in traditional metrics. One is satisfied … [Read more…]

Read More “…it’s what you learn after you know it all that counts most.”

Assumptions can cause a lot of issues in the work that is done by educators.  They can be used as a detriment or to your advantage. Think of these negative assumptions. Parents don’t want education to be any different than their experience. Teachers don’t want to change. Students don’t want to learn. Starting with these … [Read more…]

Read More Starting With Positive Assumptions



When I was fresh out of college, it was time to start my career as an educator. I was very passionate about the game of basketball, and that was part of the reason I wanted to teach and coach. I had passion for the game. I still love it today and look forward to the start of college basketball season.



But while I had passion, I didn’t necessarily have a strong or clear purpose. I was just finding my way.



Although passion is great, we can be passionate about things that lack significance. We can be passionate about a game. We can be passionate about cars, or coffee, or even Netflix. Certainly, there’s nothing wrong with passion and enthusiasm for these things. But it’s not something with inherently larger meaning or significance.



Purpose, on the other hand, is about having a mission. It’s about living a life of meaning and significance in a very intentional way. I’m defining purpose here as something that transcends what we do and becomes more about who we are.



It’s not what you do, it’s why you do it.



Your true purpose isn’t limited to one role in particular. I can carry out my purpose through my role as a principal, or as a dad, or as a writer through blogging or writing books. I can carry out my purpose in whole variety of ways. I can also carry it out in casual conversations with just about anyone I meet. 



While I am passionate about being a principal, who I am is much bigger than my profession. My overarching purpose is much bigger than my title. Don’t get me wrong, being a principal is one of the most rewarding ways I get to share my purpose. I love it. 



But my why is still much bigger.



My why is to help others grow their own capacity and find their personal path of purpose. A purpose that has power adds value to people. It focuses on making things better for others.



My passions may change over time, but for the most part, I believe my purpose will only grow stronger.



There are so many reasons to live out your purpose…

1. No one can take away your purpose. Some things we are passionate about might be taken from us. Don’t build your foundation on something you might lose.

2. Your purpose is usually developed, not discovered. We grow into our purpose. It doesn’t just arrive like the mail is delivered. It’s grown like the largest tree in your back yard. 

3. You won’t be fulfilled if you aren’t fulfilling your purpose. You’ll be restless and uneasy and searching for meaning. So many people are searching for happiness and what they really desire is purpose.

4. Apathy is no match for true purpose. The key to motivation is to know your why.

5. When you connect with people who share your purpose, it’s electrifying. You feel understood and energized. It’s like doubling the voltage.

6. When you have a strong sense of purpose, obstacles are no match for your persistence and perseverance.

7. Your purpose will give you a sense of peace. You’ll know you’re doing exactly what you’re supposed to be doing when you’re living out your purpose.



What are your thoughts on living with a sense of purpose? How can we help our students find meaning and significance? How can we help them find a path of purpose? I want to hear from you. Leave a comment below or respond on Facebook or Twitter.

Read More Passion Flows from Purpose



When I was fresh out of college, it was time to start my career as an educator. I was very passionate about the game of basketball, and that was part of the reason I wanted to teach and coach. I had passion for the game. I still love it today and look forward to the start of college basketball season.



But while I had passion, I didn’t necessarily have a strong or clear purpose. I was just finding my way.



Although passion is great, we can be passionate about things that lack significance. We can be passionate about a game. We can be passionate about cars, or coffee, or even Netflix. Certainly, there’s nothing wrong with passion and enthusiasm for these things. But it’s not something with inherently larger meaning or significance.



Purpose, on the other hand, is about having a mission. It’s about living a life of meaning and significance in a very intentional way. I’m defining purpose here as something that transcends what we do and becomes more about who we are.



It’s not what you do, it’s why you do it.



Your true purpose isn’t limited to one role in particular. I can carry out my purpose through my role as a principal, or as a dad, or as a writer through blogging or writing books. I can carry out my purpose in whole variety of ways. I can also carry it out in casual conversations with just about anyone I meet. 



While I am passionate about being a principal, who I am is much bigger than my profession. My overarching purpose is much bigger than my title. Don’t get me wrong, being a principal is one of the most rewarding ways I get to share my purpose. I love it. 



But my why is still much bigger.



My why is to help others grow their own capacity and find their personal path of purpose. A purpose that has power adds value to people. It focuses on making things better for others.



My passions may change over time, but for the most part, I believe my purpose will only grow stronger.



There are so many reasons to live out your purpose…

1. No one can take away your purpose. Some things we are passionate about might be taken from us. Don’t build your foundation on something you might lose.

2. Your purpose is usually developed, not discovered. We grow into our purpose. It doesn’t just arrive like the mail is delivered. It’s grown like the largest tree in your back yard. 

3. You won’t be fulfilled if you aren’t fulfilling your purpose. You’ll be restless and uneasy and searching for meaning. So many people are searching for happiness and what they really desire is purpose.

4. Apathy is no match for true purpose. The key to motivation is to know your why.

5. When you connect with people who share your purpose, it’s electrifying. You feel understood and energized. It’s like doubling the voltage.

6. When you have a strong sense of purpose, obstacles are no match for your persistence and perseverance.

7. Your purpose will give you a sense of peace. You’ll know you’re doing exactly what you’re supposed to be doing when you’re living out your purpose.



What are your thoughts on living with a sense of purpose? How can we help our students find meaning and significance? How can we help them find a path of purpose? I want to hear from you. Leave a comment below or respond on Facebook or Twitter.

Read More Passion Flows from Purpose

I was sent a video called “The Adaptable Mind” by educator Erin Caldwell.  She told me the following, “I have since shared it with my students, and used it as a launching pad to discuss what are the most valuable skills we can set our students up with. ”  It would be an excellent video … [Read more…]

Read More The Importance of Multi-Disciplinary Thinking

Several years ago, Oklahoma received one of the worst blizzards I had ever seen in a state that sometimes has no snow fall during winter. As our community was plunged into a blanket of white with drifts of 3-4 feet deep, roads were impassable, and schools were closed. With days of wintery weather, I finally […]

Read More PMP:130 Five Lessons in Resilience – Reflections from Unbroken

In the book, “A New Culture of Learning,” by Doug Thomas and John Seely Brown (highly recommend this book), they state the following: For most of the twentieth century our educational…

Read More Stepping Forward and Stepping Back

In the book, “A New Culture of Learning,” by Doug Thomas and John Seely Brown (highly recommend this book), they state the following: For most of the twentieth century our educational system has been built on the assumption that teaching is necessary for learning to occur. Accordingly, education has been seen as a process of transferring … [Read more…]

Read More Stepping Forward and Stepping Back

“Learning to choose is hard. Learning to choose well is harder. And learning to choose well in a world of unlimited possibilities is harder still, perhaps too hard.”  Barry Schwartz…

Read More The Value of “Not Having a Choice”

“Learning to choose is hard. Learning to choose well is harder. And learning to choose well in a world of unlimited possibilities is harder still, perhaps too hard.”  Barry Schwartz The concept of “choice” is something that is brought up in education as a good thing for students to help develop their passions and build … [Read more…]

Read More The Value of “Not Having a Choice”



In a world that is more complex and uncertain than ever before, what is most valuable? Creativity, Empathy, or Technology.


You might argue it’s technology. After all, everything that can be digitized is being digitized. Over the last 20 years, we’ve seen changes that are unprecedented. The Internet has changed how we live, work, play, and interact. Social media has exploded. Nearly every person on the planet, it seems, has an Internet connected mobile phone. We can literally stay connected every minute of every day. Self-driving cars are a reality. We have the Internet of things, big data, robotics, artificial intelligence. Digital is how the world is changing.


Fewer people are creating a larger portion of global wealth today. It takes fewer and fewer people to produce more and more. The innovation economy is already here, but it’s accelerating. Digital is going to continue to drive change. 


And change will happen even faster.


And yet, the things that are becoming more valuable for the future are the things that cannot be digitized or automated. Traits that are human-only will become more and more valuable. Traits like creativity and empathy.


Creativity is thinking in novel ways. It’s solving problems. It’s developing new ideas, finding better opportunities, and combining old things to create new possibilities. 


Empathy is the ability to understand, connect, and see the world through other people’s eyes. It’s moving closer to people. It’s having social skills to communicate, accept differences, and find common ground.


In order to adapt in this rapidly changing world, we must embrace technology. It’s important. 


But more importantly, our students will need to develop creativity and empathy. It’s not about what you know. It’s about what you can do with what you know. Can you work with people? Can you add value to people? Can you create something new and interesting?


These disruptive trends show no signs of slowing. But are schools keeping up? I don’t think so. Things are moving so fast, it’s hard to keep up, even for the schools that embrace change. 


Creativity and empathy are not considered the core work in most schools. They are extras, add-ons, and enrichment programs. But I think we have it flipped. Start with creativity and empathy and use those to propel learning of content and academic skills. 


It’s very different than the type of learning I had when I was in school. We plowed through content and curriculum and produced right answers year after year. We jumped through all the hoops as instructed but probably didn’t learn how to take much initiative. 


And that worked okay in a world where a high school diploma could get you a job, maybe even a career. And a college degree almost assured you a privileged place in society. Those days are gone.


We cannot afford to prepare students for the world we grew up in. We must prepare them for the world they’ll live in.


How do you see the role of creativity, empathy, and technology in the future? What will our students need to thrive? I want to hear from you. Leave a comment below or respond on Facebook or Twitter.

Read More What’s Most Valuable? Creativity, Empathy, or Technology



In a world that is more complex and uncertain than ever before, what is most valuable? Creativity, Empathy, or Technology.


You might argue it’s technology. After all, everything that can be digitized is being digitized. Over the last 20 years, we’ve seen changes that are unprecedented. The Internet has changed how we live, work, play, and interact. Social media has exploded. Nearly every person on the planet, it seems, has an Internet connected mobile phone. We can literally stay connected every minute of every day. Self-driving cars are a reality. We have the Internet of things, big data, robotics, artificial intelligence. Digital is how the world is changing.


Fewer people are creating a larger portion of global wealth today. It takes fewer and fewer people to produce more and more. The innovation economy is already here, but it’s accelerating. Digital is going to continue to drive change. 


And change will happen even faster.


And yet, the things that are becoming more valuable for the future are the things that cannot be digitized or automated. Traits that are human-only will become more and more valuable. Traits like creativity and empathy.


Creativity is thinking in novel ways. It’s solving problems. It’s developing new ideas, finding better opportunities, and combining old things to create new possibilities. 


Empathy is the ability to understand, connect, and see the world through other people’s eyes. It’s moving closer to people. It’s having social skills to communicate, accept differences, and find common ground.


In order to adapt in this rapidly changing world, we must embrace technology. It’s important. 


But more importantly, our students will need to develop creativity and empathy. It’s not about what you know. It’s about what you can do with what you know. Can you work with people? Can you add value to people? Can you create something new and interesting?


These disruptive trends show no signs of slowing. But are schools keeping up? I don’t think so. Things are moving so fast, it’s hard to keep up, even for the schools that embrace change. 


Creativity and empathy are not considered the core work in most schools. They are extras, add-ons, and enrichment programs. But I think we have it flipped. Start with creativity and empathy and use those to propel learning of content and academic skills. 


It’s very different than the type of learning I had when I was in school. We plowed through content and curriculum and produced right answers year after year. We jumped through all the hoops as instructed but probably didn’t learn how to take much initiative. 


And that worked okay in a world where a high school diploma could get you a job, maybe even a career. And a college degree almost assured you a privileged place in society. Those days are gone.


We cannot afford to prepare students for the world we grew up in. We must prepare them for the world they’ll live in.


How do you see the role of creativity, empathy, and technology in the future? What will our students need to thrive? I want to hear from you. Leave a comment below or respond on Facebook or Twitter.

Read More What’s Most Valuable? Creativity, Empathy, or Technology

I have often heard that there are two types of professional learning experiences; a “warm bath” or a “cold shower.”  The “warm bath” is an experience that makes you feel that everything you are doing is right and just full of positive affirmations.  The “cold shower” challenges you and makes you feel uncomfortable in what … [Read more…]

Read More 3 Simple Questions To Shape Professional Learning