Author: William Parker

When I was in college, I had a blue 1981 Toyota Celica that overheated on the long trip to Oklahoma, and the engine burned up. It was my first car. I had bought it with the money I earned over summers as a shell diver in the Kentucky Lake area.  But now it was toast, […]

Read More PMP173: Lessons in Leadership from Your Scars

Six years ago, on October 31, 2013, my son Jack was eight years old. We had just finished an amazing day of trick-or-treating, and he asked if he could change back into his normal clothes. This was a big deal because he had been wearing a hosptial gown for almost ten days. On this Halloween, […]

Read More PMP:171 Four Lessons in Teamwork from my Son’s Hospital Stay

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege to spend a few hours sailing on the Chesapeake Bay with Dave Sandowich. He commanded his 42-foot sailboat, Charis, with the skill of a man who has spent the past forty years on the water anytime when he wasn’t leading his school or his family. Dave, a […]

Read More PMP169: Leading into the Wind – Lessons from Dave Sandowich

If you are like most school leaders, time management can be one of the most difficult parts of your work. Most new school leaders I meet explain how overwhelming the list of to-do’s can be. What are the solutions? Well, Kim Marshall and Jenn David-Lang provide a wealth of information on resources and practices that […]

Read More PMP168: Managing Your Day with Kim Marshall and Jenn David-Lang

Last week was the first time (except for a rare Christmas holiday) that I have not shared a blog post or podcast episode update in almost five years. At first, I thought it was because I’ve been so busy. Last weekend I flew to Florida for my nephew’s wedding. Then on Monday, I flew from […]

Read More PMP167: Keeping Your Leadership Focused on Service, Not Self

This week I’m sharing another episode from the road as I have been traveling across my state, Oklahoma, visiting principals at schools or in regional meetings. Recently, I visited Texhoma, Oklahoma, with High School Principal Connie Miller. After touring her school that serves students grades 5-12, she drove me one mile across the community to […]

Read More PMP166: Unique Challenges of Rural Principals and Why Your Story Matters

These last couple of week, I’ve been on the road a lot visiting schools and principals across my state. For the next couple of weeks, I plan to share some thoughts from the road – literally. This week’s episode I recorded while driving (after safely cuing my recorder before starting a long drive). 5 Takeaways […]

Read More PMP164: On the Road – Thoughts for New School Leaders

Author David Weinberger once said: “The smartest person in the room is the room itself.” In other words, the collective power of our thinking is always more powerful than working in isolation. By connecting with others, we can stretch our thinking and be motivated to take new actions. This week I’m thrilled to bring back […]

Read More PMP 162: Go! Community – How to Harness the Power of the Room

Last week Jen Schwanke and I answered questions from podcast listeners. Listen to Part 1 here. This week we take three more questions from principals on parenting, women in leadership, and professional growth. Here’s our feedback, or you can listen to the entire conversation on the podcast: Question 1: How do you manage being a […]

Read More PMP161: Answers to Principal Matters Questions, Part 2

Recently, several questions came from Principal Matters community members. This week, Jen Schwanke, principal and author, joined me to answer several questions from principals or aspiring principals. Here are a three questions we take time to discuss and respond to: Question 1: Finding my first principal position… Hello! I have just completed my masters program […]

Read More PMP160: Answers to Principal Matters Questions, Part 1

A few nights ago I was sitting in a theater with my wife watching the movie, Yesterday, starring Himesh Patel and Lily James. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but I do want to say I was completely affected by the nostalgia and its focus on the legacy of Beatles music. In fact, […]

Read More PMP158: Why Telling Your Own Story Matters

Jenny is a returning student at her high school. She has a part-time job which keeps her up late most nights. When she arrives late to school, she has already missed breakfast and she’s tardy. She stands in a long line at the counseling office until she is given her class schedule. She reads it […]

Read More PMP157: Preparing for the Start-of-School Year

When my family recently visited the Rocky Mountain National Park, we enjoyed drives through snow-peaked mountains.  But my 13-year old son, Jack, was most excited about hiking and climbing. One morning, we gathered the family by Shadow Mountain Lake, and began a hike along the lake that eventually led to a 3-mile ascent to a […]

Read More PMP156: 6 Tips for Managing School-Wide Changes