What if Simon Sinek was Wrong?

My grandpa owned a bakery most of his adult life. I remember visiting my grandparents on the weekend and waking up to huge trays of fresh donuts. Their home was definitely filled with an abundance of love, humor, and donuts. I didn’t realize it at the time, but those donuts held a simple truth that has changed the way I look at innovation…but more on that in a minute. In 2009, Simon Sinek delivered a thought-provoking TED Talk titled, “How Great Leaders Inspire Action.” Most school leaders are familiar with his message, but if you’re not one of the 30 million people who has already viewed his talk I suggest you check it out HERE. During the talk, Sinek steps up to a sheet of white chart pape

Be There!

Be there! Save the date and mark your calendars for Tuesday, March 14th from 3:00-4:00pm CST. Looking for tools to sharpen your vision, and increase your traction? Want to be empowered? Do you have an hour to invest in practical ways to further empower your students (or staff)? I'm pleased to announce that NAESP is sponsoring a free "Virtual Book Talk" for all educators. We'll be spending an hour talking about a surprisingly simple framework for meaningful change. (This is NOT a discussion about change for the sake of change.) This is a conversation about how to create the innovative classrooms and schools our students deserve. The first 25 educators who sign-up and join the webinar will re

2017 Vince Lombooki Award

For the 2nd straight year, the World Championship of Book Talk videos did not disappoint. We started with 16 creative educators from several continents who each came together around a common cause. Participants found a way to share their favorite children’s book via a short (30 seconds or less) book talk video. The rest is history! After over 29,000 votes were cast we have a winner! Congratulations to ​Bronwyn Merritt and the Literacy Legends team. You can see Bronwyn's #30SecondBookTalk video HERE along with the other finalists. In addition to taking home the hardware (a.k.a. the Vince Lombooki Digital Badge), Bro​nwyn's classroom will receive $500.00 in books from Scholastic...how cool is

5 Cornerstones of Student-Centered Learning

I've participated in numerous Professional Development sessions that involve “unpacking the standards.” I always walk away from these sessions with a better understanding of the critical content and skills students need to be successful. However, sometimes I feel like we're leaving something that's equally important to chance. Just as it's important to unpack the standards, it would be really helpful to do a deeper dive into how exemplary educators are getting relationships right. Deeper, lasting learning requires clear standards and an environment conducive to student-thriving. That's why I decided to "unpack the relationships" that had a huge impact on one of our students recently. This sh

Drone-Powered Book Talk (Video)

Please don't let the title of this blog post mislead you. The book talk video above is actually powered by a love of literacy, best practice, and innovation. (The drone technology used to create the short book talk video simply supports the learning.) With that said, I understand that some people may be skeptical about the role of some of the flashier tools in education (and I don't blame them). I was recently keynoting at a state conference and a question about drones in education came up. I was happy to share how our school is using drones to support learning, and also mentioned a few of the ways we've used them to enhance communication with stakeholders. After the conference concluded, I

World Book Talk Final Four

The World Championship of Book Talks started with 16 educators from several different continents. After 8,000+ votes we are down to the Final Four, and YOU get to select the winner. Will it be a "Lead Learner" or will it be a "Literacy Legend"?! We created this collaborative project to inspire readers, young and old, to celebrate the books they love. Here's how: Watch the podcast containing the final four book talk videos above. Choose your favorite and vote HERE. Follow the action on Twitter at #30SecondBookTalk. Create and share your own book talks with young people in your life! Voting ends at 5:00pm EST on Friday, Feb 17th. In addition to taking home the 2017 "Vince LomBooki" digital bad

My Song

Music motivates. It deconstructs and simplifies. It energizes, challenges, and calls us to live out the ideals we know to be possible. It can even lend clarity to a vision. Some lyrics and songs resonate at a level that is difficult to explain to anyone else. Yet, to be true to ourselves we try. Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) by Hillsong UNITED is one of those songs for me. (I'm listening to it as I share this reflection with you now.) Every time I listen to Oceans I think about education. I also think about faith, courage, and leadership. But most of all, I think about serving our students. The work our students desperately need us to be doing is not easy. Fortunately, we aren't doing it alon

Dr. Brad Gustafson is an elementary principal, author, and speaker. He believes schools can be spaces where creativity and innovation thrive, but only when we prioritize relationships and a relevant, connected pedagogy. 


Connect on email at:


  • Grey Twitter Icon
  • Grey Instagram Icon
  • Grey Facebook Icon
  • Grey YouTube Icon
  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

For keynote inquiries please contact Ryan Giffen at Premiere Speakers Bureau by clicking the button below.

ROC - web .png
Bulk Book Bonuses.png

Arms Wide Open

Featured Posts
Recent Posts
RSS Feed

©2020 Dr. Brad Gustafson | Adjusting Course, LLC. All Rights Reserved.