When Good Leaders Choke (and Why You Should Too)

I got a new car this year that's teaching me all kinds of things. The new car is ten years old, but I believe it's what people in the auto industry affectionately refer to as "a good runner." (I'm hoping this means it will run for another 10 years.) The only trouble I've noticed so far is sometimes you have to step on the gas pedal a little just to get it started. This is not much different than the choke button many lawnmowers and small engines come equipped with. The science of "choking" an engine involves restricting the amount of air going into the engine, which eventually allows more fuel inside. This translates to a quicker start. And I think it translates to school leadership too. The

Reclaiming Our Calling T-Shirts

I’ve had people asking about T-shirts with a message from my newest book for awhile...and they’re finally here. The main text on the front of the T-shirt is based upon a key theme from Reclaiming Our Calling. The hashtag underneath the main text is accompanied by the iconic umbrella from the cover. I’m using Bonfire to plan a limited run of the shirts. Be sure to order by December 21st by clicking HERE. Cost per shirt is $20 and they can be shipped to home or school. Thanks for your support, but more importantly, thank you for investing so much into the people in your classroom and school.

The Hidden Value in Relics

We hear people acknowledge the importance of removing things from the plates of educators often. But many leaders struggle putting antiquated programs and pet projects in the rear-view mirror. At the same time, there’s no shortage of SMART goals and vision statements in schools. This is problematic because the practices your team designates as “relics” might say more about your school culture than your vision statement ever will. Starting new things is too easy. Stopping takes discipline. And dialoguing about what to stop might be one of the most powerful conversations your team could have. Removing things from people’s plates...things they’ve owned and invested in for years...takes conversa

Choosing the 3rd Button

There's power in simplicity. Clarity compels. Change is more likely when complex concepts are distilled into digestible ideas. Meaningful change requires comprehension. Before we try to change something we should attempt to understand it better. And this, almost always, requires some level of creativity. Charles Mingus is credited with saying, "Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity." One of the reasons I love reading Seth Godin's daily blog posts is his ability to take complex concepts and make them understandable. Relatable. Actionable. Several weeks ago, Seth shared something that resonated, but also something I've

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. 


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