Friday, November 6, 2015

Taking The Challenge To Become A Better Leader

I was lucky enough to get in to see the initial LEAD LIKE A PIRATE presentation done by Shelley Burgess and Beth Houf  at AMLE (Association of Middle Level Educators) in Columbus, Ohio.  Actually, it's a good thing I was tagging along because, in true PIRATE fashion, Shelley and Beth didn't like the room set up and needed to transform the room from rows of chairs facing a screen to twelve tables with works spaces, enough for about 48 people. Luckily, they had scouted out the room and knew of a back door where tables and chairs were stored.  They just needed my muscle to make it happen. 20 Minutes of work and hustle and... Voila!  The room became an interactive playground where pirates can work and learn together, complete with PIRATE booty set on each table and numerous activities at the ready.

As the room filled, you could feel the energy.  15 minutes before the session was slated to start, the room had reached full occupancy. To the dismay of many who thought they had plenty of time to arrive, they were turned away with a sign saying, "Sorry, Session Full." Being one of the lucky ones to get in, I couldn't wait to see what Shelley and Beth had in store for us.  They didn't disappoint.

The LEAD LIKE A PIRATE #LeadLAP  presentation took concepts from author Dave Burgess's TEACH LIKE A PIRATE #TLAP and demonstrated how school leaders can make their school building a place where students, teachers and parents are running to get in; Not out!


Shelley and Beth did an amazing job giving ideas, sharing stories, and offering guidance to these leaders who were there to improve themselves and their schools. Their interactive presentation started before the announced start time and ended slightly after and people were wanting more. I have a feeling there is a lot more and we are the lucky ones who will benefit from all of this excitement.


One of the best things that has come from this workshop, and is brilliant in it's conception, is the #LeadLAP Challenge.  Shelley and Beth have challenged school leaders to get into classrooms and drop anchors in a variety of ways.  The initial week of the challenge involved Anchors of Appreciation.  The second week we dropped anchors that Noticed The Impact of decisions made in the classroom on student learning.  This week was all about Collaborative Conversations.  I can't tell you the impact this is having other places, but I can tell you what it has done for me.

I get in classrooms every day. Teachers and kids are used to me walking in and checking on things. Now, I'm focused on the teaching and the learning that is happening. I'm planning my comments and my anchors. I'm considering how to extend collaborative conversations and making an effort to engage others in these conversations. I always considered myself a decent leader, but the focus I am getting from #LeadLAP has enabled me to be more purposeful in my daily visits and to acknowledge the great things that are going on in my school.

I have challenged the other principals in my district to take part in the #LeadLAP challenge and even my superintendent has been dropping anchors for the last three weeks.  What a great way to transform our leadership. What a great way to raise awareness. What a great way to LEAD!

From this challenge and from my opportunity to know Shelley and Beth and see them in action, I continue to grow and get better at my craft.  Join me in my journey and follow the #LeadLAP challenge on Twitter.

Read Shelley Burgess's Blogs: Dropping Anchors  Notice The Impact   Collaborative Conversations
Read Beth Houf's Blogs: Principal Houf Blog's 

1 comment:

  1. WOW! Thank you so much,Jay for this amazing post! I am inspired daily by your leadership and blessed to have you as a colleague and friend!

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