8 Things that will happen when you level up as a leader … 

As a leader of a learning organization, taking your own professional development is serious business.

There are a number of ways to grow yourself as a leader:

  • Read or listen to a book
  • Take an online course
  • Engage in a Twitter chat
  • Network on social media, better yet network in real life
  • Go to a conference
  • Journal regularly
  • Blog, podcast, or vlog
  • Participate in a PLC
  • Hire a coach
  • Join a mastermind
  • And  more …

When you choose to invest in sharpening your skill set, you live out my leadership mantra which is: Everyone wins when YOU get better.

There are many benefits to developing yourself. 

Here are eight things that will happen when you make your development a priority this year.

Boost your confidence

Any time you doubt yourself (we all do at times) go to what I call your “Results Resume.”

Reflect on what you have already accomplished. This gives you the right to be confident in this moment right now. 

You’ve done hard things before and succeeded. You can do it again.

Reflect on the last year, last three years, and last ten years. What are all the ways you have grown? 

Make a bulleted list. Read that list. 

Doing this will put you in a positive state and the energy and momentum will carry you through the day.

Create better results

As you develop yourself, you’ll automatically create better results. 

I’ve yet to meet a person who has invested in their development and gotten worse at whatever skill they were trying to improve.

It just doesn’t happen.

If you’re unhappy with the results you are currently experiencing, the quickest path to understanding why is to audit how you are investing in yourself. 

Maybe it’s time for a bigger commitment?

How would you invest in yourself if anything were possible?

Because it is.

Upgrade your culture

When I speak to groups on vision, I love to use an image of a leader in a row boat – half the boat is rowing in one direction, the other half is rowing in the opposite direction.

This always gets a laugh.

Leaders I coach and mentor experience something magical within their school systems. 

A better culture.

When you’re collaborating on a weekly basis and talking about effective leadership, it would be impossible if your culture didn’t benefit.

Create more leaders

A true mark of a leader is not creating more followers. It’s creating more leaders. 

The more you develop yourself, the more your confidence and results improve. The deeper you are in your leadership journey, the more you realize that leadership is an act of service.

Who are the leaders you are developing today? 

If the answer is no one, become more intentional and take an educator or two with potential under your wing.

Even if they built a statue in your honor, that statue would one day erode and turn to dust. The odds that you’ll be remembered in history are slim.

So a better investment in your legacy would be to make the people around you better and encourage them to do the same.

That’s a legacy.

Clarity on the path forward

Many leaders waste time on identifying what is most important to work on and what the first step should be.

Ineffective leaders are like a pinball. They get whacked around the game because someone else is in control. 

That someone else can be email and other distractions. 

It can be a micromanaging supervisor, a head strong teacher, or a toxic colleague. 

An effective leader has proper boundaries and knows what the most important work is and where to take the first step. This kind of clarity comes from experience and increased development. 

So if you’d like more clarity, you can wait for your years of experience to pile up and hope you learn something … 

Or you can speed up the process by investing in yourself.

Your choice.

Get noticed

If you’re tired of being passed up or you’re considered the best kept secret in your own school district, listen up.

For seven years I showed up on the Better Leaders Better Schools podcast and shipped an episode every Wednesday. That’s hundreds of episodes and over 1.5 million downloads later …

I got better and better at my craft the more I practiced. 

And then in 2019 two amazing things happened:

  • Harvard asked me if they could sponsor the podcast
  • And I was offered a book deal by more than five education publishing companies.

You couldn’t have told me I would have experienced that when I started out in 2015. Even after I passed 500,000 downloads I hired a podcast coach.

It paid off.

The podcast has become a signal that resonates with other Ruckus Makers. 

It has attracted Harvard, publishing companies, all the leaders I coach and mentor, multiple NY Times best selling authors (e.g. Dan Pink, Eric Barker, and others), and even NPR.

The secret to getting noticed is to show up consistently and create value. 

It’s called being a professional.

Embrace the suck

These days I reflect more and more about how life is hard. 

Leadership too.

And I find it interesting that we think it should be easy.

Why do we think that? 

Do we really want the easy path?

I know I don’t. 

The easy path wouldn’t be engaging or satisfying. Give me the hard path every day of the week. 

Don’t get confused. 

Yes, you can work more efficiently. 

Yes, leadership can be ‘easier’ as you learn to delegate and build your team.

All I’m saying is that expecting life and leadership to be easy sets you up for one thing and one thing only …


Realize it’s all made up

Everything is made up.

All of it.

The sooner you realize this, the sooner you’ll enjoy a big belly laugh.

Then you realize one more HUGE benefit.

If it’s all made up, what do you want to create?

You choose:

  • The game you’re playing
  • The rules of the game
  • And what WINNING is for you

Unless you want to play a game someone has written for you.

I reject that.

It’s the opposite of the Ruckus Maker Way.

Take ownership of your path. 

Play the game on your terms.

You only have this moment right now.

Why would you give away your power?

Ready to level up?

I’ve created a 5-day challenge, “The Back to School Boot Camp,” that helps school leaders start the year off with energy and momentum.

Over 5-days I will send you an inspiring video along with an actionable challenge to help you kick off the year.

At the end of the challenge you will have completed your 90-day entry plan for next school year.

Join the challenge today

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