Board of Directors

At one of my sessions of the “Leadership Matters” cohort, I was introduced to the concept of a personal Board of Directors. The idea was conceived by Napoleon Hill nearly a century ago and still has relevance for leaders today. The idea is to surround yourself with people whom you admire, who are invested in you, and who stretch you to reach your fullest potential. The activity led by Derek Wheaton and Debbie McFalone focused on six positions needed on your personal Board of Directors. Here are the people that sit on my board:

The CheerleaderOne who motivates and spreads the positive: For me, my inspiration has always come from my daughters. They bring me joy, happiness, and inspire me to become the best dad, best principal, and best person that I can be.
The Truth TellerOne who I can count on to be honest at all times and keeps me grounded with accurate perspective: My truth teller has been featured in an earlier blog post and is my former colleague and peer, Jennifer. She is a phenomenal educator, and more importantly is one who will question me, argue with me, and above all be honest with me. Her honesty, blended with her desire to help me grow, makes her one who stretches my thinking and makes me a better principal.
Jiminy CricketMy conscience and keeps me grounded in what is right and wrong: This is definitely my wife. She has a strong moral compass, a heart for service, and inspires me with her willingness to help and serve others.

SacajaweaMy guide and mentor: I’ve had many guides in my life and I think that’s the key. Each stage or role in life may require a new mentor. As a parent, my mentors were my mother and father. Early in my career it was Paul Liabenow who hired and mentored me. I find mentors now through courses and conferences like Leadership Matters with Debbie and Derek. We need to seek out mentors if we want to continue to grow and learn.

Crowd in the SquareSmall group who serves as my sounding board: My crowd would have to be my administrative team at Livonia Public Schools. They stretch my thinking, provide feedback and support, and remind me that I’m never alone.

Luke to your YodaSomeone you are mentoring or teaching: If you would have asked me a week ago, I would say that I’m not sure if I’m mentoring anyone. Yes, I work with a new principal in the district, but she is so knowledgeable that I look at us more in a peer relationship than mentor. Then I received a note in the mail from Jodie Pierpoint. Jodie is a member of the educational blogging group I participate in (The Compelled Tribe) and she wrote “thank you for your encouragement through my new adventure“. I thought, maybe I have been a mentor without realizing it. Perhaps you are a mentor to someone without even realizing it yourself!

Having a support group is not a new idea, but purposely planning out who you learn and share with can be a powerful leadership strategy. As educators, who would be on your board of directors? If you haven’t done so, identify who your “go to” people are. Better yet, let them know they are serving on your board. They may be surprised and pleased to know that they are holding such an important position!

Source: Adapted from Success Built to Last: Creating a Life That Matters, Porras, Emery, Thompson, 2007 
Derek Wheaton, Derek Wheaton consultin LLC
“You can do anything as long as you have the passion, the drive, the focus and the support.”– Sabrina Bryan
“A man’s pride can be his downfall, and he needs to learn when to turn to others for support and guidance.”– Bear Grylls
“Surround yourself with people who provide you with support and love and remember to give back as much as you can in return.” – Karen Kain
Beautiful Video on Empathy
  • Monday, December 11: Celebrate Monday 9:05 AM, Design Committee Meeting (Holly & Nan) 9:30-11:30 AM, Santa Shop Preview Day, PTA Board Meeting 2:30 PM
  • Tuesday, December 12: Achievement Team (Kaufman) 8:15 AM, Santa Shop
  • Wednesday, December 13: Santa Shop, Elementary Principals Meeting 1:00-4:30 PM, Buchanan Staff Christmas Gathering 4:30 – ???
  • Thursday, December 14: Collaborative Learning Time 7:50 AM, Santa Shop, 3rd/4th Grade Concert 6:00-8:00 PM
  • Monday, December 18: Student of the Month Assembly (Empathy) 9:05 AM, Principal Collaborative Time @ Randolph 1:30-4:00 PM
  • Tuesday, December 19: Achievement Team (Pisko) 8:15 AM, Parent Meeting (Williams & AT) 2:30 PM
  • Wednesday, December 20: PTA Ham Pick up 4:00-6:00 PM
  • Thursday, December 21: Christmas Breakfast8:05 AM
  • Friday, December 22: All School Sing-along in the gym 3:15 PM

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