Five for Friday November 28-December 2, 2022

Hello colleagues and welcome to the Assistant Principal Podcast. I’m your host Frederick Buskey. The goal of this podcast is to help improve the life and leadership of assistant principals. Today’s episode of Five for Friday recaps the strategic leadership emails for the week of November 28-December 2, 2022.

2022-12-02_80_Five for Friday FINAL Audio
Hello colleagues and welcome to the Assistant Principal podcast. I'm your host, Frederick Busky.
The goal of this podcast is to help improve life and leadership of assistant principals. Today's
episode of five for Friday recaps the strategic leadership emails for the week of November twenty
december twenty, twenty 2-0-2-2. Imagine setting a leadership intention at the beginning of each
day. That's what many readers of the daily email. Do for some, it's become a ritual. Pour your
coffee, open your email and read the strategic leader daily.
And then set 1 intention. One thing to be aware of, one thing to execute throughout the day. The
daily emails are powerful leadership practice, so if you aren't already a subscriber, I hope you'll
consider joining the list. It's just one more way to include me on your leadership journey, and that
would bring me joy. You can find a link on my homepage at Much of this past
week's emails kept going back to one thing that I'm promoting right now, which is our new guide on
be a better leader in 5 minutes a day.
Put this guy together for three reasons. First, I think it's always great to just have a few more tools in
your toolbox that you can draw on to enhance your leadership. Secondly, the five strategies in this
guide provide ways to achieve just small wins every day. And third, we're hoping that you'll find so
much value in the guide that you'll share it with other people and that we can increase the number of
people listening to the podcast, the number of people on our Quadrant 2 email list and on our daily
email, list because the more people that we can reach, the more influence we can have.
You can find links to be a better leader in 5 minutes a day on my website at
backslash the assistant principal when you download the guide, you'll get 5 practices, each of which
takes 5 minutes a day or less to implement. You'll get a handy printable poster to put on your
workspace as a daily reminder and an 8 email sequence that will follow up every 3-4-5 days just to
remind you to focus on a specific practice and maybe give you another little wrinkle to that practice.
So it's a full package. You're getting the five strategies, but also some follow up support from us just
to help you really get in and develop those habits. You can be a better leader in 5 minutes a day.
And that really is a major theme for the week. On Monday, I actually shared the first practice in the
guide, which is be intentional. And you may have noticed that over the past couple weeks on the
daily leadership email, we've actually added a piece to the bottom of each email called the Daily
intention. And that came about as I was writing the guide when it began writing the guide last month.
It just occurred to me that maybe we could be better in the daily email about helping people to set
that intention. So the first step to being a better leader in 5 minutes a day is really just setting an
intention each day. And the intention for Monday was to be aware of how setting a daily intention
influences your leadership throughout the day. On Tuesday, we talked about the idea that leaders
don't have to be alone. Being a leader can sometimes be like being in a fishbowl.
You can see everybody around you, they can all see you. And yet you're separated. You're different,
and it can be a lonely job. So what are some things that we can do to decrease that sense of
loneliness? On Tuesday, I shared five different things. If you feel that loneliness, here are some
things you can try. First, keep in touch with your mentor. If you don't have one, find 1. Secondly,
invest in building your leadership team. A tight, well functioning leadership team is a great way of
insulating yourself against loneliness.
3rd Create an informal network of other leaders either within or outside of your organization. People
that you can just pick up the phone and text or call where you all can just bounce ideas off of each
other and support each other in ways that are very informal but also easy to do and lend themselves
to frequent communication. A fifth thing you can do is to find a free community on social media that
you can plug into. If you listen to Tuesday's episode of the Assistant Principal podcast, then you
listen to my interview of Doctor David Franklin, who hosts the principal's desk, which is a really large
and active community of school administrators, over on Facebook.
You probably know I'm not a big Facebook fan, but this is one place that I've found really high value.
There are lots of people asking questions, lots of beginning administrators, and many, many helpful
people over in that space. That's the principal's desk on Facebook if you want to go join that group.
And then the fifth thing that you can do is to join a hosted paid community that will come that will
cater specifically to your needs. And of course, I host one of those which is our apex community for
assistant principals. Free communities are great, and you should definitely take advantage of
something like the principal's desk.
But sometimes that's not enough. Sometimes, instead of that huge network, you actually want a
smaller, tight network of people that you know are as invested in their professional development as
you are. And that's what makes apex special, that we're a community of learners and that we can be
responsive to each other's needs. So that's enough of the commercial. You can find out more about
apex on my website at backslash the assistant principal. The intention for
Tuesday was to think about people who you can trust, who can help you feel less isolated. Reach
out to one or more of them. Text, email call, whatever would be easiest. But just let them know that
you appreciate them and simply by reaching out to a mentor or someone in your network and letting
them know that you're thinking about them.
That will decrease your own sense of isolation. In fact, right after I wrote that email last, week i did
that i. Reached out to one of my former mentors and dear friends, doctor Jan Osborne, at the
Putnam County Educational Service Center in Northwest Ohio. And Jan's just been a mentor of
mine. I going back for almost 30 years now and just by sending a text to him, I haven't heard back
from him yet. But just that act made me feel better and less. Isolated, so I encourage you if you
didn't do this earlier this week. Take a minute after you listen to this podcast and just text somebody
that you look up to, somebody you admire, and your leadership.
Just say thanks thinking of you and you will feel better in addition to making their day. Wednesday
was about making progress towards leadership goals by executing daily strategies, and I talked a
little bit about last fall, this fall and next fall. And last fall we were just starting this podcast. And this
fall, in September, we had over 2000 downloads of the podcast in a single month. But then where
will we be next fall? I have goals for that, one of them, one of which is celebrating our two hundredth
episode. But more important than the goals, I have strategies. Not some big plan of steps that I'm
going to take, but actually just things that I need to do each day and that I know if I'm executing
these strategies on a daily basis then I'll reach where I want to be next fall.
And that's the thing that reaching our goals. Doesn't mean we have to be investing huge amounts of
time. It doesn't mean we have to have a complicated plan. And this goes back to the theme of the
week, which is investing 5 minutes a day to be a better leader. Identify some of those small
strategies that you can do every day. That are gonna increase the power of your leadership and
take you to where you want to be. So the intention for the day was just to be mindful of the journey
and to think about where you've been.
And where you're going? And then what are the key practices that you can execute every day? On
Thursday, we looked at how a simple change in perspective can create a dramatically different
outcome. Last week I was at Sandhills Middle School in Gaston, south carolina, and I was working
with the instructional coach Katie Diaz, who is just Absolutely Fabulous. And she was showing me a
small table that she had given to her teachers.
And what it did was break down the differences in approaching a unit design task from thinking like
an activity designer, which is where a lot of us as teachers are, versus thinking like an assessor. It
was stunning to me because the task was the same, designing a unit of instruction. All that really
changed was the perspective that I was that the teacher would be taking from either an activity
design perspective or an actual assessor design perspective, and there's really a contrast. And
what's so powerful about this idea is that again, the work is the same.
The outcome is going to be the same except in terms of quality, except in terms of depth, simply
because there's a shift in perspective, so. An example is that an activity designer would look at a
unit and think what would be interesting and engaging activities on this topic, whereas an assessor
would ask what would be sufficient and revealing evidence of understanding. They're both going to
lead to an activity that students can do around the topic, but think about.
The likelihood of having an activity that was really more powerful and richer when we think from the
standpoint of an assessor, thinking what would be sufficient and revealing evidence of
understanding. So thank you, Katie. I love this idea of making a small intentional shift in perspective
that can lead them to dramatically different results. The MVP for Friday was that important issues
are usually complex issues, and it's critical to invest time uncovering the problem before treating the
symptom. Just in the past seven days, I've heard three different principles talking about 3 problems
that were very complex problems.
So one of them was a principal struggling with a specific teacher who seems resistant to change.
Another one was a car line, which was just taking so long that students were getting to class on time
and parents were starting to get angry and it's just a big mess. And then the third one was principal
asking for help. Where in their middle school there were just so many discipline issues, major ones,
minor ones, that it was just chewing up their day.
The interesting thing is that they're kind of formulaic, formulaic approaches to each of these issues.
And there are a lot of people that if I posted this problem out there on LinkedIn or Facebook or
somewhere, there are lots of people that would give me well meaning and solid advice on things
that I should do. But just looking at what we should do before we figure out what the real problem is
is a huge mistake.
I mean, let's just look at one of these. Let's look at the too many discipline issues. If we don't know
what the problem is, how do we know what to do? We could say we're gonna, we're gonna
implement PBI S and that's going to fix our discipline problems but. We don't know that because we
don't know what the problem is. What if the problem is actually two teachers on one hallway? And
we want to go invest all this time and energy and money and focus on PBIS, when actually it's just
two teachers.
Or maybe the problem is a group of five kids. And there's all kinds of social dynamics and issues
going on in that group. If we don't figure out how to solve those social issues, how to teach those
kids work to work together, we can suspend them all we want. We're still going to have problems. Or
maybe it's simply a matter of. Teachers being at their desks during transition periods instead of out
in the hall monitoring behavior. The point is, there are all kinds of issues that could be going on
here, and probably there's more than one. Which leads to the second point. First, it's uncovering the
problem, but then the next thing is to be mindful of what constitutes improvement.
Because on big things like this, the goal should not be to fix the problem. That's a huge task.
Remember, we need to approach things with incremental change, so the important thing is not to
create the school where we have no discipline problems. The important thing is to have three fewer
referrals this day than we did the previous day. We just want to nibble at the margins. So when we
once we understand the problem, we can look what is a small step that we can take that's going to
make this a little bit better.
And when we do that, that's something we can do immediately. So immediately we have made
people's lives better and then we can take that little bit of time that we save because now it's better
now that it's one two less referrals a day. Hey, that's an extra 25 minutes back. Now I can take that
time and invest that in the next A to B step, the next step for making this thing a little bit better. And
that's the process of change. That's the process of continual improvement. You spend the bulk of
your time figuring out what the real problem is. And then you take small simple A to B steps to make
it a little bit better immediately, which gets people on your side.
It gets people invested in what you're doing and contributing. And then we just take those small
steps over and over and consistently achieve better results. So what's the big takeaway for the
week? It's about the small things and. As you head into the weekend or I guess as you head into
next week. Think about these three small things. When you're faced with an issue. Whether it's in
your school or in your house, trying to figure out why the Christmas tree is not straight, instead of
acting, just pause.
Then ask why. Think about why. Why is this happening? And the third small thing, approach your
work with a clear intention pause ask why. And be intentional. Three small things that you can do
every day that will help improve your leadership. And Speaking of small things, what if I told you you
could be a better leader in 5 minutes a day? I hope, based on this podcast, that you'd agree with me
and that you recognize that it really is about the little things.
But whether you agree or if you have some doubts, I'd love it if you went over to my website and
downloaded our new guide. Be a better leader in 5 minutes a day. The guide has five very simple
tips, each of which takes less than 5 minutes. 5 strategies that you can execute all of them on one
day or try them out on different days, but just five little strategies that you can use that take less than
5 minutes a day to help you become a better leader. This wraps up today's 5 for Friday rendition of
the Assistant Principal podcast. If you enjoyed today's show, please subscribe and rate the podcast,
and I'm always trying to improve it.
If you have feedback or suggestions or questions for me, you can email frederick buskey dot com. If
you'd like to get the download for our new guide. Be a better leader in 5 minutes a day. You can find
that and more information about the work I'm doing with and for assistant principals at my website at backslash the assistant principal. I'm Frederick Busky, and I hope you'll join me
next time for the Assistant Principal podcast cheers.

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