Rick earned a bachelor’s degree in adolescent education/social studies from Fredonia State University in New York. He has a master’s degree in adolescent education from Oneonta State College, also in New York. He earned a certificate of advanced studies in educational leadership from Binghamton University in New York. 

He was a middle and high school teacher in upstate New York for eight years before coming to Charlotte. He completed his principal residency at Albemarle Road Elementary through New Leaders and spent three years as an assistant principal at Shamrock Gardens Elementary. In all, he has been in education for 14 years, two of those as a school principal.

His educational philosophy is this: No significant learning will take place without strong relationships between the student, teacher and family.  Our role as a school is to build, engage, and enhance these relationships.  With these relationships in place, we must provide unique learning experiences that allow students to create authentic representations of their learning and share them with a diverse audience.

He is also the proud father of a son, Lincoln, who will be a CMS kindergartner next year!

Will you choose School or your Family?

by Rick Mohrein

Show Highlights

  • Avoid getting burned by the “little fires” and other disruptors to your schedule
  • The Who? What? Where? When? Why? And How” to linking personal and professional scheduling 
  • How to find your Frodo and Gandalf accountability partner
  • Tips to steal time and maximize your minutes for an ideal week. 
  • What matters has to be public.  Learn why leaders shouldn’t plan in isolation.
  • Backward design planning creates your ideal leadership schedule

“Everybody wants to be more focused but I think in the end I don’t know how many different task managers or to-do list apps that I’ve downloaded or tried. In the end  it’s not about the app, it’s about the actual habits. You’ve got to build the habits and that’s what I’m trying to do.  How do I build those habits versus how do I find the tool that’s going to fix it all because there’s not a tool that’s going to solve it.”

Rick Mohrein

Full Transcript Available Here

Daniel (00:00):

Welcome to the Better Leaders, Better Schools Podcast. This is your friendly neighborhood podcast host Daniel Bauer.

Daniel (00:09):

Better Leaders, Better Schools is a weekly show for Ruckus Makers and what is a Ruckus Maker? A leader who’s found freedom from the status quo. A leader who makes change happen. A leader who never ever gives up today is a special episode, so I wanted to say thanks. This is episode 250, the final episode of season one. Season two begins next week. You don’t have to change a thing and will get delivered magically to your phone, tablet, computer, wherever you subscribe to the podcast. But I just want to take a special moment and say thank you, Ruckus Maker for being a loyal listener. Now today’s episode is a recorded coaching call with a wonderful principal, Rick from the East coast and he just got off winter break. Now I know it’s not anywhere near winter because I record these and release them far after they’ve been recorded.

Daniel (01:04):

That’s just so I can focus on what’s most important and that’s what works for me, which is a productivity tip. And we talk about productivity, but coming off of winter break, Rick experienced a wonderful time with his wife and with his son, Lincoln, and he realized something that he doesn’t get during the school year. Maybe that’s you, but does it have to be that way? Do you have to choose school over your family when school is in session? I would argue no. Yes, there’s times when there are intense seasons where you have to be fully on work, but that’s a season. It’s not the whole school year. And so today we talk about productivity. We talked about ideal week and if you’re struggling with any of those topics then you’ll love this episode. So again, Ruckus Maker. Thanks again for listening and being here for 250 episodes. Here’s the 250 more coming up in season two and before we jump into the episode, let’s take just a moment to thank our show sponsors

Daniel (02:14):

Better Leaders, Better Schools Podcast is brought to you by organized binder, a program designed to develop your students executive function and non-cognitive skills. Learn more in an organized binder.com today’s podcast is brought to you by Teach FX. It’s basically like a Fitbit for teachers, helping them be mindful of teacher talk versus student talk. Get a special 20% discount for your school or district by visiting teachFX.com.blbs, I believe that school leaders are doing the best they can, but is it possible to be just a little bit better? According to Demetrius, a school leader in California, the best part of the Mastermind is the hot seat. I learned so much from the challenges that we all shared during the hot seat because the feedback that our members give is so insightful and valuable. Lauren, a principal in Washington DC remarked that the best part of the Mastermind is access to tremendous thought partnering. If you would benefit from getting connected to other elite school leaders and would enjoy discussing education and leadership deeply each week, then we welcome your application to the mastermind. Apply today at better leaders, better schools.com/Mastermind.

Daniel (03:40):

Hi Rick, thanks for scheduling this and I know you mentioned that you joined the Productivity Sprint, so also thank you for enrolling in that program. Over the next, probably about 30 minutes or so, I’m here to serve you. So what’s top of your mind and how can I help?

Rick (03:58):

Yeah, I mean, I think that that’s a loaded question, right? But I think what’s at the top of my mind is, is really all the other focuses, all the other goals we set that I want to set for myself, I’m struggling with because I’m trying to make sure that I spend my days being proactive versus reactive. It’s hard to lead others when I’m spending most of my days trying to, I don’t want to say put out fires, but really just bounce from piece to piece.

Rick (04:24):

A  lot of what I can’t hold others accountable for their schedules. I’m not accountable. I’m not accountable to what I need to do. I’m struggling with that. I mean, I think that’s, that’s the biggest piece holding me back from taking the next step in my leadership, so that’s what I’m here looking for support with is how do I, or what can I do to help myself really focusing on, on the day to day or long range planning so that I can be my best, the best leader I can be each day.

Daniel (04:55):

I’m hearing proactive versus reactive. You just mentioned too, sort of intentionality with your time and long term planning. This is what I’m hearing is the big ideas there. Yeah. Do you find that certain things tend to happen that caused the reaction mode to start? Are there any trends that you could put your finger on?

Rick (05:18):

I think it starts with that idea of like, “Hey, you got a minute” which is kind of the life of a principal, right? Everybody just needs a minute but there’s only so many minutes in the day. Just that idea of like, all right, slowly that minute turns into 10 minutes and this one turns into 30 minutes. It’s not that I don’t want to help others, but , it’s like I’m spending a lot of time helping others and then, um not being able to help myself focusing on my goals, so I don’t know if it’s, and in my ability to delegate, I don’t know if it’s ability to help others problem solvers themselves, but it’s impacted me outside of school too.

Rick (06:02):

I have a wife and a six year old son, to be honest, I just, I spent two weeks on winter break just doing nothing but hanging out with my son and I realized how much I don’t do that. When school’s in session , how much time I’m not getting. So trying to think about how I can make sure that I’m able to go home and be with them too and be a family without worrying about work all the time.


Daniel (06:27):

Yeah, that’s a valid point. My wife, it’s beautiful how our partners can act as a mirror , whether you like it or not, and maybe had a bit of that experience over the break. But for me, Miriam told me that she hadn’t seen me take that much time off either and I was just enjoying it.

Daniel (06:46):

I don’t have kids yet. I hope to have children, but I read a lot of books, , I stayed in my truck pajamas like 95% of the time. I played some video games and I felt refreshed. And so you had this awesome time with your son and I think one of the challenges to consider, and you’ll get this in the productivity sprint, but just as a reminder or preview for you, either way you look at it with the ideal week and with vision, too. I push leaders to consider what they need themselves first as just them, as a human, then family and then organization. Right? So we’re talking family here. I don’t know if you have an ideal week planned yet, but if you don’t, that time you spend with your son. What’s your son’s name? Lincoln.

Daniel (07:35):

Lincoln, so that time with Lincoln, how often do you want it to happen? What kind of activities do you want to spend together right now? The ideal weeks, ideal things happen and you’ll stray away from it from time to time. Well, let’s say you want to read to him, I don’t know, for 30 minutes a night, right? And then have a big block of time on the weekend where you guys are building Legos. I don’t know what you’re doing, but the point is like, you have that vision, that plan and if you hit that the majority of the time, would you see, , your personal and family life, would that be more satisfying for you? Then connecting the dots to the long term vision. What kind of Lincoln are you trying to, to grow,

Daniel (08:25):

And empower and build into. Like who is he at 5 at 10 at 15 at 20 and then backwards planning to the ideal week. Like what kind of activities are going to get him to those kinds of things. I just said a lot, so let me, let me shut up and pause there and check in with you.

Rick (08:46):

Yeah. , I think, , one of the things you, you, you hit, there was that idea of like the ideal week and I don’t know if I’ve ever really planned an ideal week do you know what I mean? Like I think, , I go back and forth

Rick (08:56):

Between this like, “Oh, do I really need to schedule every bit of my time?” And it’s not, , I recognize that the ideal week isn’t like, all right, schedule out 15 minutes here, 15 minutes there. It’s those blocks. But yeah, I mean I think, about that future part with my son and saying, “what do I want him to think about what adults do?” And I don’t want it to be that adults spend all their time working. Adults spend all their time on their computer. They’ll spend all their time on, on their cell phones. I want him to know that the school never, my job will never be more important than my son. But I feel like sometimes I’m sending that message, maybe that it is and I got to figure out how to stop that.

Rick (09:33):

And so I think it starts with that ideal week. It Starts with being intentional about some of the stuff I scheduled too, right? So instead of saying, well, I’m just gonna spend the weekend with my son. No, what do I really want to do with my son or with my wife? Know how to spend the weekend, I want to do this this thing as a family or that thing as a family. I guess my question or the next step thinking about that is like, it’s one thing to know, it’s another thing to do and thinking about like where, where do I go from? How do I get from knowing what I need to do ,to doing what I need to do and then holding myself accountable to what I need to do?

Rick (10:07):

I think that’s the part where I’m struggling. I don’t know, some of the stuff’s not like research or ideas that no one’s ever had. What I mean? I’m not trying to be disrespectful to you or anything, but like these are ideas that people have and have always been out there. I think that part of this is recognizing how am I starting with myself saying, Being a principal is a lonely job, no one really gets it and the people who do get it are also very busy and so there’s not a lot of time to check in with them either. Starting with that, of saying, how am I going to make sure I take care of myself, including that scheduling part and that intentionality part? If I can do that, I’ll be able to give to my family.

Daniel (10:53):

Yeah. A couple of things on that. So I just created a VR, I don’t know if you saw it, it’s okay if you didn’t. Here’s the gist British researchers study 250 people that want to be more fit physically, right? Exercise was their focus. Took the 250 and divided them into three groups. One, just track how many times you work out during the next two weeks. Second group, check your workouts and here’s some educational inspirational content. Third group, track it. Here’s the inspirational and educational content and make a plan. Where are you going to go on what days? And how long do you want to work out, et cetera. The first two groups, 35% exercise at least once a week. Okay. And these were formerly couch potatoes. You see a bit of a bump. That’s kind of cool. But the third group,

Daniel (11:43):

91% of people exercise at least once a week. So what we’re doing right now is starting you in that group three sort of mindset. So it’s talking about it. It’s building a plan which makes it more likely to occur. And then like you said, there’s a no do gap and your role is isolating. So I love that you are in the productivity sprint, the masterminds of community, specifically for school leaders. Then there’s the PLNs online as well, right? That you can connect with. Let’s remove that out of the professional side. If you told your wife and communicated to Lincoln, here’s how I’d like to, and what if you brought them into the conversation, but what would it look like to have an awesome week as a family? And you guys collaboratively make that decision, right?

Daniel (12:37):

So if you’re all on the same page, that family dinners here, or we’re going to go to the movies, there’s this outside hiking activity, et cetera, et cetera. If they’re all in the know, is that going to help you actually make it happen? Like if I told my wife, well we do, every Friday is our breakfast time. Every Friday morning because I have a couple of late nights on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and so that’s our way to just re check in center ourselves before the weekend and we want to have a thriving relationship. Well she knows that breakfast is coming on Friday. I get excited about it, she knows about it. So if I just start to work, she’s going to say, what are you doing dude? We’re supposed to go get our breakfast. And if, if she’s sometimes she likes to sleep in, right?

Daniel (13:23):

So I got to wake her up like, what are you doing? Like get up, this is our breakfast time. It’s important to us. To me it’s like having that plan and making that plan public because people that you care about typically will challenge you then to be a man of integrity. You said this is important. What’s going on? I’m saying this out of love, not to hand you a grade or anything like that or start a fight, but help me understand what’s going on here. Do you think that might work?

Rick (13:52):

I mean, my wife, she’s awesome. I mean she’s certainly one that wants to hold me accountable. I think working with her to say, look, don’t buy into the excuses. Don’t let me say, Oh, I got, but I just gotta do this, or I just got to do that.

Rick (14:09):

Yeah. I mean, I think there’s a part where building, maybe it’s the idea of before I can hold myself accountable, I got to get some other people to help me hold myself accountable. I would remove the training wheels eventually. So, yeah. I mean, I think yes, that’s the answer but what you just said, about being accountable to the people that matter. Right, whether that’s at home or even at work. Who’s holding me accountable at work? Right? Ideally there’s not anybody who wants to, I guess, babysit me at work and make sure I’m doing good, but maybe I need somebody who can check in with me and say, Hey, are you working towards your big rocks today? Or are you letting things sidetracked you? If you are,

Rick (14:52):

Then what are those things most important? Are those things that you’re just choosing to make important at that time? So, yeah, I think that part of accountability and sharing it and making it public so that people, from a place of love and support will say, “Hey, are you doing what you’re supposed to be doing? Are you, are you getting to that point?” Yeah. We all need those people in our life.

Daniel (15:12):

Absolutely. I’d like to challenge you to, to reframe it. Like what’s another way to describe bringing people on board at work that it’s not necessarily called babysitting but a positive way to look at that accountability.

Rick (15:27):

Yeah. That’s funny you said that too, because one of the things my son and I just read we read the one word for kids book and we worked on setting a word for ourselves and he’s in kindergarten and our word we chose was, was positive, right? Choosing to see the positive in things not always defaulting to, Oh, this is a problem because of this, so, yeah, I think it’s not babysitting, right? It’s someone who can help me be intentional, right? It’s someone who can keep me focused on my North star, which is leading my school and doing the best job I can for the kids that come here every day and for my teachers. It’s not babysitting, it’s, it’s someone who’s I’d almost kind of equated to like my guide. Like if you go on a, a track of a place I’ve never been to before. I would want a guide who could at least be with me and, and keep an eye on me and help keep me on the trail. Right. So I just need a guide. They don’t necessarily need to know where we’re going, but they need to know enough to keep me on the path where I’m going. So I like that. I was just kind of thinking, and I’m gonna really botch my pop culture references here but it’s similar to that idea of like, you put me on the spot, thinking about like what, the Lord of the Rings and the journey.

Rick (16:47):

I can’t think of who is guiding the whole group there. Gandalf, Frodo, like those guys but just that idea of Hey, , you don’t need to know the destination, but you need to know enough to keep everybody together. Right.  I don’t have to have somebody who knows the work I do as a principal. I think about one of my secretaries in the front office and giving them more access to my calendar and saying,” Hey, can you help me be my best every day? Can you help be my guide and keep me on my path?” They don’t necessarily know the ins and outs, they’re not principals, right. And I can’t do their job.

Rick (17:25):

So when they’re not here it’s a mess. But just giving them that power to say, “Hey, I want you to be my guide and really help keep me on my path and check in with me at certain times” and say, Hey, are you doing the things that are most important, like giving that to somebody who can, just like I would share my wife and my son at home, who’s that person here that can be my guide along there, keeping me on my path, my Gandalf or Frodo or I’m not sure who.

Daniel (17:55):

I love it. And I think that person, whoever the admin assistant is would love to be put in that role. If the right person is in that seat, they absolutely thrive on helping you be your best, right? Because they’re the gatekeeper. Making sure that you’re not distracted by unnecessary people pulling on your time or tasks and that kind of thing. If you do open up and say here’s how I think an ideal week would go, or these things are key this week, I have to get them done. I think they would be so honored and love to help you be your best to make sure you’re on target. I just want to encourage you there. I think you’re doing the right thing by getting them involved.

Rick (18:43):

I’m excited to kind of, instead of just thinking about doing something, I’m excited to actually do it and don’t think about it, be about it. I need to move from thinking about it like I’ve thought for a long time and the thing is I always wonder what if. I self-analyze everything. I probably over analyze everything. And I think to myself every year, , in the last two and half years, , we’ve had some successes as a school and I think about what we leave on the table. If I was a better leader, if I was better at what I did, what else could we have accomplished? I know we can’t live in the what if, but I think that, , this is the next step to moving us forward, because in the end, it’s not about me, it’s about the work we do here for students and teachers. But I really want to move past this if I only had been more focused or if only I had a better ability to do the things that matter, then we could have done this instead of that.

Daniel (19:55):

It’s talking about being about it. When, when do you think you would like to have that ideal week, , done by and when might you share,with your admin assistant?

New Speaker (20:07):

I think right now the goal is to not to drag my feet on this one. There’s always this hesitation of I’ll get better, I’ll fix myself, but tomorrow I’ll do that. Right? Today is today, but tomorrow I’m going to do that. Well, tomorrow turns into next week, now it’s June and I’m like, Oh, well next year I’ll do next year. Right, I think that New Year’s resolutions are probably a little over-hyped, but at the same time it gives you a nice, pointing out the route to say, Hey, I started this now.

Rick (20:36):

I started this right at the beginning of 2020 so I know when that change was made and I can reflect back on that. So all that being said, now I’m going to sound like I’m contradicting myself but I think the ideal week starts next week. I think I have to really reflect because I can’t say I’m going to plan my ideal week for tomorrow. I need to reflect on what my ideal week. I don’t want to jump into it and scratch out a few things and be good to go. I want to talk to my family and get their feedback. I think that’s a good point that you brought up or something you’ve encouraged me to think about and I really wanted to say to my wife what it looks like if I’m the best husband I can be.

Rick (21:19):

What does it look like to my son? If I’m the best dad, I can be like, what are the things you want from me? And then making sure that’s a part of my week and even asking the people at work what does it look like? What would it look like if I was the best principal I could be for you? What do you need out of me? I understand I can’t ask all 85 staff members because I would not have an ideal week but I can’t ask a few important ones and start there. There are those ones that I know they’re going to speak for a representative sample of the school and if I’m meeting their needs or helping them become better I’m helping everybody to become better. I think my goal would be that Sunday, January 12th that I have an ideal week starting from Sunday morning all the way through Saturday. I think that’s another part that I’ve never really thought about is we make our calendar from eight to five and then we’ll leave it alone. Right? It’s like after that it’s just wide open spaces, but if you don’t, if you don’t plan that those things quickly get taken away as well.

Daniel (22:20):

What you’re talking about there, looping back with family and then key members of your staff. That’s just creating a feedback loop. We all have blind spots. We all have things that we don’t see and I think that’s very wise to talk to the key players in your life of how the best principal would show up or best husband, father, that kind of thing. Then build that ideal week and just to hit you over the head with it. First, so what does Rick need outside of all those people to be your best, then family, and professional. If you could sneak in there, like a section now talking professionally like 90 minutes of deep work where you can work on projects and vision stuff that only you can do.

Daniel (23:08):

That’s the most important block for me. That goes on a Monday in the morning. Other little tips like you said, don’t schedule every minute of every day. Have plenty of white space so you can move things around. Make sure you put a lunch on there so you can renew your energy. I mean, you’re smiling, but it’s insane how many leaders skip lunch. I encourage people to put email on there. When are those specific times you’re going to check it. Listen, you don’t save the world through email. Like nobody’s ever in an email brought world peace probably. So,uif that’s true, then where is the best use of your time? It’s probably not emails. So limit your access to that and then get in all those recurring meetings that you have to do.

Daniel (23:52):

Maybe you can eliminate some, when you’re thinking about observations, since you’re a principal build in that time where you write the debrief report or your evaluations. A lot of times we forget that. Those are just some coaching points for you there. I want to tell you a story about a friend of mine. We’re going to call him Steve. His name’s not really Steve. So he’s a superintendent. Would you agree that a superintendent might have a bit more on their plate than you do as principal? Yeah. So Steve’s a busy guy with a lot on his plate. He invested good money working with me one-on-one and we built an ideal week. And Steve is super prepared. He’s always when we get on a call, just like you, I want to talk about productivity ideal week, he knows what he wants.

Daniel (24:38):

So one day we get on a call and he’s like, ah, things are good. Life’s good. , He’s having his coffee. He’s just looking at like really fresh and like, okay, I, I popped his bubble. I didn’t mean to, but it’s as I said, Steve, tell me about your ideal week. We had spent months working on it. Okay. Like me and him walked through it and design something that’s great. And then,uhe never implemented. So it was the knowing doing gap. Right. So I said, how’s it going and he felt a bit embarrassed. But I basically held his feet to the fire and said when are you going to give it to your executive assistant? He committed to that day and he did. I’ve followed up with him for two weeks on our regular call. He said, Danny, listen, I haven’t had so much peace and clarity since adopting and actually implementing the ideal week.

Daniel (25:29):

He said typically over the weekends, and I’m sharing this story because he’s got a lot going on, like you do maybe a bit more, also has kids at home, a wife, and he said over the weekend and even at night I’d still be worried about, when am I going to get this project done? Or this thing, that thing, whatever school related but he said, I finally have peace, I have clarity and I’m spending more time with my family because I know since I’ve mapped it out and when I’ll get to things,during the work week. I just share that to you because I know this weekend you’ll work on it and then act on it. Give it to your admin assistant and also think too what it looks like to train your entire staff on what their ideal week might look like because there might be benefits there as well. Teaching them what’s working for you.

Rick (26:24):

In the end there’s a reason that there’s no shortage of productivity books and tools and things out there because everybody wants to be more productive. Everybody wants to be more focused But I think, , in the end I don’t know how many different task managers or to do list apps that I’ve downloaded or tried. In the end it’s not, it’s not about the app, it’s about the actual habits. Right? And you’ve got to build the habits and that’s what I’m trying to do. It’s like how do I build those habits versus how do I find the tool that’s going to fix it all because there’s no tool that’s going to solve it.

Rick (27:01):

The best tool in the world isn’t, isn’t worth anything if you don’t know how to use it right or have the right habits in place. I’m excited to really dig into this work and understand that it starts with what I needed for myself. I think a lot of times, like you said, I laugh about lunch too, but lunch isn’t on my calendar and I laugh about my time to exercise not on my calendar like I want to, but that doesn’t get put on there. I never find time for it. If I don’t take care of myself, then I won’t be able to take care of other people. Those are really good points. Don’t forget what I told you about those British researchers. So get it on the calendar and you have a plan, ‘m gonna run at this time, , on these days or whatever. But yeah, I mean instead of just hoping that it happens,

sponsor (27:53):

The better leaders, better schools podcast is brought to you by organized binder, organized binders and evidence-based RTI, tier one universal level solution and focuses on improving executive functioning and non cognitive skills. You can learn more and improve your student [email protected].

sponsor (28:15):

The better leaders, better schools podcast is brought to you by teach FX. School leaders know that productive student talk drives student learning, but the average teacher talks 75% of class time. Teacher effects is changing that with a Fitbit for teachers. Yeah, automatically measured student engagement. It gives teachers feedback about what they could do differently. Learn more about the teacher effects app. You can get a special 20% discount for your school or district by visiting teachfx.com/blbs. That’s teachfx.com/blbs.

Daniel (28:55):

You’re in the sprint, you’ll get a system that works. I didn’t create videos on this so I want to share with you now since we’re doing the coaching session. What I’ve found as well, , having a laser like focus, so I guess it is in the sprint, but having like few goals not 15 right? I encourage everybody to start with two or three, two professional, one personal, and then you can grow to five by essentially having a laser focused on what you want to accomplish. That means everything else is pretty much a no. That’s really important. Another thing too is top performers execute through the boring, right? It’s exciting and sexy to find like a new article on productivity or a new app and all that kind of stuff. But instead just showing up day after day after day, , doing it and then, , this is a part of the system in the sprint. But I’m glad you’re there doing it in community, right? Because it is easy to make up excuses and veer off path. But if you’re in a place where everybody is running a sprint saying, here’s my top three goals, I’m doing the work and I’m executing on it.

Daniel (30:05):

You want to be somebody that does it right? Otherwise you’re going to look bad. So the community seems to encourage me, , to, to make sure I keep moving forward. I do want to go back to something you mentioned really at the beginning of this coaching call and it sounds like sometimes at home you might say, Hey, I need to go do this thing because in your mind it seems like it’s important and sometimes it is, but maybe sometimes it isn’t. One other exercise you might consider doing is establishing, if X happens, then I do need to take time away from family to address it. , And it might be X, Y and Z, but basically establishing like these, these are the emergencies, these are the valid reasons to take time away from the ideal week with my family.

Daniel (30:57):

Right? And if it doesn’t fall under these categories or buckets, right, then I am going to demonstrate the discipline of just letting it be right. And part of that I think will work itself out because you’ll have the time in your ideal week to address some of those things. Some of this stuff is just feeling the need to get things done. But at the end of the day, if, if you got all your emails sent, you wrote the newsletter, you did all these things, again, that doesn’t make your school the best school in the world, but it’s, it’s, it’s something you need to do. However, you’re not spending the time with Lincoln or your wife  you just got to zoom out and have that sort of perspective. So I’d encourage you to make that like, what is that emergency list? And then put it up or have it as a file on your phone. And when the urge says like, okay, am I going to take time away from Lincoln on this? Look at your list. Is it there? And if the answer is no, then don’t do it.

Rick (31:56):

 It’s one of those things where you’re right. , And I think again, it comes back to, what you said before about the knowing and doing gap, but being able to at least start with there’s two things and if it’s not and share those two things.Tell my wife, look, unless it’s this or that,

Rick (32:13):

Then I’m not going to go do it so I want you to also help hold me accountable, right? It’s not those two things you got to let it go and it’s even, I think there’s fear in, doing things right away, I guess for some of us. I don’t know if everybody feels that way, but for me it’s like, all right, well, I got to get this done. I gotta get it done now. But , the problem is we can’t get everything done now because there’s too many things to do. Remembering like you said, what’s most important and what’s actually going to help achieve the goals versus what’s just stuff you’re doing.It’s great to check it off the list, but in the end the impact I have on my son is going to be more sustainable then or more life-changing then.

Rick (32:55):

I don’t know that email that I sent on a Saturday afternoon about who knows what is probably not all that important like being in the moment but not important in the grand scheme of the life I want to lead and the impact I want to have. I’m going to lead a school for a while, but my son is, my family is what we leave behind and making sure that we’re staying focused on what really will have the most impact, I guess to make it sound like kind of a real big picture. What’s most important at that time or what’s most important for the grand scheme, the overall life I want to lead.

Daniel (33:33):

Thinking about the significance question not to be completely morbid, but think of your funeral.

Daniel (33:41):

What do you want your eulogy to be, Brit, he was really good at answering emails in the moment. As opposed to the type of dad and a husband you wanted to be. That kind of perspective really helps you snap into focus. I have four blog posts that are unfinished, right? So I’m anxious to get them out. I hope that they serve leaders, but if I was more thinking about that right now, cutting our time short instead of being fully present with you, then I wouldn’t be able to coach and deliver the type of value I want. Why I’m not worried about those even though they are undone because I know a couple of hours from now, I have one hour to work on them. Right. I think that ideal week is really gonna help you out. I think this is a good spot to probably conclude the coaching call. But before you go, do you mind just sharing, what was most helpful for you today?

Rick (34:39):

I think the part that was most helpful was you helping me see the importance of not, not seeing this as a thing I do on my own, but the thing that I do with others. I’m not just planning my week, I’m planning our week. Right. And so thinking about how those people are going to be a part of that week, whether it’s the family at home or important people here at school. Including them in that process and helping them keep me on, , on the path be there with me and go along with it rather than just creating it in isolation of like what I want to do.

Rick (35:11):

Not being reflective of the fact that I don’t work in a cubicle by myself, Live by myself, there’s other people that are a big part of my life. I need to get them involved in this process. That’s probably the most important thing. It’s getting them to be part of that.

Daniel (35:27):

Love it. I think that’s a powerful epiphany for you. Just the importance of doing it as a team as opposed to in isolation. So thanks for scheduling this time Rick. I really appreciate it.

Rick (35:38):

Thank you. I appreciate it. I’m excited for getting this year kicked off. It’s the first time I’ve really decided to put some investment into myself, maybe more personally than the outside of  I’m going to go back to school. I’m going to get this degree. I’m going to invest in myself so that I can be the person I want to be, not just try to be, but I’m actually going to put some stuff in place because one thing to say, I’m going to try this, it’s another thing to invest and say, all right, well if it doesn’t work and I’m out this amount of whatever I’m invested, whether it’s time or money or whatever, , it does help to motivate you. There’s more to it than just the good old college try.

Daniel (36:24):

Yeah. You got skin in the game. You’re separating yourself. You’re actually trying to be about it. Right. Thanks for listening to the better leaders. Better schools podcast for Ruckus Maker. If you have a question or would like to connect my email, Daniel F better leaders, better schools.com or hit me up on Twitter @alien earbud. If the better leaders, better schools podcast is helping you grow as a school leader, then please help us serve more Ruckus Makers like you. You can subscribe, leave an honest rating and review or share on social media with your biggest takeaway from the episode. Extra credit for tagging me on Twitter @ alien earbud and using the hashtag #BLBS level up your leadership at better leaders, better schools.com and talk to you next time. Until then, class dismissed.




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