Create the right energy for your school with tips on relationship building and culture.
You may be what’s getting in the way of the culture you want to create.
Separating emergencies vs distractions with the demands on your time.
Moments that erode culture in your community.
Tips to have critical conversations to increase value.
Invest in a staff relationship management system/tool (CRM).
Set up your priorities with meaning, value and satisfaction with the 10 x advantage.
Apply to the Mastermind
The mastermind is changing the landscape of professional development for school leaders.
100% of our members agree that the mastermind is the #1 way they grow their leadership skills.
Read the Transcript here.
3 Ways To Build An Even Better Culture
Today I want to talk to you about how to build an even better culture at your school. And this is a topic that is near and dear to my heart. I love talking about culture, about building relationships, creating the right environment and energy for an organization like your school. I know this is a topic that you’re very invested in. I know you wanna create an even more remarkable school, so I’ve got you covered. I am so thrilled to be sharing on this topic today. That’s sort of a meta tip too. You’re the first person that you have to convince. People can feel if this something that you believe in? Are you excited? Are you all in on the idea? And I am when it comes to culture. Culture building, in my opinion, it’s easy to get away from.
Why is that? Why is it so easy to take culture, which we know is so important, You’ve heard the very famous quote, culture, eats strategy for breakfast but we take it and put it to the side. What’s going on there? I think it’s because the busyness of school, the constant inputs and demands on our time as a school leader, The emergencies. I hear about fires and emergencies every single day that I talk to a school leader and their distractions often. I was having a conversation with an assistant principal in Virginia just the other day, lovely, lovely Ruckus Maker, and we were talking about stuff, and she was really frustrated by times when teachers are trying to get kids outta class and that happens. It gets stressful and sometimes kids make bad decisions, so on and so forth.
But the question I asked, there’s surely times when it’s warranted. You need to be there and to help out the level, the cause of disruption whatever your school policy is. But are there times when the teacher calls for you, and maybe it was their reactivity, maybe it was the emotions, maybe it was a bad day.There could be a lot of reasons, but are there times that it actually wasn’t warranted? The teacher, the classroom leader, could have dealt with the situation. She’s like, oh, yeah can you put a percentage on it? As we dug into that topic, it was like, “Whoa, this is eating up a lot of time.” And that’s one of those emergencies is why I say sometimes that those are just distractions. The last thing and there’s more that gets in the way of culture, but the last thing I’m thinking about is just administrive. All the the paperwork, the meetings, the stuff that we’re not super duper excited about when it comes to being a Ruckus Maker and an effective school leader.
Again, things that get in the way of building culture would be just the administrative the emergencies and just the constant inputs and demands on our time. These things make it really hard, doesn’t it, for you to honor boundaries that surely you’ve set up maybe through an ideal morning and ideal day and ideal week, which is something that I teach. All of a sudden it’s like all hands on deck and the culture stuff is just put to the side. But culture, eats strategy for breakfast. Culture is the heartbeat of an organization. If it’s too neglected, the wheels will come off the metaphorical bus. Here are three ways to build an even better culture. I want you to take notes. I want you to watch this video a few times, or a podcast. If you really get value, please share it with another Ruckus Maker in your network so that we can all build more remarkable schools together.
In terms of building an even better culture, step one is, and this is fundamental, prioritize relationships. When it comes to that I just did a seven day mindfulness retreat. It was on concentration insights, so many takeaways and that kind of thing. One of the ideas or insights that I have that translate here is that so often we’re distracted. We’re not present, we’re not aware fully in this moment. Maybe you’re watching this video while you’re scrolling another social media channel. I’ll tell you this, I heard from a coach, and this is very naughty. They were concerned about a mastermind member who is new to the community. They show up and you can tell they’re emailing, they’re on their phone, all this kind of stuff.
I said to the coach, “It sounds like you need to have a crucial conversation. This person’s so distracted, they’re getting zero, they’re extracting zero value from being in the mastermind.” Now, they can tell themselves a story that I’m here, that I’m investing in my leadership growth. I’m a part of this global network of all these leaders innovating in education, but are they really growing? Distractions are a big problem and get in the way of prioritizing relationships. Being aware, developing a meditation, mindfulness practice or emotional intelligence, self-awareness, doing a body scan. Like if you’re here with me face to face, we’re having a conversation, are you here with me? Are you thinking of the million things that need to happen? Or maybe it’s the conflict that’s going on at home, or the task or person you’d rather be talking to.
We can pick up on that kind of stuff and that erodes culture in those moments. If you’re around in prioritizing relationships, easy way is, just to be present, give someone your full attention, they deserve it. Also, when it comes to prioritizing relationships, I’ve done a previous podcast episode on this, but talking about in business, they have things called CRMs, customer Relationship Management System. I’ve been talking about how schools could use a staff relationship management system. I’m not gonna go into a deep dive in terms of what that looks like at your school. The whole idea of a CRM or a staff relationship management tool is just every time that you’re here present, connected with another person, you’re getting data. Maybe they tell you something. Like, I was texting with one of our awesome mastermind coaches, Karine, and she sent me a picture.
The picture was of a cute puppy. I’m asking what’s going on there And they’re looking at shelter dogs And doing a rescue. So that’s something I can just follow up on. Hey, did you get a dog yet? Did you make a decision? What’s the dog’s name? When did you bring it home? This kind of stuff. It just shows that you’re interested. Every time you’re getting the inputs and the data, I wanna challenge you to write it down, to have a system. It doesn’t matter if it’s in a notebook, a spreadsheet, a Trello board, all that stuff doesn’t matter. It’s the system. You get data, it’s important about people, you store it somewhere and you follow up. It’s a good way to prioritize relationships. The only other thing I wanna say is just to make sure you create the space as a Ruckus Maker.
Create the space that you’re available to connect with your staff. This does not mean that you have an open door policy. I’m not gonna go into that. I have an awesome post on it. If you find my Facebook feed, just type in on Facebook in the search, Daniel Bauer Open Door policy, and you’ll see a post that has like all these comments, all these shares even too and that just shows I struck a nerve. People are either are really for an open door policy or really against it. I have a particular view. What I’m saying is be available, but not always available, cuz you won’t get everything done that you need to. We’re talking three ways to build an even better culture. We just covered 0.1, which is prioritized relationships. That’s all I have to say about that.
Moving on to number two, which is share your inspiring vision. Prior to that, do you have an inspiring vision? I really hope you do.This is like super duper important. If you don’t have one, I’m not talking about a vision that goes on the wall, coffee mug, a t-shirt, an inspiring vision. I’m sorry, it’s not a vision statement, which is a handful of sentences. Boring. That’s the wrong way to do it. In New Mexico, we held a live event and we created what I call the remarkable vision formula and we talked about vision for you personally. That’s step one. Step two, vision for your family, and then vision for your school. Why do I start with you personally, then family and then school? Well, you can’t pour from an empty cup.
People feed off your energy. They can tell if you’re authentic, if you’re taking care of yourself, if this is a leader that I aspire to be like, or just trust and believe in. If you’re taking care of yourself, that’s inspiring to others. If you’re knocking off things off your dream list, bucket list. Again, pouring into yourself, you have an abundance to pour into others. So that’s why we start with you. Of course, you gotta start secondly with family, because if your home life isn’t going well that bleeds into and impacts your work life. Ultimately work is great. We get a lot of meaning and value and satisfaction from that. But at the end of the day, it’s family that matters most and why we have our priorities set up that way.
And then you get to the vision. I’m not gonna do a huge teaching here on having an inspiring vision, but you can think about like all these different areas around your school. I’m gonna give you just one way to think about your remarkable vision for your school. Take five to 10 minutes, get your favorite journal, and I want you to write on this prompt. When you are not around, what are students, staff, and parents saying about your school? Not what are they currently saying, but this is an aspiration. This is a vision into the future. Three years out, five years out, okay, I do vision in three years, what are people saying? Student, staff, parents, about your school three years outIf you get really clear on that future ideal version of your school, then you could start to reverse engineer.
What do you need to do on a day to day operational basis to accomplish that? I think you understand it, and I think that’s all I wanna say about point number two, which is inspiring vision. The last part I want to share in terms of building an even better culture is your 10 x advantage. And I hope you’ve been watching this time because this is actually the best part. 10 X Advantage, one of my mentors, Aaron Walker, said “Don’t be a mile wide and an inch deep, be an inch wide in a mile deep.” It’s about depth. I know it’s not even that. I see this every single time a business school, schools try to do too much. We hear this in other spaces if you try to be everything to everyone, you’re actually doing nothing. I wanna challenge Ruckus Makers who are thinking deeply about building an even better culture, what are just a handful of things your school can absolutely be the best in the world at. The needs are vast within your school community, for sure. And I’m not saying ignore them, but I’m saying with pride and confidence, what can you as a building rally around to say we are experts at 1, 2, 3. You tell this to your community and then you really start to do it. I believe that we’ll build an even better culture. I know it will. I see it happen time and time again. When it comes to this I want to talk a little bit about relevance. A big shout out to my coach, Ron Reich, who recently taught about this idea in Miami.
All I wanna say about relevance is it’s this idea of converging trends.What you’re thinking about is how can your school separate itself from all the other schools in the neighborhood, in the district, in the state, the city, the state, the nation. It’s really easy to look at other schools and see what’s not going so well. Those are negative trends. What are negative trends that are happening in education Or in your district. Then I want you to think about some positive trends that are happening as well in your community, in your district, state nation and if your school can create something at the intersection of the positive and negative trend you found your 10 x advantage. I’m gonna close with in better leaders, better schools, there are two trends that I very clearly see school leaders have never been or felt more isolated and abandoned.
If you are watching this video or listening to this podcast, you know that it’s tough being a school leader. One of the reasons it’s really hard is you’ve never felt so cornered and isolated. That’s a negative trend. The positive is it’s never been easier to be connected. We have tech tools that make it so easy that you could connect and collaborate, network, mastermind with Ruckus Makers all around the world with a click of a button and it’s free. In 2015, we found in the mastermind, we’ve been playing on Zoom the entire timeI will say with the pandemic not easy for mastermind members, but easier than the rest of the world, because we had been collaborating and playing and experimenting in that space for years before the pandemic. As school leaders have never felt more isolated.
And it’s true, it’s never been easier to connect. That’s our 10 x advantage. We offer consistent weekly professional development experiences that are high end quality and create results for our members. It is awesome. I truly believe that’s why the mastermind, the Principle Success Path, the podcast, everything we do has grown. Literally everything we’ve done has grown since 2015 until today. I’m honored to serve Ruckus Makers. My mission is to connect, grow, and mentor every school leader who wants to level up. Do you get that 10 x advantage? Negative trend, again, never felt more isolated positive trend, never easier to connect, mastermind at the intersection of that Principle Success Paths at the intersection of that. Live trainings, free challenges we do are at the intersection of that. And that’s just how we roll. I wanna talk about the Principle Success Path in just a second before I do.
If you watch this video online or you listen to this podcastIf you’re online, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, that kind of thing, would you put in the comments what was the number one insight you got from what I just shared, in terms of three ways to build an even better culture? If you’re on listening on the podcast, I want you to send me a text. You can do this too if you’re watching online. But my number’s (312)788-7595, send me a text. Just say who you are and what was your number one insight when talking about building an even better culture? I wanna conclude with the Principle Success Path. If you got tons of great value from this video, I want you to imagine a 10 week experience where the promise is quite simple, you’ll become a better leader in 10 weeks or less.
The Principle Success Path has gone through three cohorts. Our fourth cohort is actually launching here in January, and it’s a 10 week program. You’ll become a better leader in 10 weeks or less. It’s built on a framework of four things, which is mindset design, culture and results. If you’re vibing with this culture teaching that I’m doing, you get a lot of lot more in projects and support in a network to really build an even better culture. But you’re also gonna work on your mindset, your design and the results you create. You can go to betterleadersbetterschools.com/PrincipleSuccessPath, read all about the program and apply. Three things I wanna say about the Principle Success Path, One, it’s backed by a Ruckus Maker guarantee. If you show up and implement the ideas and say, “I did not grow.” A hundred percent refund on your investment. Second thing I wanna say with the Principle Success Path is that the cadence, we’ve listened to members, we’ve actually reduced the amount of time investment involved in the program. If I could briefly just describe what your week to week experience will feel like, let me do that. Monday is a live call. Mondays we’re gonna introduce an idea, describe a project or challenge we want you to engage in, you’ll collaborate with other Ruckus Makers and actually build momentum working on that project. Time for q and a if you got stuck at all. Tuesday you’re gonna ship that project, and on Wednesday you’ll provide feedback to your peers.
On the project Thursday, you’re gonna reflect on how you’ve grown, how your perspective of leadership has changed. And then on Friday, we’re gonna have what’s called office hours where you can ask questions or dig deeper into the Principle Success Path content. Or you can just in real time get coaching and mentorship saying, “Hey, this is a real world project I’m working on in my school. This is a challenge that I’m facing. A hard conversation I need to have” or whatever. You’re gonna leverage the collective IQ and experience of your peers to solve those challenges. So that’s epic. That’s the Monday through Friday. We’re talking like two hours or so of a call, plus however long it takes to finish the project, write your comments and reflect. So maybe three max four hours per week, but I think three is pretty safe to, to bet.
The last thing I wanna say. The guarantee, the cadence, all of these projects are job embedded and you’ll see instant resultsI will tell you I met this awesome principal, Massachusetts, Glenda, and she joined the Principle Success Path, which was just a thrill. In the first week there was a project, I don’t wanna reveal what it was about, but she took action. She did the project within the program. The point is, is that it’s a project that you’re gonna implement implementing your school. This was before school started for her, but her staff noticed the change. They said, Glenda, “What’s going on? What did you do this summer? Your energy’s different. You seem so excited and have such a clear vision and direction for the future of our school.”
As a teacher, I don’t know what you did, keep doing it, but I’m all in and what would you give to get from staff members? What did you do? I’m all in on the direction that you’re headed, that’s worth something I’m really thrilled for that result that Glenda got from one of the projects. Actually, I do wanna say one more thing, which is, everybody who joins this is pretty cool. Everybody who joins the Principle Success Path in November and December gets a free ticket to our live Mastermind event, which is happening in Denver, Colorado,July 14th through the 16th. Okay? This event is gonna be an amazing event. I’m teaching something called the Leadership Optimization Compass, and there’s a whole framework for that.
But the best part is not only do you get the teaching, you get the people, you get the network right face to face with other Ruckus Makers. My events are different than the conferences and events you go to. Yes, there’s teaching and sessions, but there’s an abundance of time for you to build relationships and just talk shop about leadership and education, and most importantly, implement the ideas that you learn. You could build momentum and create results like that. Today we talked about how to build an even better culture, things that get in the wayWe address those in terms of administrative emergencies and just the sheer amount of inputs that school leaders deal with and the three ways of building even better culture, we’re prioritizing relationships, inspiring vision, and your 10 x advantage. I talked about the fourth cohort of the Principle Success Path. It’s an awesome program. Become a better leader and even better leader in 10 weeks or less. If you sign up for this fourth cohort, you get a free ticket to our live event happening this summer. Let me know what your number one insight is, buy for now and go make a ruckus.
Thanks for listening to the Better Leaders, better Schools podcast Ruckus Maker. If you have a question or would like to connect my email, [email protected] or hit me up on Twitter at @Alienearbud. 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, 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 at @alienearbud, and using the hashtag #BLBS. Level up your leadership at BetterLeadersBetterschools.com and talk to you next time. Until then, “class dismissed.”