Carlon is the Chief Impact Officer and Co-Founder of Equity Institute. In his role, he oversees organizational strategy, internal operations, and implementation of Equity Institute’s educator pathway program. Carlon is an avid reader and lifelong learner who spends much of his time exploring topics related to social science, history, and leadership.

Show Highlights

Storytelling builds a collective support community that creates connections to each other.
Unlocking student engagement can be found in a ripped up piece of paper.
Leaders need to embrace fractal thinking to make lasting change.
“Impacted Leadership” puts people that are mostly impacted directly in positions of power to enact the change that we all need.
Organizational strategy, internal operations, and implementation of equity institute’s educator pathway program
Provide opportunities for your staff to gravitate towards shared and learning experience.
“This thing that we call education is much bigger than just trying to perfect the craft of teaching content. It is also about cultivating people into the best that they can be. It’s about helping them maximize their potential. And that’s really where the beauty and the magic exist.”
- Carlon Howard

“The power and change isn’t trying to figure out the perfect way to reach the most number of people. It’s really about how do you have these small interactions that can then add up over time that then equate to this large scale change.”
- Carlon Howard

Dr Chris Jones

Carlon’s Resources & Contact Info:

Read my latest book!

Learn why the ABCs of powerful professional development™ work – Grow your skills by integrating more Authenticity, Belonging, and Challenge into your life and leadership.


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.

How We Serve Leaders


The School Leadership Scorecard™

Identify your highest leverage areas for growth this year in 10 -minutes or less.   



Month-to-Month Principal Checklist

As a principal with so much to do, you might be thinking, where do I even start?

When you download The Principal Checklist you’ll get

  • 12-months of general tasks that every campus need to do
  • Space to write your campus specific items.
  • Space to reflect and not what worked as well as a space of what didn’t work

Go to https://betterleadersbetterschools.com/principal-checklist to download now.


Ruckus Maker Mindset Tool™

The “secret” to peak performance is ot complicated.  It’s a plan on how to optimize the five fundamentals found in The Ruckus Maker Mindset Tool™.



The Positive Spotlight Tool™

Energy flows to where attention goes!

If you want to get more of what you want, when you want it as a school leader I have a tool for you…

Download The Positive Spotlight Tool™ for free here:



The Ruckus Maker 8-Step Goal Setting Tool™

Are you ready to accomplish more?

With less effort and in less time?

When you download The Ruckus Maker 8-Step Goal Setting Tool™  I’ll send you the tool and a short 8-minute coaching video that shows you how to work smarter, not harder…and create more value for your school campus.

Download The Ruckus Maker 8-Step Goal Setting Tool™  for free at



Read the Transcript here.

Impacted Leadership

Daniel (00:02):
As a white male, I can’t even imagine what it would be like to be black in the 1950s in the American South. I could read about it. I have friends of color, I can hear stories and empathize and that kind of thing, but I still don’t know the experience. I’m interested because today’s guest was his family’s lineage. And they had all sorts of experiences that they then taught to their children, and the lessons learned and the wisdom that was found there in experience. And the interesting thing, even though some of that stuff was so unjust, so unfair, so unthinkable in some situations, somehow my guest family came out of it with an optimistic look on life, seeing the opportunity in the beauty of allowing things to unfold as they will. I told my guest today, Carlon Howard, that it’s hard for me to wrap my mind around that.

Daniel (01:13):
Tell me about how to see the beauty and that kind of thing. And we get into that and into so much more in today’s episode, which you’re gonna love. Hey, it’s Danny, chief Ruckus Maker over at Better Leaders, better Schools. I’m a principal development and retention expert, two time bestselling author and host of two of the world’s most downloaded podcasts. And this shows for you a Ruckus Maker, which means you commit to your continuous growth, to challenging the status quo and designing the future of school. We’ll be back after a few messages from our show sponsors.

Daniel (01:57):
The truth is, most leaders weren’t taught a robust way to set their goals. Everyone knows how to choose a goal, write the to-do list and pick a due date. And as a result, they’re not optimizing their potential. When you download the Ruckus Maker eight step goal setting tool, I’ll send you the tool in a short eight minute coaching video that shows you how to work smarter, not harder, and to create more value for your campus. Are you ready to accomplish more with less effort and in less time? Download the Ruckus Maker eight step goal setting tool by going to BetterLeadersbetterschools.com/goals. How would you like to increase student talk by an average of 40% more student ownership? More student discourse? Check it out for yourself by trying out Teach FX. Go to teachfx.com/betterleaders to pilot their program today. If executive functioning skills are integral to student success, then why aren’t they taught explicitly and consistently in classrooms? I have no idea. I have no idea why that doesn’t happen. But what I do know is that our friends over at Organized Binder have created a new course that will teach your teachers how to set up students for success via executive functioning skills. Learn [email protected]/go.

Daniel (03:24):
Hey there, Ruckus Makers. Today we are joined by Carlon Howard, who is the Chief Impact Officer and co-founder of Equity Institute. In his role, he oversees organizational strategy, internal operations, and implementation of equity institute’s educator pathway program. Carlon’s an avid reader and lifelong learner who spends much of his time exploring topics related to social science, history and leadership. Carlon, welcome to this show. Thank you so much for having me. It’s a pleasure. I appreciate it. I remember from our pre-interview you talked about growing up in Georgia. Fun fact, that’s where my first teaching position was Marietta. Cobb County, where they make I guess Cabbage Patch kids and all that kind of stuff. But you heard stories from elders. They have so much wisdom to share and they were talking about living in the American South in the fifties and in the sixties. How did these stories shape you?

Daniel (04:28):
I think my upbringing, as anyone’s upbringing, had a pretty significant impact on how I view the world. The stories that you just alluded to really made it present and aware to me of some of the challenges and also opportunities that many folks face during an era. I’m particularly talking about many of my parents, grandparents, et cetera, face significance. Because of the color of their skin and not necessarily because of their intellect or any abilities or knowledge that they possess. I often heard stories about how folks were ill treated and how they were seen as being inferior, and because of those stories and because of that perspective, I grew up with this deep appreciation for who I was and also just a deep understanding of the pain and hurt that we as a collective society have endured over the years.

Carlon (05:34):
Through that there’s been a lot of beauty that has emerged. If there’s anything I’ve gained from these stories that have inherited and passed down, to me, it’s this idea that there’s always an opportunity to rise up, to rise above, to go above. I always grew up with this perspective that I couldn’t be imprisoned by people’s beliefs and perspectives on who I was. I have a unique opportunity to really surrender, if you will, to the unfolding of life and allow who I am as a human being, as a contributor to my community, to allow that to really emerge and shine brightly, because that’s where the beauty is. All those stories, everything always ended with seeing the beauty in the power and what we could be as humans, as individuals, as people, as a collective.

Daniel (06:31):
Can we dig into more of this idea of beauty and surrendering to what’s unfolding? It’s hard for me to wrap my mind around, If I’m honest with you. When you see the injustice and the inequities that exist, let alone, if that’s happening to you, your family and those you love to stay positive is inspiring. It’s hard for me to unpack. Can you talk more about that?
Carlon (07:03):
I can speak largely from my own experience, but when we talk about leadership, when we talk about learning. The topic often revolves around these kinds of externalized factors or theories or perspectives. And more than anything, what I witnessed or what I saw growing up was this belief or this inclination to see what we saw as leadership, what we saw as learning, what we saw as being, as being something that was, that transcended things that could be just explained through nice frameworks or great written prose, whatever it may be, but had to be in a felt experience in some ways of accessing these deeper levels of consciousness. And for me, folks that I grew up around, there are deeply spiritual folks who are highly involved in religious institutions, and particularly black churches of the South. And through those experiences, they developed a certain level of just spiritual fortitude, if you will, that allowed them to persevere and be resilient through some of the most challenging circumstances. When you think about it, there’s no reason for many of my ancestors to have survived. And for many of them even thrived, given the conditions that they were born into by no fault of their own. Yet they found ways and inventive ways, they found ways that were deeply based on who they were being and who they were becoming that were rooted in oral tradition. Storytelling, essentially, it was rooted in engaging in a shared experience, was rooted in traditions around how do we bring the collective together to heal, to grow, to simply just be in each other’s spirit.
New Speaker (08:57):
And I think that in some ways, that is hard for us as folks who are constantly busy to see, but in many ways. Being in that collective space was the grounds for healing. It was the grounds for the emergence of beauty in such dire circumstances. And that’s something I carry with me is this ideal around collective support community, our connection to each other. There’s a South African proverb that says, “I am because you are.” The spirit of what I saw growing up and witnessed and heard and felt,

Daniel (09:38):
“I am, because you are,” and there’s this connection, there’s this interconnectedness too. Like it or not. How do you think that idea of Ubuntu relates to education?

Carlon (09:52):
Oftentimes, or at least historically. In a lot of ways we’ve viewed education as serving more economic needs or, or demands, if you will. We need an educated populace in order to fulfill certain job roles or titles, whatever it may be. But with this ideal of Ubuntu, what it really speaks to is there’s something much deeper about the experience of learning that goes beyond simply trying to fulfill a job or get prepared to step into some sort of job. And this, about this ideal around whole, whole person education, about us being able to learn a community with others. There’s something very powerful and meaningful about the fact that one of the most effective ways that we gain knowledge and information is through dialogue. Through discussion. In community with others. Like even when you think about reading. In a way, you’re having this internal dialogue and you’re also having a dialogue with the person who wrote this book and the words that they’ve written or the characters that they’ve created. And when you think about that, why do we gravitate towards these experiences where we can be engaged with other people as a learning experience. There’s something about us being able to see ourselves through other people. It’s something about people being able to reflect who we are. And there’s also just something about us being able to be in a space with people and experiences, shared experience that we call human. And that’s a very powerful thing. It’s an uplifting thing. We often take it for granted because we just see it in the same way we probably see the air or water, it’s just here. But it’s actually a very miraculous thing that we can engage, and even you and I are miles apart, but through technology, are able to actually engage with each other and hopefully present something that not just benefits us and contributes to our own growth and development, but to that of others as well. And that’s where the power really shows up in education, is that you’re able to to engage in this community of learning with other people, where you’re able to see your humanness and see their humanness as well, which allow you to elevate your knowledge, your skills, your ability, and just generally your way of being as well.

Daniel (12:10):
We’re certainly contributing to Ubuntu and the furthering of knowledge and education and leadership. There’s tens of thousands of people that’ll listen to this episode. We have community cohort type stuff at Better Leaders, Better Schools. I’m sure the Equity Institute really focuses on community aspects of supporting folks as well. That’s happening. I could feel the people with us, even though we haven’t released the episode just yet. Let’s go back. We were talking about your history growing up in Georgia, and we actually share this, you don’t know this, but I wanted to be a lawyer growing up. I actually first wanted to be this really weird connection of FBI agent and cartoonist. So that was a kid that you would do the FBI and be a cartoonist, but as a college student, I thought I was gonna go into law. It’s a longer story about why I didn’t, but you also wanted to be a lawyer growing up, and here we both are, but you also ended up in education. How did you make that shift? ,

Carlon (13:17):
Towards the end of my college career, I had what I can only call a quarter life crisis. Where you had everything figured out, but you didn’t have nearly as much figured out as you thought you had. During my senior year, I was trying to figure out what is actually next? I had worked just previously, the summer before my senior year, I worked for a public defender. And it was one of, full transparency, a very depressing job. Each attorney that I work with had a caseload of about 500 cases. Which is just wild. Can you imagine seeing 500 people in a year over these very elaborate, oftentimes court cases that have to be seen and shown or worked through, rather, should I say. I saw people who were under high amounts of pressure, stress, and on top of that folks didn’t get a whole lot of sunlight because they were off either in the courtrooms or in the office. And it just wasn’t appealing to me. A friend of mine suggested I look into doing the service year, and so I ultimately decided to give it a try.

Carlon (14:25):
‘Cause I was like, I need a gap year to figure out my life and what I wanted to do. And through that service year, I actually ended up surveying in a middle school as an after school provider, coach, tutor, mentor, before school program provider. And I loved it. I loved engaging with kids, and it was something that made me come alive. And by the time I got deep into it, I was like, all right, law, law school is not on the horizon for me working with young people, working in this particular space. Caring for others, showing passion, love, and kindness in service to helping people maximize their potential. That has really spoken to something greater within me. I’ve just followed that urge or that feeling of there’s something deeper there. And that’s brought me to where I’m at today.

Daniel (15:17):
Love it. So much there. I love to say that schools should be the most magical places on earth, not Disney, because we’re dealing with the raw ingredients that make Disney work, which is the kids. And to see that connection light a fire for you too. I totally get it. So let’s talk about students and then sometimes difficult ones. And you have a story of a student who ripped up some paper and refused to log into his laptop. What was going on there?

Carlon (15:45):
My first year of teaching as a lead classroom teacher, one of the things that was always fascinating to me was just how our perspectives of the world are so easily different. When I first started teaching, I came into a classroom full of bright-eyed fifth graders. As I’ve told the young people my story of growing up and where I was from and all this good stuff, there was one student who really gravitated towards me. And afterwards he remarked that we have a lot in common. I have families moving to Georgia. I liked the University of Georgia, that’s where I went to college. I like all the sports teams that you like, I liked, especially dogs, football, probably pretty much everything. It was just like, oh my gosh, you’re like me. And in the beginning we had this wonderful experience. It’s like I don’t know if you’ve heard the song, just the two of us, but it’s like just the two of us playing in the background while we’re just walking down the hallway, we’re talking about life or talking about school.

Carlon (16:55):
I’m attending his football games, basketball games, all these sporting events. Calling his parents on a regular basis to give them updates. It’s just the perfect scenario. And then something started to shift. Let’s get deeper into the year. And one particular event that happened, it was a math teacher, and I was handing out laptops to the kids. And as I was handing out laptops, I was also passing out passwords. So the kids would open their laptops and they’d take a look at the password, enter it into the laptop. So when he received his password, he ripped it up, closed the laptop, threw the paper on the ground, and started to just put his head down. And so I walked over and I said, ‘Hey, what’s up man?’ And I picked up the paper, I opened his laptop, and I said, Hey, at least I can help him get logged on and see if we can at least make headway there.

Carlon (17:53):
I pieced the password back together, and as I pieced it together, what I noticed was that on the piece of paper was written the word bad, BAD, and the numbers 123. What I realized is that he saw it as a sign from the universe that he was a bad kid. Because even though we had this great relationship, his entire elementary school experience was him getting in trouble as he saw it. He always thought of himself as the bad kid. And because he thought of himself as the bad kid, he ended up just leaning into that belief, even though I had seen him with my own eyes. And that wasn’t true. That wasn’t who he was. That’s what he embodied and believed and thought this was the message that affirmed that. What I realized in that particular moment was that rather than what many educators and teachers before me had done outta no fault of their own, they just likely did not know what to do.

Carlon (18:57):
To be quite honest. I chose to extend love and kindness and grace and compassion to him. When he would come into the school in the morning. I’ll greet him with a smile. I ask him about his day, I’ll walk with him and talk with him. If I found out he was angry or upset, I wasn’t one to come in and reprimand him. I’ll just try to create space for him to actually share what was on his mind. Now, a lot of these things, admittedly, I had to do with a little bit of extra effort. I had to build this relationship, but beyond the typical classroom hours. And it paid off? And by the end of the year, we had just a fantastic relationship. There were times where teachers would call me to the classrooms to talk to him. They were like, “oh, we can’t control him. We can’t do this. We can’t do that with him. He’s difficult.” But I always found that he was just another kid, another young person. It was just trying to figure it all out. But by the end of the year, we were sitting down and he actually was gonna be leaving our school earlier because his parents were moving to another state and he was transferring out. But he sat down and he said, “Mr. Howard, I wish you were my dad.” That was heavy. What do I mean? That really made all of this real for me. It opened my eyes to the fact that, as a math teacher right now, I could teach equations and I could teach number sentences and how to count by tens and all these things, our fifth graders were working on at the time. But there’s something very powerful about someone being able to really lay their heart bare in front of you, especially as a fifth grader, because they really mean it. That what they’re expressing really comes from somewhere deep. That’s been something, a story that I’ve kept with me very dearly to this day as a reminder that this thing that we call education is much bigger than just trying to perfect the craft of teaching content. It is also about cultivating people into the best that they can be. It’s about helping them maximize their potential. And that’s really where the beauty and the magic exists.

Daniel (21:24):
A hundred percent. I Deeply resonate with that story. And as you say, education’s so much more. I think it is a calling and the content’s important and we’ll get there. But if you really see and hear the human beings that you have the privilege to serve as fifth grade seniors, whatever level it is, and pour into that relationship. And it does take time. And it is outside those classroom hours, the content stuff that you want them to get, it’s easier. They’re open to it. And that story just really reminds me of a guy, Michael, sixth grade for me. I was a sixth grade teacher and taught high school too. But Michael legit was, I think, instilled fear in adults. I think there were adults that were scared of this kid. Let alone his peers. I worked hard on a relationship with him, and I could always calm him down and he’d always listen. It’s ’cause we put in that time, we spent a lot of hours basketball practice at the library doing homework, driving him to school pickin ’em up on the way. But that’s sometimes what it takes. I’m enjoying these stories Carlon and we’re gonna take a quick break for some messages from our sponsors. When we get back, I want to ask you about an idea called Fractal Thinking that I don’t know anything about. You’re gonna teach me good stuff.

Daniel (22:59):
In post pandemic classrooms, student talk is crucial. And when classrooms come alive with conversation teachers and students both Thrive, Teach FX helps teachers make it happen. The Teach FX instructional coaching app provides insights into student talk, effective questions, and classroom conversation quality. Teach FX professional development compliments the app and empowers teachers with best practices for generating meaningful student discourse. Teachers using Teach FX increase their student talk by an average of 40%. Imagine that 40% more ownership over the class by students. Ruckus Makers can pilot and teach FX with their teachers. Visit teach fx.com/betterleaders to learn how to teach fx.com/betterleaders. I have never met an educator or a parent who does not want their child to develop executive functioning skills. They may not know the language around what these skills are, but they know they want their students to succeed. Having these skills is largely left up to chance. What’s going on there? Research shows that executive functioning needs to be taught explicitly. All students need daily practice with organizational skills, time and task management, self-regulation and goal setting. Lucky for you, our friends at Organized Binder have released a new self-paced course that will teach you how to teach these executive functioning skills and set your students up for success. Learn [email protected]/go teachers, students executive functioning skills, and set them up for [email protected]/go.

Daniel (24:51):
All right, we’re back with Carlon Howard, the Chief Impact Officer and co-founder of Equity Institute. And as I mentioned before the break we, I wanna learn about this idea called fractal Thinking. What is it? Why do I need to know it? Why is it important?

Carlon (25:06):
I do wanna give flowers to the folks who come before me that come up with these, or at least have presented these perspectives that I’ve learned from it. In particular, Asia. Marie Brown’s, the author and activist, someone who has been very influential in different movements and in different spaces that are focused on centering the human experience. She wrote a book called Emergent Strategy a few years back that outliers principles of what she calls emergent strategy, emergent strategy being essentially seeing how complexity arises out of relatively small interactions.

Carlon (25:51):
That is essentially what we see as the emergent strategy. But one of the things that she’s inspired by is fractal thinking. From a mathematical standpoint, you may have seen this when you have a large triangle with all the little small triangles in the middle. That makes up the large triangle. Well, that large triangle requires these individual smaller triangles to get to scale essentially. And this is the way we as an organization at Equity Institute tend to operate. It’s the way I tend to operate my life when you think about impact. Everybody’s like, how do we change the world? How do we change that? How do we change this? It’s not about trying to figure out today what we can do tomorrow that’s gonna change 10 million people’s lives and their mindsets, behaviors, whatever. It’s really about whether you can focus on the people right in front of you and have a significant meaningful impact in their lives.

Carlon (26:45):
If everybody did that, that would add up over time and become what feels like these smaller parts, but these smaller parts would, would add up to this larger whole. So, you talk about change. The power and change isn’t trying to figure out the perfect way to reach the most number of people. It’s really about how do you have these small interactions that can then add up over time that then equate to this large scale change. When we think about another thing that we’ve looked at as a guy named Davidson Ola, as I believe his name is a professor, writes a lot about change. But one of the things that when you think about it, I think the book he wrote is called The Tipping Point. He talks about this idea as what it all looks like. Like when we think about things being viral or we think about things spreading quickly, and not that all of a sudden overnight everybody saw the same thing at the same time. It’s more about these interactions that then scaled up over time because these interactions all were happening at one time and they were adding up to this bigger thing. And that’s really what fractal thinking is all about. You may have heard the story, the Starfish story. Where sparkly washes onto a beach and there’s a bunch of them, you look around washing onto the beach and kid is walking down the beach and picks up a starfish and throws it back in, and their friend is like, there’s no way you’re gonna be able to clean up all these starfish.

Carlon (28:26):
And every kid responds. I just helped that one. Now, if everybody has that mindset of just like helping the one that’s right in front of you. Imagine the level of change that could happen as opposed to our typical models of change, which are very, tend to be very top down. Like this one singular leader gives a vision of change and then tries to get everybody to rally around it and tries to get everybody to do it, as opposed to what a fractal thinking really demonstrates is a patient to look at it more as bottom up. And these individual actions are able to magnify over time to large scale change. And that’s really what it’s about. So if you wanna dig more into it, that they could find in that emergent strategy book by Adrienne Marie Brown. She has a section dedicated to her book. Let’s talk about Frank.

Daniel (29:19):
I like that. To me it’s like small ideas that lead to big impact, but , reflecting back to you and correcting me anywhere I’m wrong, but often a leader might inappropriately think like, I gotta do this all myself. Whereas if I empower the team and make it our cause everybody just picks up the one starfish or picks up the one piece of trash and we can, we can knock it all out together and have a much bigger impact. Does that sound fair?

Carlon (29:49):
I find when talking to people about leadership. Why is that? I think a lot of times people who are either, whether they’re just like naturally inclined to be in kind of in the leadership position because of their personality or whatever knowledge, skills, abilities they have, or if it’s just somebody who kind of just worked their way up and now they’re in a leadership position, most, a lot of times folks who are in those positions see themselves as being like, I need to like set the vision and get people on board, and then I need to also do everything because I don’t know, or I don’t feel like everybody can do all these things as good as I can, so therefore I need to try to get ’em all done. And so they end up burning out, you end up overwhelmed and they’re like, I can’t manage everything I got going on. I might have a team here, but I’m the bottleneck to my team getting information or getting whatever resources they need in order to be grading and the work that they need to do. I’m guilty of it. It’s been a lesson I’ve learned over time. There’s no way you can. I’ve actually heard this before, if your dream doesn’t require a team, that is not big enough. And that’s kind of the perspective I operate from. It’s like if we wanna imagine better ways of being in relationship with each other, ways that are really human centered in life affirming. It’s not gonna require some hierarchical structure and some top leader coming down and presenting this beautiful vision for us, it’s gonna require people from the ground actually taking it upon themselves to say, this is the type of world we want to live and exist in. And that’s how we get to a point where there’s space for a lot more love expanding and care expanding and people able to work across lines of difference and at the same time recognizing the uniqueness and individuality while contributing though to this larger community. Which is exactly what we need, right now. Carlon, what’s impacted leadership? When we talk about impact leadership, it is essentially leadership from folks who have been directly impacted by whatever heals or challenges that are present. This is another word that I also borrowed from Adrian Marie Brown as well.

Carlon (32:22):
But when we think about impacted leadership in the work that we’re doing, rather than saying, Hey, somebody from the outside, I got the solution, let me implement the solution and say, how do we put people who are from the communities that we serve in positions of power and support them and actually being able to enact and get in right relationship with change so that they can make the world their communities themselves better. That is, that’s what we mean by impact of leadership. When it comes to talking about racial injustice, for instance. We really should think about how we put folks who are most negatively impacted, directly impacted by racial injustice in positions of power so that they may be able to enact the change that we all need. Or they’re thinking about how climate has been a big concern for a lot of folks.

Carlon (33:19):
Rather me all the way over here say, all right, here’s all the things we need to do in order to address this big climate problem. How about we also go to the folks who are actually directly impacted by some of the most devastating circumstances because of the climate, and allow them to have the opportunity to lead. There are other pieces that impact leadership that folks often forget is that we’ll put impact leaders into positions of power, but then there’s little support to back them. Everybody. You gotta remember that most of the time, folks who are impacted leaders who come into the position of power, they may not have had the same opportunities, resources as other folks who are quote-unquote, maybe more traditional leaders ’cause of their educational background and all these other things. Because of that, having the impact of leaders requires a higher level of intentionality, requires greater support, and it requires what we’ll call privilege support. So people who have the resources, the knowledge, the skills, the abilities, et cetera, are the folks who need to support the impact of leaders so that we can get the good work done. But the challenge is always, oftentimes we as humans for no fault of our own, but we often operate from an egocentric place. Where we believe like, no, I deserve to be the one leading this, or I deserve to get the credit for this, but often leads to this to just a bunch of infighting and arguments and things just not getting done, as opposed to just saying, How do we make sure that folks who are most impacted by these things are the folks who get to really lead on reversing or changing them?

Daniel (35:05):
Supporting those on the front lines. Instead of doing things with them and putting them in the lead empowering and coming up with creative solutions and quite honestly, better solutions because they understand the problems way more than somebody who’s not experiencing those challenges are gonna understand. If you could put a message on all school marquees around the world for just one day, what would your message be?

Carlon (35:34):
A big thing that I’ve gained or a message I’ve gained, and I actually picked this up when. I’m also a professional leadership and performance coach. So during my formal training, one of the mindsets that we talked about often was seeing people as creative or resourceful and whole. And that’s the message that I would want folks to really see that you are creative, resourceful, and whole. You hope that message opens up windows of opportunity for people to explore more of what that means for them.

Daniel (36:07):
Brilliant. And if you could build your dream school. You didn’t have any constraints in terms of resources. Your only limitation was your ability to imagine what would be the three guiding principles in building this dream school.

Carlon (36:22):
I’m actually on loan to the front institute. What I authored and called an evolving definition of educational equity, but there are five principles. I’m gonna pull three from this particular framework, the first one being that diversity is not an afterthought, but a critical asset in our society, and it’s essential for our societal wellness. We know that diversity drives creativity, innovation, and problem solving. It offers unique ways of seeing the world, and it’s a natural part of our world. If you look at different biosystems ecosystems. So that’s one. Diversity is a critical asset. Seeing our educational system as the complex web of interconnected elements, but at its core, showing that it is surprising, some relatively simple interactions. So when you think about that, it goes back to that fractal thinking. So viewing the school and seeing it as our ability to sustain and build authentic relationships, that is where the success of the school lies. Those authentic connections between educators, students, parents, community members, et cetera, are catalysts for growth. And then the last one is just a recognition, rather. So a recognition that systemic oppression and marginalization have a real material impact on individuals and communities. So operating for that finish point. Oftentimes that we want to see a theory, people are all at the same starting point and they just work hard enough, then life will be better for them. The reality is that that’s not always the case. Hard work can get you so far, but there are things that are baked into our systemic structures that impact the way people live and operate. And we have to just keep that at the forefront of our brains as we move about the work that we do. If we don’t, then we’ll fail to see how someone’s lived experiences may have resulted in them being in the position in life that they’re in. Those are the three critical assets. As made up of relatively simple interactions. And then the last one, seeing that systemic oppression, marginalization of real, tangible impact on people’s lives.

Daniel (38:46):
Hey, Ruckus Maker, if you’re aligned and enjoying what Carlon is discussing with me today, check out his [email protected] and board.com. Both of those will be in the show notes for you. Carlon, last question. I’ve really enjoyed our conversation, but we covered a lot of ground and for everything we discussed, what’s the one thing you want a Ruckus Maker to remember? And this the big thing is staying committed to maximizing your potential. That’s like, if whatever that journey looks like for you, that’s your journey, but just stay committed to maximizing your potential. There’s always deeper places to go with who we are.

Carlon (39:28):
Thanks for listening to the Better Leaders, better Schools podcast, Ruckus Maker. How would you like to lead with confidence, swap exhaustion for energy? Turn your critics into cheerleaders and so much more. The Ruckus Maker Mastermind is a world-class leadership program designed for growth-minded school leaders just like you. Go to BetterLeadersbetterschools.com/mastermind. Learn more about our program and fill out the application. We’ll be in touch within 48 hours to talk about how we can help you be even more effective. And by the way, we have cohorts that are diverse and mixed up. We also have cohorts just for women in leadership and a BIPOC only cohort as well. When you’re ready to level up, go to BetterLeadersbetterschools.com/mastermind and fill out the application. Thanks again for listening to the show. Bye for now and go make a ruckus.



How much student talk happened today?
When classrooms come alive with conversation, learning improves, students feel a sense of belonging, and teachers feel inspired.

The TeachFX instructional coaching app gives teachers powerful insights into their student talk, student engagement, and classroom conversation.

With TeachFX, teachers see how much student talk happened, the moments of students sharing their brilliance, and the questions that got students talking. Learn how to pilot TeachFX with your teachers. Visit: teachfx.com/betterleaders


Why do students struggle? I’d argue that they lack access to quality instruction, but think about it. That’s totally out of their control. What if there was something we could teach kids there was something within their control that would help them be successful in every class? It’s not a magic pill or a figment of your imagination.

When students internalize Executive Functioning Skills they succeed.
Check out the new self-paced online course brought to you by OB that shows teachers how to equip their students with executive functioning skills.

Learn more at organizedbinder.com/go


Copyright © 2023 Twelve Practices LLC

(Visited 97 times, 1 visits today)