What I’m Doing Right Now

Welcome to my "Now" page. A snapshot of my current focus and projects. I hope you enjoy your time here and get to know me better 😀

Unlike an "About page," which is a look backward, this "Now" page is rooted in the present.

Shout out to Derek Sivers who created the idea of a "Now" page. You can see his page "Now" page here or the explanation of what a "Now" page is right here.

Derek is the author of Anything You Want: 40 Lessons for a New Kind of Entrepreneur, which I highly recommend you buy right now and read. This book will get you to question assumptions and unleash the creativity embedded in your organization. The audio version is wonderful, since Derek recorded it himself.

What I'm Reading 

A Path with Heart by Jack Kornfield. I heard Jack on the Tim Ferriss podcast and that made me want to read one of his books especially since I'm interested in meditation.

The Art of Possibility by Rosamund Stone Zander and Ben Zander (audio book). We're reading this in the Mastermind. It's about creativity, possibility, and potential. Discusses 10 "practices" we can do to upgrade our leadership and presence.

Small Giants: Companies That Choose to Be Great Instead of Big by Bo Burlingham. I don't want to run a large business. I only want to coach 60 school leaders in my leadership community. I want to stay small to preserve the relationships. I want to know what's going on in everyone's life.

The Recipe by Charles Carroll and John David Man. https://betterleadersbetterschools.com/john-david-mann/. He's great and that makes me want to read as many of his books as I can.

The Automatic Customer by John Warrillow. Reading this with the ISI Mastermind led by Aaron Walker.

I Can't Make This Up: Life Lessons by Kevin Hart (audio book). Comedians have a fascinating way of observing the world. We also can learn from their delivery and communication styles.

Game of Thrones: A Storm of SwordsI'm reading this so I'm not always in education, leadership, or business world. Plus I love reading some fiction where I can escape and dream!

What I'm Creating 

My first book for school leaders, The Better Leaders Better Schools Roadmap, is due out this month  (August). Right now it's getting the final cover and interior design touches. 

And I've started brainstorming on my next book. I have 3 ideas I'm currently interested in pursuing:

  1. 10x Leadership - 10 topics guaranteed to super-charge your leadership and impact (currently mind mapping the book out).
  2. A fable for school leaders. I want to do a series of fictional tales where leadership principles are taught through a narrative style. I have a few ideas on how to start this one. I think the first book will be about building culture. If you are curious on the style I want to emulate check out either The Ideal Team Player or The Go-Giver Leader.
  3. With well over 100 episodes and the highest downloads of any podcast for school leaders, I thought of creating a toolkit for educators pulling out the major themes expressed in the podcast.

Do you have an opinion on what book I should publish next? Leave me a comment below, email me, or hit me up on social media. I'm @alienearbud everywhere on social.

In addition to writing, I am creating a ton of content via the Better Leaders Better Schools Podcast, the School Leadership Series podcast, the View from the Top podcast, and my newly launched YouTube channel.

For the second time, I've had the pleasure to (stop) collaborate (and listen) with Jethro Jones on the Transformative Leadership Summit. 3000+ school leaders attended the event. 

My Three Goals This Quarter

I use The 12 Week Year philosophy for goal setting and attainment. This quarter I have three goals.

  1. A revenue goal that I'm working toward by growing my business. This is a multi-step project, but the first sub-goals are to grow the Mastermind from 43 - 60 members and my 1-on-1 coaching from 2 -5 leaders.
  2. I want to lose 2-4% body fat. This past July I turned 40. I feel great and in many ways I'm in the best physical shape of my life. I want six-pack abs. Partly because I want to look good, partly because I want to maintain a high level of fitness, and mostly because I don't have kids right now. If kids are in my future (and I hope they are), I want to be able to play and keep up with them. The only way I'll be able to do that as an older parent is by maintaining great fitness. My body fat percentage at the beginning of the quarter (July 1) was 18.2%. 
  3. Publish my first book (and start my next). In just a few weeks I will cross off a bucket list item - write one book. Next is write three books, then five, then 50! I'll have to publish at least one book per year to get to 50 (and probably more)!

Dreaming 

I finished my Vivid Vision, a detailed map of where I am headed over the next three years recently. Now I need to dream, then plan, how I will achieve these goals. 

Marriage and Europe

Miriam and I have had an amazing first year of marriage 😍 All the memories we've made traveling have been the highlight. We've been lucky enough to visit:

  • Lille, France 🇫🇷
  • Paris, France 🇫🇷
  • Reims, France 🇫🇷
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands 🇳🇱
  • The Hague, Netherlands 🇳🇱
  • Delft, Netherlands 🇳🇱
  • Aachen, Germany 🇩🇪
  • Berlin, Germany 🇩🇪
  • Barcelona, Spain 🇪🇸
  • Montserrat, Spain 🇪🇸
  • Lausanne, Switzerland 🇨🇭
  • Prague, Czechia 🇨🇿
  • London, England 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿
  • Brugge, Belgium 🇧🇪
  • Brussels, Belgium 🇧🇪

We are looking to move back to the 🇺🇸and if we're lucky I'd like to sneak in a trip to Italy!

What the Heck Is Going on?

In an effort to better understand myself, I try to meditate regularly. My longest streak is 73 days which I broke on accident in the busyness of the National Principals Conference in Chicago this July 😳 The apps I use are Headspace & Oak

Currently I am on a 12 day streak (Aug 23).

I am searching for three things on my mindfulness journey:

  • Improved ability to be present. I want to notice what is going on both internally and externally. I believe this will improve my empathy and listening
  • Less reactivity to my emotions, especially strong negative emotions. My goal is to notice how I feel, get curious, and be more in control of my actions as opposed to driven by my emotions.
  • More inner peace

In addition to a mindfulness practice I am starting to focus on my end-of-day routine. My mornings are great and highly productive, but I realize how I end my day is an area of opportunity.

I work regularly for extended amounts of time (great for productivity and I know I'm blessed to do work I'm only interested in doing), but this often leaves me depleted or wound up with lots of energy. Either way, I am "all in" on my end-of-day routine in order to be better ready to fully engage with Miriam and friends after a satisfying work day.

How will I accomplish this? Right now I'm experimenting with two activities:

  • Next week I plan on starting a mid-day (2 pm) 30 minute walk with no connectivity or device. Just me and my thoughts. A mid-day reset.
  • At the end of each day (5 or 6 pm) I want to 
    • Meditate
    • Reflect on My Emotion Inventory (What am I feeling? Why am I feeling that way?)
    • Read fiction
    • Go for another walk!

We'll see how this goes!

This page was updated August 23, 2018