130 episodes

Helping Educators Lead Better and Grow Faster

TheSchoolHouse302 One Thing Series School Leadership Podcast Joe & T.J. from theschoolhouse302.com

    • Education
    • 5.0 • 10 Ratings

Helping Educators Lead Better and Grow Faster

    Mindset and Management: Two Must Reads for School Leaders

    Mindset and Management: Two Must Reads for School Leaders

    Unlocking Excellence: Read to Lead Better, Learn to Grow Faster
    In this episode, Joe and T.J. introduce two books that they know will make the difference in your life as a leader. Kotler’s book is about operating in a state of flow for improved focus and productivity. Who couldn’t benefit from learning more about flow and how we can get into a flow state?

    Murphy’s book is basically a “how-to” on management. Very practical with specific suggestions to improve your skills. There are also some ideas and thoughts that will challenge your current thinking about managing people. The author is clear that many management principles simply don’t work.

    Why Joe and T.J. Recommend The Art of Impossible by Steven Kotler and What Makes Great Managers Great by Curtiss Murphy

    T.J. kicks off by explaining that when we don’t believe something or can’t imagine accomplishing it, we are limiting ourselves. We can’t do what we don’t think is possible.

    He reminds us of Roger Bannister breaking the 4-minute mile barrier, which seemed like an impossible feat. In fact, scientists deemed it physically impossible for humans to do.

    T.J. tells listeners how the book moves through the key concepts of peak performance: motivation, learning, creativity, and flow.

    One major feature that makes this book a critical read for leaders is that it has research and data, along with various stories, to back up the assertions that the author makes.

    T.J. calls The Art of Impossible his favorite book of 2023. Bold statement!

    Joe starts by letting the audience know that What Makes Great Managers Great has stories that accompany the management principles being described. This is a great feature because too often when reading books that are designed to improve our skill set, we don’t necessarily understand the full context.

    This book’s table of contents is organized so that you understand precisely what management principle is going to be covered. One principle that really resonated and challenged Joe was to assume confusion is everywhere. Listen to Murphy describe that himself on our podcast episode with him.

    Another great facet of this book is the focus on the power of praise. Similar to what we’ve described in the past, this book emphasizes the need for the praise to be specific and focused.

    T.J.’s Reading Tip: Set specific reading goals, which are essentially learning goals. Along with your goal, develop a list of books that you want to read. Don’t leave your reading habit and growth to chance. Too many of us finish books and don’t start another one right away. With your list in hand, that won’t ever happen again.

    Let us know what you’re reading by contacting us at contact@theschoolhouse302.com. And don’t miss our leadership newsletter every week by subscribing on the site.

    We can’t wait to hear from you.

    Joe & T.J.

    • 13 min
    Guest Curtiss Murphy Talks about What Makes Great Managers Great

    Guest Curtiss Murphy Talks about What Makes Great Managers Great

    About Curtiss Murphy

    Curtiss Murphy has spent 32 years as a software engineer (20 of those years in games and gaming and twelve years building educational games. He spent 3 summers hosting the NSF's Edugaming workshop and six years as a professor of game design at Laguna College of Art and Design (for their Game Design MFA program).

    He has a few dozen minor publications/chapters. He’s an award winning speaker, author, and game designer. He’s been on 21 episodes of the podcast Game Design Zen. And he’s currently the VP of Engineering at a Mobile Game Studio.

    He is the recent author of What Makes Great Managers Great: How to Raise Engagement, Give Feedback, and Answer the Questions No One’s Asking.

    What You’ll Find in this Episode with Curtiss Murphy

    Curtiss starts by flipping the show back to Joe and T.J. with a question about why they would want to have an “outsider” from education on the show. Listen to hear about comfort zones, learning from new people, and seeking alternative perspectives. That’s what Leading Better and Growing Faster with Joe and TJ is all about.

    Curtiss simply says it, many managers are doing it wrong. His story will resonate with you as he admits that he once was one as well. Don’t miss what he says about how it all changed for him.

    You want to hear what he says about medical errors and deaths based on miscommunication.

    He talks about going from 5 people to 40 and what management practices have done to increase performance on his team.

    The number one premise to start with as a leader is that there’s confusion everywhere. ~ Curtiss Murphy

    Tune in to hear why we must always be clarifying expectations.

    Joe asks about “safety and making people feel safe at work.”

    Reminder for school leaders: Whatever we do impacts our employees. Don’t miss what Curtiss says about “not enough” in this category.

    Curtiss looks for inspiration from his wife (and he tells us that we can’t have her).

    He talks about being a nerd by trade and using the rules of improv (we wrote about this is 7 Mindshifts for School Leaders). Three rules (1) accept everything, (2) use yes, and, and (3) make your co-workers and partners look good.

    Curtiss wants to learn to be calm, be in the moment, and slow down his sense of urgency.

    He focuses on praising people to support the behaviors that he wants from them to repeat.

    Curtiss used to think that his job was just to empower people; he learned to empower the skill, not the person.

    His final thought: leadership = influencing others through trusting relationships.

    Let us know if there’s a guest who you want us to have on the show by leaving a comment below or by contacting us at contact@theschoolhouse302.com. And don’t miss our leadership content updates every week by subscribing on the site.

    We can’t wait to hear from you.

    Joe & T.J.

    • 43 min
    Two Must Reads for School Leaders Who Want to Navigate the Leadership Waters

    Two Must Reads for School Leaders Who Want to Navigate the Leadership Waters

    Unlocking Excellence: Read to Lead Better, Learn to Grow Faster

    These are two powerhouse books that capture the journey of leadership. These two books are distinctly different, but both reflect our focus on school leaders' need to Navigate the Seas of School Leadership.

    Joe recommends, Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations, which is an autobiographical book by Admiral William H. McRaven, a retired Navy SEAL and former commander of the United States Special Operations Command. The book is a firsthand account of Admiral McRaven's remarkable military career, spanning from his childhood, the early days in training, to his experiences leading special operations missions.

    The narrative is filled with anecdotes and insights into the world of special operations, offering readers a glimpse into the challenges, triumphs, and lessons learned in high-stakes environments.

    It's an amazing exploration of leadership, resilience, and the values that underpin success in the most demanding situations. The book not only shares the author's personal journey but also imparts valuable leadership lessons that can be applied in various contexts, making it a great recommendation for school leaders who are navigating their own challenges.

    T.J. recommends, Working Backwards: Insights, Stories, and Secrets from Inside Amazon, a book written by Colin Bryar and Bill Carr, former executives at Amazon. The book provides a unique insider's perspective on Amazon's culture, leadership principles, and business strategies.

    In "Working Backwards," the authors share anecdotes and insights based on their experiences working with Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. The book covers Amazon's customer-centric approach, decision-making processes, and the principles that have contributed to the company's success. It also offers valuable lessons for leaders and businesses seeking to adopt Amazon's innovative practices.

    What You’ll Learn in this Episode with Joe & T.J.

    Joe reveals that his mentor and friend, Dr. Steven Godowsky, originally shared this book with him knowing his interest in leadership perspectives from the military.

    Listen to Joe describe how Admiral McRaven structures the book to capture the intention of the reader.

    Joe also emphasizes how Sea Stories covers McRaven’s career. Too often leadership books don’t chronicle the journey of a leader and the many different leadership positions that an individual may hold. This book does!

    Who doesn’t want a look inside Amazon? Listen to T.J. describe why he likes this book and why he recommends it to school leaders.

    T.J. describes how these gentlemen detail their work within Amazon and the lessons that can be learned for leaders. You don’t want to miss how the authors describe working for Jeff Bezos.

    Let us know what you’re reading by contacting us at contact@theschoolhouse302.com. And don’t miss our leadership newsletter every week by subscribing on the site.

    We can’t wait to hear from you.

    Joe & T.J.

    • 7 min
    Guest Donya Ball Talks about How Administrators Can Adjust Their Sails to Weather Any Storm

    Guest Donya Ball Talks about How Administrators Can Adjust Their Sails to Weather Any Storm

    About Donya Ball
    Dr. Donya Ball is a leader, author, and national keynote speaker. She currently serves as a superintendent of schools in California and, for over two decades, has been a change-maker in public education.

    Dr. Ball is a professor of both educational administration and teacher education. She is passionate about studying, writing, and speaking on overcoming leadership hardships.

    Her first book of the leadership series, Adjusting the Sails: Weathering the Storms of Administrative Leadership, was published in 2022. Her second book, Against the Wind: Leadership at 36,000 Feet will be released this January.

    What You’ll Find in this Episode with Donya Ball

    Donya starts with a story about her experiences working through various positions and the fact that we tend to talk a lot about “the stuff,” but there isn’t enough “real talk” in books. She wanted her work to get to the real talk. We call that “real talk for real leaders.”

    Listen to Donya’s thoughts on why we’re so reactionary in educational leadership.

    She has unique ideas about writing and conveying her message, particularly how she combines her love for reality TV and what needs to be in books for school leaders.

    One “sail” we talked about adjusting is the negative reviews in books.

    Joe tells the story of how TheSchoolHouse302 was born because it relates to Donya’s take about the need for “real talk.”

    One inspiration for her book is the need to discuss career rejection; it happens, but not enough of us are actually talking about it.

    Don’t miss her story about her dad who was born in Iran and how he had to establish a new life. We all need to become fighters!

    Donya talks about the need for branding…our perception of ourselves is not always in alignment with the public perception of us.

    Listen to her describe how branding is an obstacle and how we need to do an assessment of our social media accounts. What message are we sending to our school community?

    Donya says that we need to embrace the crises when they occur, not shield ourselves and others from them.

    Don’t miss her analogy for the three types of leadership strategies with social media.
    Dismissive
    Passive
    Engaged

    Donya tells us to follow Roni Habib at eqschools.com for inspiration and aspiration in the space of leadership and personal well-being.

    Great leaders ask this question daily: “Are my people taken care of?” This transcends resources, facilities, pay, etc. She wants to know if those she leads truly feel taken care of.

    Don’t miss what she says about “raw, authentic, heartfelt conversations.”

    Donya wants to master the art of patience. Joe says that TJ is not a person to ask for help in this area.

    She talked about growing as a leader and why it’s imperative to surround yourself with people who are different from you--political leaders, community leaders, thought leaders in various fields.

    She delivered a great call-to-action: We need to get outside of our comfort zones when it comes to bringing people into our circle.

    She recommends Blindspots: Hidden Biases of Good People for school leaders who want to uncover their own biases and move past them.

    Donya admits that she used to think about short-term results and getting quick wins on accountability metrics, but she’s shifting her thinking to more long-term approaches to teaching, learning, and leading that have a lasting impact on the world.

    Let us know if there’s a guest who you want us to have on the show by leaving a comment below or by contacting us at contact@theschoolhouse302.com. And don’t miss our leadership content updates every week by subscribing on the site.

    We can’t wait to hear from you.

    Joe & T.J.

    • 45 min
    A Three-Pronged Approach to Building an Environment that Attracts and Retains Talented Teachers

    A Three-Pronged Approach to Building an Environment that Attracts and Retains Talented Teachers

    In this episode the Leading Better and Growing Faster podcast for school leaders, Joe and T.J. tackle strategies for building an environment where teachers want to work and want to stay.

    As our good friend, Principal EL, always says, “trying to find, hire, and retain teachers is like the hunger games.” There is definitely a shortage of qualified teachers, so it is imperative that we hang onto the ones we have. To do so, every school leader must actively work to create an environment where teachers thrive.

    We recommend a multifaceted approach:
    First and foremost, celebrating and praising the dedication and hard work of educators is paramount. Recognize their achievements, both big and small, not only to boost morale but also to reaffirm their value in the school community.

    Secondly, finding more time for teachers to engage in professional development, collaboration, and self-care is crucial.

    We know it’s difficult, but school leaders must uncover ways to reduce the unnecessary administrative burden placed on staff, prioritizing time for their growth and renewal.

    Lastly, creating leadership opportunities within the school empowers teachers to take ownership of their roles, fostering a sense of purpose and investment in their work.

    This three-pronged approach is grounded in celebration, time management, and leadership cultivation.

    In the episode, T.J. digs into one the communication feedback models that we work with school districts on, including Specific Praise. The challenge is that managers believe they do this, but most workers disagree.

    Joe doubles down on the need for the 3Rs: Recuperate, Rejuvenate, and Regroup. Leaders often mistake downtime as wasted time, a major mistake. We suggest finding time for staff to achieve the 3Rs at work and beyond. The key is to communicate the goal and intended usage of the time provided for them.

    Lastly, don’t forget to lift your influential teachers. They can galvanize school culture, but they should be developed as well. Do not leave their growth to chance. Find ways to give them leadership experiences and avenues to grow as a leader.

    Achieve the aforementioned strategies and you will be well on your way to developing the school culture where teachers thrive.

    Let us know if there’s a topic you want us to cover by leaving a comment below or by contacting us at contact@theschoolhouse302.com. And don’t miss our leadership content updates every week by subscribing on the site.

    We can’t wait to hear from you.

    Joe & T.J.

    • 15 min
    Two Must Reads for School Leaders Who Want to Build a School Culture Where Teachers Want to Work

    Two Must Reads for School Leaders Who Want to Build a School Culture Where Teachers Want to Work

    Joe and T.J. Recommend that School Leaders Read The Song of Significance and Retention for A Change

    It’s no mystery that we are big fans of Seth Godin, especially T.J., but there is a good reason for that in terms of learning to lead better and grow faster. In many ways, Godin challenges conventional wisdom, but yet remains practical in his advice. His insights are unique, and school leaders can benefit from his work. Here’s what you’ll learn from this podcast:

    Find your unique voice as a school leader to help develop the school environment that empowers teachers and students. There is no greater superpower than authenticity.

    Schools are not only a part of the community; in many respects they are a community within themselves. Godin writes about tribes and groups that join together to unlock potential. Schools are a natural place for this work. It requires a skilled leader to create the right conditions, though.

    Lastly, Godin talks about generosity. Tune in to find more.

    We always feel a little odd showcasing our own work. However, Retention for A Change (RFAC) is packed with great strategies, from practitioners for practitioners.

    Learn how to Motivate, Inspire, and Energize your team.
    Uncover key ways to onboard and support your new hires. The real work starts when the hiring is done.

    Lastly, schools are in a constant state of transition. We would love for things to slow down and for the waters settle, but we don’t see that happening any time soon. RFAC recognizes that reality in education and provides school leaders with real tools to navigate the daily grindl.

    Let us know what you’re reading by contacting us at contact@theschoolhouse302.com. And don’t miss our leadership newsletter every week by subscribing on the site.

    We can’t wait to hear from you.

    Joe & T.J.

    • 8 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
10 Ratings

10 Ratings

Gray 2022 ,

Great leadership insights

This is a great podcast for all leaders!

New 2 Education ,

Whitaker Interview

The Todd W interview was excellent.

DeEducator ,

Always informative and love the different guests!

Love that these guys always bring in different guests and ways of thinking. Not only is this content applicable to education (even though that is the focus), but really great insights on life in general!

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