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The other day in the mastermind we were discussing onboarding new faculty. I took some notes from this discussion and will share them here as a resource.

If you have a great idea or resource regarding onboarding new faculty, I encourage you to post in the comments below!

So let’s get on to the ideas …


Create a space that is intentionally designed for new staff members. This can be done on Slack, Facebook, Voxer, etc. Use the space to share wins, ask questions, and offer support.


The written word is great. To add nuance and emotion consider video. Create…

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If your vision can fit onto a tee shirt, you have work to do …

If your vision is placed on a banner, it’s not real …

If your staff doesn’t know what the vision is and where you are headed, your vision is not being lived out …

If your vision is the same as the school down the street, and the next school, and the next, then your vision is meaningless …

If your vision incorporates buzz words (e.g. …

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If you want a better school a leader must commit to creating a better culture.

There is no quick approach to this process, but if you commit to the long haul and implement the ideas from this post, you will nurture your culture.


“The weaker the connection you have with someone, the harder it is to get your point across. If you want people to listen, you have to practice relationship management and seek benefits from every relationship, especially the challenging ones.”

-Travis Bradberry & Jean Greaves

I recommend that you care more about your people than your students.


Today is the Better Leaders Better Schools’ ORIGIN DAY. I started this organization/website/podcast/business/movement six years ago, today.

Since then the podcast has been downloaded over 1.5 million times and I have the privilege of serving around 100 leaders in my current coaching experiences. My newest book is being published by Corwin + the AASA. BLBS is changing the way school leaders experience high-quality professional development.

And we are just getting started.

Today, I wanted to share 27 lessons I’ve learned after creating Better Leaders Better Schools on September 2, 2015.

Enjoy the list. It’s not in order of importance.


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The secret to culture is found in three distinct categories

Researcher Amy Edmondson identified three distinct categories that foster psychological safety — the linchpin of culture.

These three categories are beliefs, behaviors, and constructs.

The beliefs are respect for peers’ abilities, a genuine interest in each other as people, an environment that welcomes your thoughts, and a shared belief of positive intentions.

The behaviors are seeking or giving feedback, and making changes and improvements (versus avoiding change or sticking with the status quo).

The constructs are obtaining or providing help or expertise, experimenting, and engaging in constructive conflict or confrontation.

Me and Fran McGreevy

Let me introduce you to Fran McGreevy, one of the top Ruckus Makers I have the privilege to serve in the mastermind.

Recently I got to meet Fran at his home in western NY.

This was a special moment for me because Fran has been working with me since the beginning …

We’ve known each other (virtually) since 2015 and have become friends over the years.

Now that I live in New York myself, I visited him the other weekend and we enjoyed a Sunday brunch together.

It was an incredible day for me. …

We are really good at updating our phones.

When I get the update notification in settings, I almost immediately download it.

I do that because I want my phone to operate efficiently.

I also do it to protect myself.

Updates often protect phones with “patches” that close areas where our phones are vulnerable.

Updates are about optimization and getting a better phone experience.

But how often do we update ourselves?

Where are YOU vulnerable and may need a patch or update?

The Importance of Deliberate Practice

Ruckus Makers (aka the BEST leaders) share this trait: they commit to updating their mindset, skills, and abilities.

  • They…

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Great school leaders are champions for equity.

They look at oppressive systems and do something about them. They use data to identify alarming trends and course correct.

As a leader in education, I’m sure you’ve wrestled with how to include more of your female students in STEM.

What if I told you, it’s actually not as hard as you might think?

The importance of asking the right question

“Good leaders ask great questions that inspire others to dream more, think more, learn more, do more, and become more.”

-John Maxwell

Some people collect stamps, comics, vintage coins. Not me. I collect questions.

And not just any old…

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The other day I shared a case study on one of my favorite Ruckus Makers, Sarah and how her school grew 11 points, even during a pandemic.

Again, excellent job Sarah. You inspire me!

Part of that story was that during this week’s coaching call we unpacked how to create a REMARKABLE retreat experience for her staff.

You see … it was Sarah’s retreat experience year’s ago that sealed her fate at her current school.

Because of the impact of the retreat, Sarah was “all in” and committed to going above and beyond at VBE to help her student be…

Photo by Daniel Bauer with two of his favorite leaders

“I found my peeps.”

This is what Sarah told her husband after accepting a job years ago at her current school. She’s been at VBE for years starting as an instructional coach and is now in her second year as AP.

Her partner wasn’t too excited about the new job back then. VBE was (and still is) a difficult school serving a historically under-served population.

At many of these schools, the staff and leaders (shoot … sometimes even the community) fall prey to the tyranny of low expectations and make so many excuses for poor performance.

You’ve heard it before:

Daniel Bauer

Host of the Better Leaders Better Schools podcast with over one million downloads 🚀

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