Ralph Ravi Kayden on Unsplash

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:


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“Danny, you’ve built the perfect forum for leaders. We can admit what we don’t know. We can ask for help. We discuss how to become less biased. In the mastermind, vulnerability is not seen as weakness. It is seen as a strength.”

What a compliment!

Yes, I am SUPER PROUD of how I serve school leaders, but the point of this post is to share that psychological safety is POWERFUL and if you learn how to embed it into your organization, you will create a world-class culture.

What we can learn from Google

In 2015 Google released the results of a two-year study titled, “Project Aristotle.”


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Do things that don’t scale.

Daniel Bauer, Chief Ruckus Maker @ Better Leaders Better Schools

I learned this idea from the founders of AirBnB who grew their business by doing things that wouldn’t scale at first. For example, they would stay at AirBnB homes. They would have one-on-one conversations with both guests and hosts. The founders couldn’t keep this up at scale, but it gave them insights that would help grow AirBnB in the future.

The same is true for school. After the pandemic, leaders are considering how to address “learning loss” and other gaps in their students and staff.

So do things that don’t…


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There is always so much to do as a leader.

And there never seems to be enough time.

But what if there was an abundance of time and the only thing that needed to change for you to be more effective was to change your mindset?

Turns out, that’s the key.

The old way of thinking about time

The Newtonian view says there’s only a finite amount of time, and it must be carefully portioned-out so there will be enough of it do the things we need to do.

-Gay Hendricks

Gay Hendricks wrote The Big Leap and that book presented an idea that nearly short-circuited my…


Photo by Keszthelyi Timi on Unsplash

Today I want to share a super-simple tip that will LEVEL UP your mindset for next school year.

My tip is called the JAR OF AWESOME.

But before I reveal how to implement this tip, I want to share an email that I received last May from one of the leaders I have the privilege to coach.

Lizzy is an amazing principal and Ruckus Maker leading an international school in Nepal!

That is one of the coolest parts of the mastermind — we have members from literally around the world who connect on a weekly basis who want to discuss…


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The other day I was recording a podcast with Peter DeWitt . . . Yes, that Peter DeWitt!

It was most certainly a surreal moment in my professional life.

And we were talking about my new book due out in September (Peter endorsed it 🤯🤯🤯 ).

He shared that he never heard the famous Jim Rohn quote that I share in my book:

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

I share that quote in my book because those 14 words changed my life.

It was back in 2015.

I was listening to…


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You can accomplish anything at your school — and I mean anything — if you pay the price.

You can dismantle racist systems.

You can stop bullying and create a space where every child feels welcome.

You can create an environment where teachers LOVE to work every day.

You can create an environment where you LOVE to work every day.

You can say NO to the wrong things in order to say YES to the right things.

You can make your school just as MAGICAL as Disney.

You can create a school where there are no school fees.

You could…


***SUCCESS STORY: From “Who are we really?” to “This is who we are” in just 5 months***

“We all have that one friend who says, ‘I had the idea for eBay. If only I had acted on it, I’d be a billionaire!’ That logic is pathetic and delusional. Having the idea for eBay has nothing to do with actually creating eBay. What you do is what matters, now what you think of say or plan”

-Fried & Hansson

I want to take a minute to give a HUGE shout out to a genuine RUCKUS MAKER and one of my mastermind members, Scott Long . . .

Scott is seriously awesome.

I serve a lot of A-Player principals…


  1. I was the drum major in high school (and my band director told me I shook my hips too much when I conducted!).
  2. I have been eating a mostly plant based diet for almost two years (I sneak off to have NY pizza and if someone serves me meat I don’t make a big stink about it).
  3. I have lived in 4 different states in the USA and 4 different countries.
  4. I know just enough of the Shona language to be dangerous and say something that I think means one thing, but actually means another — this can turn into…

Daniel Bauer

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

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