How Scott used sticky core values to transform his school . . .

***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 and Scott is one of the best.

That’s because Scott knows that ideas are one thing. But ACTION is quite another.

So back in 2017 I shared on The School Leadership Series (on Apple or Spotify) an ORIGINAL idea I teach called STICKY CORE VALUES.

Scott heard these episodes and couldn’t get the idea out of his head.

That’s because (in his words) “At Doherty Elementary we had a strong mission and we had what I thought were strong values. Yet none of the core values we created really captured people’s hearts and minds. The values didn’t influence our day-to-day decisions and how we operated.”

Since values were top of mind, Scott asked his wife if she could name the core values at her job in corporate America.

. . . crickets . . .

She had no idea what they even were.

What a missed opportunity!

Scott knew he had to do something different.

He wanted to take a risk and implement STICKY CORE VALUES. The only problem was how would he move past the fear of doing something new and original at his school?

If he stuck his neck out, would his faculty or central office lop it off?

Lucky for him, Scott is a member of the mastermind I facilitate and each week he receives encouragement, feedback, and ideas on how to implement strategy to improve his school and leadership.

The day came where Scott would introduce the concept of STICKY CORE VALUES to his staff.

He went first and shared the idea behind what Doherty calls, “Rocky’s Cuff Links.” There is a much longer story behind this STICKY CORE VALUE (and that’s the point), but it boils down to the idea of being supportive.

The staff LOVED the idea.

  • 95% said they saw evidence of “Rocky’s Cuff Links” being lived out every day at Doherty.
  • 85% believed that “Rocky’s Cuff Links” inspired curiosity and was a core encouraged people to want to know more about the story behind it.

And that’s why this approach works.

Because of curiosity . . .

Because of the story behind the value and the image it creates . . .

A STICKY CORE VALUE is remarkable.

Think about it.

What is more compelling? “Rocky’s Cuff Links” or “Supportive”?

From there the staff began to brainstorm other values that were apparent at Doherty.

They came up with ideas like “R-E-S-P-E-C-T” and “Find Your Marigold.”

A few months later Scott and the Doherty staff created five STICKY CORE VALUES.

When I spoke to him the other day Scott mentioned,

“Thank you for teaching me the idea of sticky core values. It has changed EVERYTHING at Doherty. It has provided all of us with a common language and sense of CLARITY of what we are all about. We celebrate instances of when people are living out these values. When tough conversations are had, we point back to violations of our core values. EVERYONE knows what we stand for. Our values are so much more than words. They guide everything we do and have taken what we are able to achieve together to A WHOLE NEW LEVEL.”

Scott is a perfect example of what it means to be a RUCKUS MAKER.

He was willing to think out-of-the-box and do something ORIGINAL that could be a GAME CHANGER at his school.

“I’m confident if I left the school tomorrow, Doherty wouldn’t miss a beat because we have done the hard work of identifying who we are and what makes us great.”

Well done Scott.

Take a bow.

It’s an honor and privilege to be part of your journey.

Keep Making a Ruckus,

D

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

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Daniel Bauer

Daniel Bauer

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

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