The last 6 years have been a tremendous success at Better Leaders Better Schools. Here are 6 lessons learned so you can be a success too.

Daniel Bauer teaching his Remarkable Vision Formula to leaders in Taos, New Mexico.

Don’t try to be interesting to others. Instead, focus on being interested in others.

“You can make more friends in two months by being interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get people interested in you.”

-Dale Carnegie

Starting a business has been the most challenging project to date.

Business doesn’t work like the Field of Dreams. There is no “build it and they will come moment.” But my business has grown every single year since 2015. So what is my secret?

My superpower is my curiosity.

My curiosity helps me be a better podcaster, coach, and business owner.

This is also a great lesson for school leaders.

Often, we design a new plan or initiative and then wonder how to make it appealing and how we might establish “buy in” from our people.

You can absolutely succeed this way.

But to be clear, it’s the harder way. It’s like swimming upstream.

The easier way is to swim with the current.

Be curious about your school, students, and staff. Identify the problems they see as their #1 challenge. And solve them.

No need for “buy in” with that approach.

Consistency is king.

“Success doesn’t come from what you do occasionally. It comes from what you do consistently.”

-Marie Forleo

Show up.

No matter how you feel.

Monday through Friday.

Rain or shine.

Show up.

And do it again.

If you want to succeed, keep showing up.

One of the greatest tragedies I see as a leadership coach is when a leader gives up, right before a breakthrough can happen.

Maybe you are about to give up right now.

Sucks for you.

The principalship you’ve wanted to land for years.

The culture you have a vision for.

The doors you want to open for your students.

These outcomes are waiting for you.

Stay the course!

Share your goals in public and measure your progress.

“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.”

-Tony Robbins

Hiding is a great way to achieve average or sub-par results.

The antidote: do your work in public.

It’s difficult to hide when you’ve told people you care about what is important to you.

I have found that by sharing my work in public, I am on the hook. I don’t want to let down the Ruckus Maker Nation. I don’t want to let myself down.

By communicating my goals in public, I add the right amount of pressure and motivation to keep moving forward.

Movement equals progress.

Progress equals momentum.

Momentum creates excitement.

It’s hard to lose when you are enthusiastic and consistently doing the work.

Inputs are sexier than outputs.

“Your input determines your outlook. Your outlook determines your output, and your output determines your future.”

-Zig Ziglar

When it comes to goals, yes consistency matters.

And yes, you should show your work in public.

No, you should not obsess with the output (or even the outcome).

You don’t control outcomes. You do control inputs.

If you want to lose weight, track what you stuff in your face, how often you move your body, and get adequate sleep.

If you want to improve student achievement, track staff training and execution of sound instruction. Implement intervention. Design authentic and interesting units of study.

If you want to achieve more success in general, protect your mind and only allow inputs that encourage, challenge, and inspire you to be better.

A solid process often leads to a solid result.

If you get a result you don’t want, make the process better. Learn from failure.

If you get a result you do want, make the process better. Learn from success.

I’d love to grow the BLBS mastermind for school leaders by 150 members.

That starts with the first smallest step.

Then the next.

And only the steps within my control.

Invest in your ability to tell stories.

“The most powerful person in the world is the storyteller. The storyteller sets the vision, values, and agenda of an entire generation that is to come.”

-Steve Jobs

Is there a company more iconic than Apple?

On January 3, 2022 Apple became the first $3 trillion company.

How did they do it?


Steve Jobs could hold an audience in the palm of his hand.

He did this by deeply understanding who Apple made products for (empathy) and communicated how Apple could add to their quality of life (through storytelling).

It’s not facts and figures that move people to action.

It’s emotion.

The storyteller knows this and leverages emotion to inspire action.

Look at any political movement, successful business, or school and you’ll see there is a powerful story at the foundation.

In Hollywood the person people seek out to learn how to tell better stories is Robert McKee. In his view, “Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today.”

Leaders are in the idea business.

If you want to improve your influence, work on your storytelling ability.

An investment in yourself is a very wise investment indeed.

“The best investment you can make is in yourself.”

-Warren Buffett

If the billionaire known as “The Oracle of Omaha” says the best investment you can make is in yourself, I listen.

I’ve heard a popular saying that “Success leaves clues.”

I love that idea.

It’s true.

When it comes to success in any domain of your life there are no “secrets.”

You can learn how to create a high performing school, just like you can learn how to make a million dollars or lose some weight around your midsection.

The question is, are you willing to learn how and act accordingly?

According to a 2020 NAESP and Learning Policy Institute study, MOST school leaders are NOT willing to learn how to create a high performing school.

Of the 407 principals who responded to the survey:

  • Only 32% spent time sharing leadership practices with peers three or more times in the past two years
  • Just 23% had access to a mentor or coach in the past two years (and only 10% of principals who served in high-poverty schools had access to a mentor or coach).
  • And 56% participated in a PLC three or more times in the past two years.

This is an epic failure and an incredible opportunity.

The fact is that most school leaders are not receiving excellent coaching and mentorship. So they keep doing the same things, experiencing the same results.

Ruckus Makers, on the other hand, do it differently.

They regularly invest in themselves. In fact, those in the mastermind invest in their growth on a weekly basis.

Imagine how much you could accomplish at your school if you gathered weekly with other hungry, innovative school leaders discussing leadership and education in depth.

Ready to Level Up?

So if success leaves clues, do you want to learn them?

Join my FREE 5-day BEST YEAR EVER challenge to learn the mindset and habits that will help you finish this school year strong.

And the best part … what you learn you can use at any time during any school year.

Join the challenge today!



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store