FailForward

Author: Nelson Coulter Tackling tough tasks and challenging complex conundra is what leaders do. (The easy stuff is almost always handled down the hall or on another floor of the building.) Consequently, our work disproportionately carries higher risk levels for failure. No prob! Failure is how we learn — to improve, to adapt, to reassess, to re-engage, to re-imagine. Some failure …

SimpliClarity_NOT!

Author: Nelson Coulter Clarity and simplicity are NOT one and the same. The consequential problems we deal with, as leaders, are rarely simple. Thus, clarity is elusive. Rarely, if ever, are the solutions to our complex problem(s) clear. While we strive for simplicity and clarity, wise leaders understand that both are illusory. A similar dynamic tension exists between curiosity and knowledge. BOTH …

Downstream Leadership

Author: Nelson Coulter Our impact as leaders — in our families, in our communities, in our workplaces — is the downstream effect of our influence. Our influence as leaders is the downstream effect of the TRUST others have in us. The TRUST others have in us as leaders is the downstream effect of what they conclude from their interactions with …

Protecting Your “Why”

Author: Juliana Lingo, Director of Strategic Initiatives and External Funding, Lytle ISD Ready or not, summer flew by too fast and another school year is upon us. Each new year starts with new challenges, new roles, and new responsibilities. People who serve in education have various life experiences and paths they have taken, however, they all have a reason or “why” for continuing …

UncertaintyExposure

Author: Nelson Coulter We ALL have values, whether we know it or not. Some of us simply adopt the values we were raised with, giving little thought to them. Others of us spend a great deal of time and thought examining our values, then carefully articulating them for clarity (both for ourselves and others). Then…………Uncertainty enters the picture, like the villain in a western …

ProspectingLeaders

Author: Nelson Coulter Leaders are like prospectors. Some seem focused on looking for gold. Others, however, seem busily intent on digging up dirt, detritus, and dung. Both kinds are mining in the same medium. The difference is in the leader’s perspective. De-energizing leaders look for (and almost always find) the following: Mistakes and misses Shortcomings Scapegoats Self-aggrandizements Energizing leaders look …

LoveWorks

Author: Nelson Coulter I recently read Love Works: Seven Timeless Principles for Effective Leaders by Joel Manby (2020). In this book Manby frames his experiences as a chief executive officer of several large organizations against the pillars of love as articulated in 1 Corinthians 13 of the Bible.  My top takeaways: Think first and always of LOVE as a action verb – not …

The Lighthouse

Author: Andy Wilson I love knives, and I have a collection of pocket knives that I’m a bit proud of.  I received a gift card for Christmas, and knowing that I would be leaving Roscoe Collegiate ISD at the end of January, I decided to purchase a new pocket knife that would commemorate my time in the district.  I wanted something unique, …

FiniteLifeEnergy

Author: Nelson Coulter We are apportioned only so many days on Earth. For some, that window of life is tragically short. For others, it can approach 100 years. Regardless of how long we live, there is a finite amount of Life Energy allocated to us each day. We get to determine how to spend that Life Energy. Below are some …

LeadershipAccelerants

Author: Nelson Coulter A lifetime is too short to learn the craft of leadership. As we grow ourselves into more impactful Servant Leaders, there exists some powerful accelerants to the process: Clarity – be absolutely clear about the direction we are heading, about the outcomes we seek. The paths toward that vision will be nuanced, ambiguous, and many. The Direction, however, should …

Skeptiosity

Author: Nelson Coulter For your consideration: Cynicism = Don’t know + don’t care + not believing it Curiosity = Don’t know much about it + interested in knowing more Skepticism = Know a little already + convince me + gonna ask critical questions Skeptiosity = Curiosity + Skepticism Cynicism blocks learning. Curiosity invites learning. Skepticism calibrates learning. Skeptiosity accelerates learning. SKEPTIOSITY …

Our Village

Author: Dr. Stacy Johnson, Superintendent, Banquete ISD We have all heard “you need more community engagement” or “more community buy-in”, but what exactly does that mean? There is not just one way to define community engagement or what it should look like in your district. Community engagement should be seen as a living organism, whose needs change and vary throughout the partnership. …