Are You Playing Offense or Defense


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You're listening to School Leadership Reimagined episode number 132

Welcome to the school leadership re-imagined podcast where we rethink what's possible to transform your school if you're tired of settling for small wins and incremental improvement, then stay tuned to discover powerful and practical strategies for getting every teacher in your school moving towards excellence. Now here's your host, Robyn Jackson.

Hey Builders,

Welcome to another episode of the school leadership reimagined podcast. I'm your host, Robyn Jackson. And today we are going to continue our verses series by talking about the difference between playing offense versus defense. Now before I do that, I want to tell you about a really cool experience we had a couple of weeks ago here at mind steps. So we invest pretty heavily in our own professional development. And we go to a lot of conferences, we read a lot of books, we take online courses, you know, we invest a significant portion of our budget to professional development, because we believe that the better we are, the better we can serve you. And I'll be honest, when I first started mind steps, I thought it was important for my professional development for me to go off since I was kind of the face in front of it. But I never took my team. So I'd go to a mastermind retreat. So I'd go to conferences. And I would always come back and try to tell my team what I learned. I tried to reteach it. I thought it was actually good because in teaching it or re teaching what I learned, I'd learned better. But the problem was because they weren't there, they didn't have that same experience, I was helping them learn through the filter through my own filters, rather than maybe if they have been there, they would have picked up something else. And we could have bought come back and have a bigger conversation about it.

Well, a few years ago, I switched tactics. 

I actually started closing things down and bringing my entire team for professional development. Now sometimes it was as simple as you know, we'd fly to a conference together and stay for a couple of days, sometimes and right before COVID, we were actually flying to Nova Scotia once a quarter to meet with one of our mentors, and the whole team would get together. And we would meet for three days two to three days. And that's a lot. I mean, it was it was expensive. And it meant that for those two to three days, you know, operations were essentially shut down here and mind steps. But what we gained was so valuable just having that team together, learning and thinking and stepping away from the fray, it became a part of our rhythm. Well, because of COVID, we haven't been able to do that and because of travel, but this year, we found two online conferences that were back to back. So we took a week off, we you know, shut things down for a week. And we actually attended the conference, the whole team. And what's really cool about it is that we would go to the sessions. And a lot of times, you know, we in the past, we split up but this time, we stayed together. So we went to the sessions together. And then during the breaks, we talk about it about the ideas that we learned how it applied to the work that we're doing.

It has just been incredible the energy that we've been able to achieve from having attended those conferences, the ideas, the insights, you know, one of my mentors told me one time that if you go to a conference, and you walk away with one idea that makes your business better than you're doing something, I believe that and the thing about taking the team is that if each of us walked away with one idea, then that whole one idea strategy multiplies. And so they're things that we're doing now. And quite frankly, there's some things that we stopped doing as a result of what we've learned from the conference, and it is paid off already in dividends. Now, why am I telling you this story? Well, one, you know, I like to give you behind the scenes and let you know things that I'm learning. But to I I've been thinking about that a lot with builder slack, because I know this is a really hard year. And so many of you are thinking, you know, yeah, builders lab sounds great. But let me get through this year first, and maybe I'll come in the summer. And the challenge is that if you're just putting your head down and you're just getting through this year, and you're putting off your own professional development and grow that if you never take a step back that who's guiding the ship, who's who's giving the direction to your school, and so I think you should come to build yourself I think coming in January is the perfect time for you to kind of take a step back and figure out, alright, we've learned some things we've been through part of the year, how do we finish the year strong.

I've also been thinking about how important it might be for you to bring a team. 

I'm saying that because I know it's hard, I know that, that it's hard to have an entire team admin team away from schools, especially now, January is, you know, a lot of you are preparing for exams, or maybe administering exams, if you're in the secondary level, or you are, you know, in the final stretch of work before testing. And, you know, January just may seem like an inconvenient time, and maybe you could get away But can your team? Well, I want to argue that you want to try to figure it out if you can, because if you come to builder's lab with your team, one of the things that we do is we will put you in a group by yourself. So that means that every time you learn something, and we go to breakout rooms for you to actually apply it, that's the way builder's club works, you know, you you learn something, then you go to breakout room and apply it then you learn you get a breakout room and apply it. But every time you do that, you're going to be doing that with your team. So it's not three days away, and then you have to come back and catch up on the work. know, when you're a builder's lab for those three days you are working, and you're doing the most important work that you can do as a team. And if you lead builders lab, and you have one idea, one thing that that you can take back, and it actually makes us you're better, would that be worth it. So here are a couple of suggestions. If you're thinking about if you'd love to bring your team to builders lab, one of the things you might want to think about is because it's remote, getting together and attending builders lab, at your school, so that you you boot up every day, you you put it on that way, if something happens at your school, you can one of you can kind of go out and take care of it. But the rest of you can stay and get that person caught up. And you can share the burden so that nobody is away for too long. And you still have that administrative presence in your building.

So that's one suggestion. And if you can, if there's a way for you to get away for all, all three days, all of you to get together and to be able to talk and collaborate and plan. You know, you're not learning theories and builders lab, you are learning specific strategies, strategies about how to think about the vision and the direction of your school, and then strategies to think about how to achieve it. Things that you're going to, we're going to be leading you through an exercise to help you figure out what is in your way, what's the big thing in your way. And quite frankly, it's not COVID, it is something else. And we're going to help you get to that that root cause without doing root cause analysis, so you can figure that out. So that when you finish builders lab, you have a plan you have you have some some structures in place, you've you put some systems in place, so that things go more smoothly. So I just want to make a little pitch that if you're thinking about coming to builders lab that I believe that if you can find a way to at least bring another team member with you, you can bring your whole team at least bring somebody with you, somebody that you can collaborate with during the breakout sessions, then you actually get a lot of stuff done. They really do. Now, if you're coming by yourself, don't worry, we're going to be pairing you up with people who are at the same kind of school as you so that you can learn from each other. And we've had these lifelong friendships that have happened as a result of those parents were very intentional about that. So if you're coming by yourself, don't worry, we're going to have you with other people who, who you can learn from and who can be a real asset to you become colleagues and friends. But if you have a chance to bring your team, I would encourage you to do it. Because I'm going to tell you, it's hard. I know we you know, we've had to shut things down to do it. But it is so worth it. It is it, I wouldn't go back to just doing it myself. I think having the team there is really important. So just want to put that pitch in. And now let's get to what we're going to talk about today, our versus battle.

It's really about offense versus defense. 

So recently, we were inside of build a ship University, we do these things called sprints. So if there's something that we need to build a tool, we need to build a system that we need to build. A lot of times what we'll do is we'll get together and build a ship university. Well, I'll build it together. So we were looking at how do we take some of the systems that we have in our school? And how do we simplify those systems to make them work better. And so we got together for two evening straight and the first evening kind of showed them how to do something that we call system mapping to map out what the system should look like not what it looks like now, but how to rethink those systems and simplify the systems that you have. And then the second I we were everybody kind of went off and did that work. And then they came back the next night and shared what they did. And I was giving them feedback. We were supporting each other and then talking about how to make those systems work, how to actually implement them and install them in your school. So we were doing that. And one of the builders in the group shared a system He had a system that was really about implementing certain process that they had in their school. But what's really interesting is that the system that she proposed was really designed to deal with something that she was dealing with in the school, which is that not all of her teachers were implementing the system that she proposed.

We had another builder who was trying to design a system around discipline policy, a lot of them were kind of working on their discipline policies, because they wanted to create a system that was more, you know, that served kids better get kids back into classrooms faster, wasn't as complicated, but still addressed issues. And she realized that she was trying to design a system to deal with the fact that when teachers sent kids out of the office, they often didn't have passes, not all the kids made it to the office or made it back to class. So how can I make a system to deal with that, in both cases, these builders were designing systems that were really about defense, they were trying to defend against something that was happening in their school that wasn't working, rather than a system that was really about offense, which was a system designed to move their school where they need to be. And I see this a lot, I see this all the time, people ask me questions, like, you know, what do I do about the teachers who are not planning or what do I do about the teachers who aren't standards aligned. And then they create all of these systems that come overcomplicate things, because they're trying to address what teachers are not doing. Rather than creating and designing systems that are really about moving your school forward.

All too often, we play defense, we don't play offense. 

So we'll design a discipline policy to deal with the small percentage of students who are acting out, we'll design a lesson planning strategy or a PLC meeting design to deal with the teachers who don't plan rather than the teachers who do, we will design a, I don't know, like deadlines or accountability measures in our school to address the very few teachers who are not doing what they're supposed to be doing rather than a system that really serves the teachers who are already doing what they're supposed to be doing. As a result, we design this new system, and we make the people who are doing the right work, we make their lives miserable, we make things harder for them. I remember once when I was a teacher, teachers were kind of sliding in late. And so a lot of times first period would start and their classroom would be covered. Now, I'll be honest, I was one of the guilty parties, I lived almost an hour away from where I worked. And DC, the DMV traffic around the beltway, if we had a lot of traffic, I will be calling from a car saying, Hey, I'm going to be late. But I was called in and let people know. But there are a lot of people who are late, and they weren't letting people know. And so in order to deal with that, the school instituted a new policy that said you have to sign in, in the main office by a certain time.

Now, most of the teachers were coming in on time. And the end, even if they were late, most of the teachers were conscientious enough to call ahead to let somebody know that they were late to arrange with another colleague to cover the first period, if something came up, there were just a few people. So rather than dealing with the two or three people who were kind of abusing the the policy coming in, they created a system that punished the rest of the entire staff for what two people had done. And that's an that's a, I don't know, if it's an egregious example, that's kind of we kind of know not to do that. And yet, we still do it all the time. I mean, take a look at the policies that you've put in place, maybe you're thinking teachers are not teaching with a clear learning target. So you've instituted a policy where teachers now have to post their learning target on the board. Maybe teachers are not by being clear enough to students about what the success criteria is, are. So you're, you're you're now you have a policy where I have to put the success criteria on the board. After the success criteria, my lesson plan, the students have to write the success criteria down in their planner. Is that really what we want? Or do we really want students to understand what success looks like so they know what they're working towards? And so we go in, and we mandate things and we think we're doing it for the good of our school. 

What we're really doing is defending against behavior we don't like rather than playing offense. 

So we design a discipline policy that tries to suppress the bad behavior of a few students rather than creating a discipline policy that encourages good behavior from all students. We create planning rituals, that's really what they are just, these are the rituals we want you to go through every single day at the beginning of school and they're excruciating to watch, quite frankly. But we create these planning and lessons delivery rituals because what we really are looking for is rich, rigorous instruction. purposeful instruction. And we don't think we're going to be able to get it from our teachers. So we impose what that looks like we're playing defense we're defending against teachers, either unwillingness or an inability to, to be able to plan and present instruction in particular way, rather than playing offense, which is really about helping teachers develop the will and skill they need to provide purposeful, rigorous instructional experiences for children learning experiences for children. So we are focused on you know, people come to me and they say, How do I overcome resistance? As opposed to asking the real question, which is, how do I create a place or a program that everybody will buy into, you know, I can give you strategies that can work to deal with resistance. But that is a bandaid that is defense, what we should be doing is playing offense, how do I create a space and a program and a process and a plan that actually encourages people to buy in where people are fighting to be a part of it, and want to do the work? Too often, we play defense, and we should be playing offense.

So I want to challenge you this week, to look at your work and ask yourself this question. Am I playing defense with the stuff that I'm doing? Or am I playing offense? You know, everybody's talking about this is a really tough year. And, you know, and it's tough for a lot of reasons, it's emotionally draining. We have a teacher shortage, you know, I've talked to several builders recently inside of Belgium University, who have had teachers kind of resign, you know, in the first couple of weeks of school or, or resign midea or, or tell them, I'm not coming back after the Thanksgiving break. I'm just not coming back. I've even worked in schools, where teachers will just quit in the middle of a class period and walk out and not tell anybody, or maybe on the way out in the main office, they'll say, Hey, listen, I'm never coming back. Oh, by the way, my kids are in attendance, good luck, and walk out the door. I mean, it has gotten that bad in a lot of places. So administrators are running around trying to get coverage, or they're covering classrooms themselves, or they're finding subs or doing other things that they feel like they have to do. And you're so caught up in the weeds trying to defend against what's happening, that it's hard to take a step back and say, All right, this is defense, and it's unsustainable.

How do I play offense? 

How do I put some things in place that one of the schools I've worked with early in the history of mind steps, long before all of this happened, they decided it was a high school. And it was, you know, we had a difficult population of students, and they decided, we're not using subs, we, they put a plan in place where they never called us up, because they felt like subs were disruptive to their building and for their students. And they would rather just manage the coverage themselves. Now, the principal didn't decide this, the teachers did, because the teachers understood the vision, mission and core values. And they realized that we've been using substitute teachers. And in fact, we that's actually creating some of the barriers to our achieving our vision and living out our mission and core values in our school. So they they stopped playing defense, they didn't devise a better substitute teacher system, you know, leave your plans here, or only call these three subs, or we're going to vet our subs better, or whatever would they did? They said, What if we what would happen if we just didn't have subs? What would that mean? And so they actually played on offense, they design a system where they no longer needed subs, because subs were an unknown and an unreliable variable in the work that they were trying to do. And they figured it out. And they did it. They were playing offense, not defense. I've been in other schools where, you know, instead of saying, how do we overcome teacher resistance, the builder in that school has really worked on securing buy in from every single teacher, making sure that the teacher understands the vision, the mission and the core values of the school. And the way we teach vision mission and core values at builders lab is that your vision belongs to you. That's yours. 

The mission is shared and CO created and the core values belong to your staff, because they're the main ones who are going to have to live them out every day. So they're not, you know, unanimously non negotiable. They're not really core values. So she did that work. And guess what? She didn't have to overcome resistance because there wasn't any resistance. All of a sudden, the big naysayers, the main teachers who are kind of fighting her, all of a sudden those teachers who were saying, hey, no, that's a violation of our core values. Hey, no, I believe in this mission. Yes, I'll do this work. Maybe we should do it this way. Because they believed in it because they this builder, instead of playing defense, trying to overcome resistance, she played offense and establish a vision, mission and core values everybody bought into and all of a sudden no resistance. Even when she saw some resistance kind of popping up. She would always take it back to the vision mission. core values that everybody agreed upon. And that would, that would squash it before it even became true resistance. Because she always told her staff at any point, if you no longer believe in this vision mission and core values, say so. So when people started, you know, kind of showing early warning signs of, you know, resistance, she would say, Listen, that's great, either, we're gonna have to change this behavior, or we're gonna have to change our vision, mission and core values. And when you put it like that, especially around core values that people have already said, are non negotiable.

People get back to where they need to be. They go back to those core values, if they're truly non negotiable to the people who created them. 

Whenever you point out that a behavior, or an idea is out of alignment with that, if they can see that they have a choice, do I still believe this is non negotiable? Or does this situation warrant the fact that the warrant negotiating this core value? And in most cases, people are like, no, it's still non negotiable. And so you're not checking behavior. You're simply giving people feedback around their behavior, and its alignment to your vision, mission and core values. And they make the decision to adjust their behavior. You see the difference? Defense, I'm always going to have resistance. And yes, I have a bag of tricks, I can show you different things you can say or do that. Most of the time working overcoming resistance. But defense, you're always going to be fighting resistance, because your only tool is something that that you can use once resistance shows up often says, I'm not going to wait for resistance to show up, what can I do to make resist to eliminate resistance altogether. I remember when I first started thinking about how to support my struggling students. Now I had tried a lot of stuff because I had kids who were struggling, and I wanted them to be successful. I mean, I was doing everything. Like I was almost basically one on one tutoring kids, you know, during lunch, and after school, and, you know, doing all this work to support them and making things so complicated, that I heard one of my early mentors and someone I admired to this day, Max Thompson. And he posed a different question.

You know, I'm thinking defense, how do I defend against kids who are struggling? And he proposed an offense idea? What if you prevented kids from struggling in the first place? And he introduced me to this idea of acceleration? How do you set students up to be successful? We wait, for the most part until kids are struggling. Before we do anything, we intervene, we do remediation, but the student has already failed. We're playing defense against failure. What if we played offense? What if we decided let's eliminate failure to begin with, let's eliminate destructive struggle to begin with. And I went on a quest to do that. And when I did that, I had no more failures in my class. And when I shared it with other people, and they start taking that formula, that system and putting in the place, they had no failures. I mean, imagine that I had 130 to 150 students every semester as a high school English teacher. And none of my kids were failing once I put this proactive intervention system in place, and talk to other teachers secondary elementary, middle, and when they put the system in and really work the system, they eliminate failures, you're playing offense, not defense. Think about some of the things that you're dealing with right now. And one of the things that I worry about for you is that if you buy into the narrative of a lot of schools, you have no choice but to play defense. I mean, you have to do COVID protocols. Sometimes you do have to quarantine staff. Sometimes you do have a staff member who can't take it anymore and leaves in the middle of school year, discipline incidences are up. Students are bringing presenting really unique SEL issues that we've never seen before.

Your staff is overwhelmed and tired. 

So every day when you go to work, you have a full day of defensive measures up we have another class that's closing, what do we do now? The sub didn't show up. I'll go cover the class up this teacher called out. Is he ever coming back? I don't know. So we got to find another teacher, how am I gonna find a special education science teacher in the middle of the school year up, these kids are acting out we need to do something about it. So all your entire day is a giant game of Whack a Mole. And when you go to work like that, and every day, you have no idea what's going to pop up. And so you just stand there ready so that with a big giant club so that any new challenge that pops up, you just beat it with a club. That's no fun. And how are you moving your school towards achieving your vision in the next three years, when all you're doing is whacking at the moles that show up every single day? Because of the challenges that you're facing in your school? Now I know it's hard i i am not diminishing and all the challenges that you're facing. And a lot of times when I say stuff like this, when people hear it, it causes this kind of cognitive dissonance. They're so used to that leadership paradigm of playing a good A game of defense that that when I propose to them that okay, you don't have to play defense, you could play offense. They think I'm out of touch.

I remember, a couple of weeks ago, I was talking to a group of principals about playing offense around how to help every teacher grow one level in one domain, and one year less. And this principal said to me, listen, Robyn, I get it, I think this is really valuable. But you have not been in a school since COVID. And you don't understand what we're dealing with. And I can see to the point, because I have not been a principal of a school during COVID. But doesn't mean that I am out of touch. Because instead of being in one school, where I'm just focusing on those one issues, I've been in hundreds of schools, since the since COVID, has happened. I've been supporting hundreds of administrators dealing with these problems. I've seen what works, I've seen what doesn't work, because I've been in so many schools. So when I'm telling you this, I don't want you to think I'm being out of touch. I don't want you to think I'm even beating you up. Listen, you're doing the best you can. And you were trained to do that this way. This is leadership leadership. Most leadership strategies are defense. I mean, even think about the way that we do our CIP plan, right, whatever year, what do we do, we look at last year's data, we try to find the leak in our data, but we call it root cause analysis, what we're really looking for is, alright, what didn't work last year, and then we create a CIP plan to address the problems of last year, this year, so that we can make progress. That defense, you know, when you kind of build your slab, we're going to show you often we're going to talk about the Builders Blueprint. The Builders Blueprint is not about defense, what happened last year? And how do we address those numbers this year? How do we get those last year's numbers up this year? The builder's blueprint is about saying, here's where we want to go. And if we're going to move forward to where we want to go, what's the biggest obstacle that we have to get out of our way, so that we can make forward progress, notice a difference.

Offense it's about a plan going forward, defense is about dealing with the problems that have already happened and trying to do better. 

So we were trained to think defensively, that is a leadership stance, it's really hard to recognize that you don't have to play defense, especially when so much is happening right now you're being bombarded with so many things. Every day, you're just kind of blocking all of the things that are being thrown out at you, it's hard to realize that you can step away and play on offense and move forward. And you don't have to play defense. So I get it, I get the resistance. And if you're feeling it right now, then, you know, I don't want you to, to, to feel attacked or feel threatened. I'm just saying that when you're ready, there is another way. And for every problem or challenge that you think is intractable right now, if you think about it offensively, rather than defensively, it opens up new ideas. So I started out by talking about two examples of builders who were in our sprint, and how they were playing defense, let me tell you how we started playing offense. So in the first instance, we have a lot of teachers who weren't implementing, they're not even a lot, I mean, turned out to be not as many as we thought, but teachers who weren't implementing a certain system or plan that they wanted the teachers to implement. And so the first plan was defense, okay, they don't do this, we're gonna check here. And I said, No, that's, that's about, that's more work for you. Because now you have to chase check and correct teachers who aren't doing their jobs. It doesn't solve the problem of teachers not doing their jobs, it just puts more pressure on teachers, and it creates more work for the teachers who are doing their jobs.

So what is in the way and one of the things we realized that there was really no trigger for this system, the system was in place, everybody kind of assumed it was happening, but there was no universal trigger to get the system started. So what we did is we played offense, when do we want people to do this work? And how do we create a space and environment that the work moves forward every single week, and we redesign the system, and now we're going to be implementing it and I I believe strongly that it's going to work better for the second principal who was worried about creating a discipline policy that would give kids better passes so that you could make sure they left the classroom and got to the office, we started digging deeper, and we said, what do you really want the discipline policy to do? And what you really want it to do is for students to learn from their behavior as quickly as possible to de escalate situations that are arising and to give students a really a really meaningful way of reentering the classroom and getting back to work as quickly as possible. Once we understood what we wanted, not what we didn't want, we weren't designing a system to prevent what we did want defense. Instead, we said what do we want and how do we design a system to make that behavior more likely? That changed the whole narrative around what function the discipline policy played in that particular school, and she is working on now creating a system Something that is focused on offense, not defense, she's more excited about it. Because anytime you're playing defense and you're trying to change a system, you're going to get a, a more intense glorified version of whatever it is you were doing before.

When you play on offense, you start to see opportunities where before you only saw problems.

When when you play offense, you're focused on your goal, which is less stressful than focusing on on your failures. When you play offense, you are pointed forward, you are worried about how do we make progress versus defense where you're worried about how do we stop losing progress? You know, the big difference between offense and defense is, are you playing to win? Are you playing not to lose? And as human beings, we tend to thought to default to something I wrote something down the other day, that was saying that, you know, we play defense because we can quantify what we have to lose, and not what we have to gain. And so we play not to lose rather than playing to win. And it's why so many of our schools are stuck right now. That's why, you know, when I talk to people about 100% vision, they get really nervous because they're worried that if I put 100% down, I mean, I get there, rather than thinking about how do I when they're thinking about how do I not lose face? How do I not lose ground? How do I not lose the you know, the respect of my colleagues, we play, to lose, we play defense we play not to lose, we play defense, because we we can, we can easily see what we have to lose. And we don't often think about what do we have to gain.

One of reasons why everything we do here, a builder ship University, is really focused on starting out with your vision. Because you need to know what you have to gain, you need to have that so clear, you have to be so passionate about it, that you're willing to do the work to get there, rather than worrying about losing. Most of us don't have a clear vision, we don't know what we have to gain, we haven't really thought about what that would mean for our schools, if 100% of our kids were successful in some way. And what our schools would look like and how we could design that school and what it would feel like to work in that kind of environment and what it would mean to the lives of our kids, we don't spend nearly enough time thinking about that we're always thinking about, Oh, my goodness, if I do this, then I'm going to lose another teacher. If I do this, then I won't have enough subs. If I do this, then my suspension data is going to go up.

We are playing not to lose. 

So this week, I want to challenge you. You don't if you're not ready to start thinking offensively yet, I just want you to just pay attention to whether or not you're playing defense, or are you playing offense, and the work that you're doing, how much of your day is spent playing defense versus playing offense? Then when you're ready, and you're ready to play offense, you don't have to figure it out by yourself. One of the things that we are really good about doing at builder's lab and buildership university is that we are really good at helping you see offense, helping you see the opportunities, helping you turn the challenges that you're facing into opportunities, helping you look at your challenges a different way, so that you can find a solution that actually moves you closer to your goals, rather than further away from your goals. So when you're ready, come to builders lab or join builder ship University, we'll show you how to do that. But for now, I just want you to pay attention because I bet I bet you're gonna realize you're playing defense more than you think you are. I'll tell you this last story, and then we'll close the episode for today I was I was sitting in with a group of people who are in many ways, I felt were smarter than I was more successful than I was. And we were sitting around talking about, you know, where we wanted to go our visions for for the work that we were doing. Halfway through the conversation, I'm hearing them talk about all these opportunities and all of these things that they wanted to do. And I realize these people are playing offense and I'm playing defense. That's why they're more successful than I am because these people are not playing not to lose, they are playing to win.

It was a watershed moment for me because I didn't even realize how much I was thinking defensively. And then there's a friend of mine always says scared money doesn't scale. And he's right whenever you play scared whenever you're playing defense, it's really hard for you to make progress. Yeah, you might stop the bleeding or the leaking or slow things slow that climb down. But is that really what you get out of bed every day to do to slow the decline of your school? Know, you want. You want big things for your school. You want big things for your students, you want to make a meaningful difference. Well First step, you got to stop playing defense, start playing offense. And I want you to know that when you do that, when you think that way, things change, instead of being stressed, you're excited. Instead of seeing problems, you see opportunities. Instead of instead of playing a giant game of Whack a Mole, you go from whack a mole to chess, where you are making moves. You're being strategic, you are moving forward. So this week, how often are you playing defense? And we want to play offense. Let me know, you can reach out to me on Facebook, you can reach out to me on LinkedIn, and we can get you in the right place for you to start thinking offensively about your work. Stop playing the loose, start playing to win, #LikeABuilder.

I'll talk to you next time. 

Hey, if you're ready to get started being a builder right away, then I want to invite you to join us at Buildership University. It's our exclusive online community for builders just like you where you'll be able to get the exact training that you need to turn your school into a success story right now with the people and resources you already have. You'll find our best online courses, live trainings with me tons of resources, templates and exemplars and monthly live office hours with me where you can ask me anything and get my help on whatever challenge you're facing right now. If you're tired of hitting obstacle after obstacle and you're sick of tiny little incremental gains each year, if you're ready to make a dramatic difference in your school right now, then you need to join Buildership University. Just go to and get started writing your school success story today.

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