5 Lessons I’m taking into 2024


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You're listening to School Leadership Reimagined, episode number 241

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Hey, builders, welcome to another episode of the school leadership reimagined podcast. I'm your host, Robin Jackson. And today I'm going to talk about the five lessons that I learned in 2023 that I'm taking with me into 2024. This is one of my favorite episodes that I do every year. A lot of times in the New Year people you know, do their lists, they're in and out lists their you know all those things. And I spent a lot of time in that time between Christmas and New Years, really reflecting on the year and collecting some of the big lessons that I've learned and reminding myself of those lessons as I go into the new year. And I always love sharing those lessons with you. When I was putting together this list, I really thought each of these really could be a podcast episode. And so at some point, I'm going to do a longer episode where I break these lessons down a little bit more. But for now, I thought I'd share with you my list. And then that way you can take these lessons and see if they are relevant to your work to your world. And if so you can apply these lessons to the work you're doing to help you be more successful as you've your vision, your mission, your core values, I found these lessons so valuable to me and so helpful to me. And I hope they do the same for you. Alright, So lesson number one. And this is one that I have been really, really struggling with all year long, because I have some goals and some things that I want to accomplish. And I'm frustrated because they're not happening in the timing that I anticipated.

And so I am one person who's really, you know, I'm always thinking about the next thing, I'm always chasing the next shiny object. And this is a lesson that I learned this year that has really kept me from chasing shiny objects, and helped me to stick with things to stay the course, even when things get hard. And the lesson is this success is simply a matter of doing the right things long enough. Misty, I think that a lot of times we expect success to happen right away, I know I do. I you know, I want Oh, this is the way I do the thing. And then I'm successful. And part of the problem is that a lot of that has been reinforced throughout my life, you know that you do something and you experience success pretty quickly. But a lot of the things that are really worth doing the things that are going to have the huge impact take more time. And so once you understand that success is just very simple. There's not some complicated formula for success. It really is a matter of just doing the right things long enough. It changes your whole perspective, right? So there are only two, there are only two parts of the formula to success. First of all, making sure that we are doing the right things. And then second of all, making sure we do those things long enough. And so I've spent a lot of time this year really simplifying what success looks like for me and for the folks inside of bu so the first part doing the right things and bu we've kind of laid out what are the right things and we've really gotten good at that and we have honed it in and it's different for each person in the sense because it depends on your vision. But once you understand your vision, we've been working really hard on something we call the one plan and the one plan lays out what are the right things, what are the things that we should be doing right Right now in order to achieve success, and we work with people, and we've got a process down, and we're actually for those of you who are in Wii U, we're going to be doing a live one planning workshop sometime in in the first quarter. So that if you've done your one plan, we can revise in a mixture where it's refined.

And if you're working on your run your one plan, we can help you walk through that process.

But the first part that one plan really defines what are the right things we should be doing. And it's, we call it a one plan, because it's one page, it's not a 20 page strategic plan. These are the most important things that if everything else were to fall apart, we know that we can achieve our vision by just doing these seven things. And so we break it down very carefully. These are the seven things they align with the seven principles of effective instruction. Once you have that one plan, you can really focus. So the first part identifying what the right things are, that's your one plan. The second part, doing it long enough, we have a three year time horizon. A lot of times we think that if we do these right things for one year, we're going to just you know, blow everything out of the water, and it doesn't work that way. Now with those of you who are in bu you know this, right, so you work your one plan, you share your vision, you you get that initial bump, right sometime, in that first school year after you start bu you, you see that initial bump, right, but we are builders. So while that bump is really gratifying, it proves to us that we can do this, it proves to us that the one plan works. We also know that that bump is not 100%. And so the real work happens after that first bump, right? So you get that bump, you know that it works, it's just proof of concept. The real work happens with maintaining that and then also closing the gap between where you are and 100%. And so a lot of people give up after the first bump, people who are builders, they get a bump, they do something, it works. And then they're like, yeah, it worked. And then they celebrate that and then ride that for the next five years, and then look up one day and say, Hey, we're not where we should be anymore, and they've experienced decline. But as a builder, you know that that first bump is just proof of concept. And then after that, that's where the work happens. That's where it really starts to get tough. 

And that brings me to my second lesson of 2023 that I'm taking to 2024, which is that it's it's easier to show up than it is to stick. Here's what I mean by that everybody gives you advice, all you have to do is show up, the hardest part is showing up. I'm not so sure that's true anymore. I think we show up all the time, every single year, we're showing up every year, we show up and we're like, Okay, this is the year we're going to do this, the hard part is sticking with your plan after the initial bump after the glow is worn off, because we're tempted, and we're trained actually to think that, okay, every year, we need something new. And one of the hardest parts about being a builder is that you're not chasing new. You see if you do the work in your one plan, and you really focus and you say this is it, this is what it's going to take, then you already have said this is what this is what it takes, this is the right work for success. Now, the second part, doing it long enough, is the hard part. Because we get distracted, we get bored. There are times when we get discouraged, because it's taking longer than we expect. I know I experienced that this year where we've committed to plan in mind steps for some work that we're going to do to really help our builders grow. And I said I'm going to do it for a year I'm going to commit to it for a year. And then I started doing the work. And about April, I got distracted stuff was happening in my you know in my life. It not bad things. Just busy things are happening in my life. I got distracted. 

And even though on the surface, I was sticking to the plan, you know, I was still doing the stuff. My heart was in edit, I checked out. And because I was playing the long game, you know this when you play the long game, the long game has peaks and valleys. So I experienced the initial peak, I got that first and Bob, I got really excited. And then I hit the valley. And I was doing this stuff that I'd always done. But now it required tweaking now it required, you know, you get that initial bump and so you're a different place. And I did I made a mistake that I caution the builders and bu not to make which is that I thought for the whole year I could do the same thing and not have to revisit it rather than thinking about those 90 day cycles. So you've heard me talk about this before right where you can't plan for the whole year you have to think in 90 day cycles, you have to go back, you have to think you have to evaluate your work, you have to look at what worked, what didn't work, do more of the stuff that worked, do less of the stuff that didn't work. I didn't do that. And so I hit a valley about April, because after that first quarter, I was like, Oh, I'm just gonna ride this to December. And it didn't work that way. And so April and May, stuff started not working the same way. Because I hadn't gone back and revisited I hadn't re evaluated, I just thought I could ride and rests, you know, on the early wins of the year. Now, so when I hit those valleys, instead of going back and doing what I know, to do what I teach other people to do, I checked out, I just gave up. I did, I walked off the field before the game was over. And I got discouraged.And it I was in a funk for probably a month. I mean, on the surface, I was still doing the work, I was still showing up, but my heart wasn't in it. Have you ever felt that way where you know, you're showing up every day, but your heart isn't in it? And you you start to question whether it's going to work and you get discouraged. And then because you know, when I get into the victim loop, those of you who are me, you all know that what I mean by the victim loop, right, you know, the the accountability loop and the victim loop. So when I start, you know, getting into the victim loop, the thing that I do is I rationalize. So I began to rationalize why, why things weren't working the way they should work. But there was no rationalization around it. It didn't work, because I didn't show up. The moment it got hard, the moment that things stopped working, as well as they'd worked before. 

I stopped showing up.

I stopped doing the thing that I knew to do. I got discouraged, I felt like I was behind. I felt like you know, the whole thing was going to fall apart because I experienced this valley. And I stopped showing up. And so that's why for those of you are in bu you know, when I tell you, you got to trust the process. I'm not just telling you words, I've experienced it. And it took a while for me to get out that funk. And then I just said trust the process. And when I did I got back into the game, I put a cape my full self into the game. And I was able to finish the year strong now did I hit all the numbers and the goals that I wanted to hit no. But I understand principle, you know, lesson number one success is doing the right things long enough. And then principle number two, you got to stay in the game you get you can't just show up and expect to be successful. So it's gonna take it's taken longer than I expected it would take. But I'm still I'm committed and recommitted to staying in the game. Because I know that if I stick with it, and I stay with it, and I do what I know to do, then I will achieve success. Now may not be on my timeline, but I will achieve it. The people who fail are the people who leave the field before the game is over. The people who fail are the people who give up, even though they know what to do, because it doesn't take the time that they expect it to take. It's not working according to their timeline, the people who give up, give up because at some point, they think they can ride. This is work every single day. You can't take that initial bump of success and think, Oh, well, I've got it now. 

Now, that is just proof of concept that just shows you that you've chosen the right things to do. But that second part, it got to do them long enough. That's the hard part. And that's where people fail. I see people who come in to be you. And they start out gung ho and they get that initial success, you know, they they create a vision they share their vision story with with their team, everybody's excited. They've got everybody kind of on the same page. And then they think, okay, good. I'm good. I've got a vision, you know, let me just go back to doing what I was doing Nope, doesn't work that way. You have to keep at it. There is work. That's why BU is a year long commitment that first you have to commit to at least a year. It's really a three year process. But you've got to commit to at least a year because here's what I know, you're going to get those initial bumps where it's designed to give you those initial bumps. But those initial bumps are not enough to sustain long term success. It takes you an entire year to put some things in place that then you can start to run on. That's why the first year BU is about establishing the things that you can rest on. You need a whole year to get those things established. The second year is about executing on the things that you established on year one in year one. So the idea around BU is that there is a time where it's not that you rest but the work changes the first year is you got to put some things in place that are missing from your school that are keeping you from achieving your vision. And a lot of people don't, don't commit to the whole first year, the moment that something happens, they get distracted. They they they get, quote unquote, behind in their work. They're like, Oh, it's time to give up.

No, no, that's the difference between being a leader and a builder. It comes down to a couple of things. As a leader, you are you are your your perspective is different than being a builder. But the other thing that separates builders and leaders is builders play the long game, and leaders give up before they have a chance to actually see the results and the fruits of their labor. And so builders are building something that will last, and leaders are just chasing the next big win. So I learned that lesson again this year. It's something I know it's something I teach other people, but I learned it personally, because I saw it in myself, I saw myself give up, you know, ride that first wave of success, and then give up. And I'm telling you, and when I got my head back together, and start it back up and may and really got focused. The rest of the year was different doesn't mean I hit every milestone and goal that I want to know. But you know what, I know that I'm doing the right work. And if I do it long enough, I'll hit it. But I got to do it long enough. Okay, so that was lesson number two. Lesson number three, is related to that. And that is that the key to finding the right data is asking the right questions. One of the biggest wins of the year for me was that for probably the last 10 years, I'm ashamed to admit I've been looking for the right data I you know, like how do I find the right data, I know that I should be making decisions that are informed by data, I know that I need to watch the data. And I've tried a whole bunch of different ways. I mean, I look, you name it, and I've tried it, I've read the books, I've created the dashboards, I've done all the things. And this is the year that I think I finally figured out how to find the right data. And I definitely am going to do a podcast on this because this is a game changer, it's been for me and those of you are in bu we're actually going to I'm going to see if I can do a module on it to help you set up your data. But that's not going to be until level five. So there's some other things you need to establish first. And then when you get to level five, those of you who are heading into level five, we're going to be looking at data and doing some work around data. And that's going to be really fun. 

But here's what I've learned. 

If you try to just look at the data, the way we were trying just look at the data, then you don't really know what you're looking at, have you ever felt that way. And then you'd look for something, somebody says, Oh, you need to look at these numbers. So you watch those numbers, but they don't really I don't know that they're game changers in the way that that that you expect them to be. I remember when I was an administrator, I was very data focused. I mean, I was doing spreadsheets and pivot tables. And I don't know that a lot of that data mattered, we spent a lot of time looking at data, and I'm not sure it mattered. I've seen some administrators, you know, create entire rooms of data and data walls, and, you know, bubble kids and kids red, green, and yellow and all of this stuff. But that data, it takes a lot of work. And it doesn't give you the payoff that you want. And this year, I've really been playing around with simplifying data. And again, I'll go into more detail what to do all podcasts about it. But here's what I've learned. A lot of times we start with the data. And what we should be doing is starting with the questions, and then asking the data questions and making the data work for you, rather than you trying to dive into the data looking for a needle in a haystack. So here's what I mean. There are some very simple questions that Richter for proposed, I don't know, 2030 years ago, that that real that we've gotten away from the first question is, what do students need to know and be able to do? Okay, and then how will I know that they know it or not able to do it? And then what will I do? When they show me they don't know it and aren't able to do it? That's about as simple as it that's what that's what it takes. That's what it takes in order to help students be successful. Hey, it's Robin here real quick. I just want to interrupt this episode for just a second because if you are enjoying what you're hearing, then would you mind sharing this episode with somebody else? 

So all you need to do is just go to your phone if you're listening to it on your phone or your podcast player, and then click the three dots next to this episode and I'll give you the option to share the episode that if you do that, three things are going to happen first, the person that you shared with is going to think you're a hero especially if They're struggling with what we're talking about right now, they're gonna love you. Secondly, you're going to feel good, because you're going to get the word out about builder ship, and start building this builder ship nation. And third, you will get my eternal gratitude because I really want to get this out to the world, and you'd be helping me out, you'd be doing me a huge favor. So please share this episode with someone right now who's who's dealing with this same issue, someone you think would really benefit. And now back to the show. So when you're looking at student data, the first question is, do you know what students need to know and are able to do? And then do you know, whether or not students know it and are able to do it? And then do you have a early warning system in place to let you know that the first sign that students aren't able to do what or don't know or aren't able to do what they should know? And should be able to do so that you can intervene? Right? That is really it. I was talking to a principal over the summer, and she was talking about how she was able to help her kids, you know, get read, start, you know, start from below grade level and get reading on grade level, very simply. And this is what she did. Every day. She says, What does it take to read on grade level? That was the first question, right? And then every day, she was assessing students on whatever the skill was that they were teaching that day. And then if they didn't know it, she was looking at, okay, how do we intervene, and then did the intervention work. And quickly, they started getting rid of interventions that weren't working, they started building interventions that were they were paying attention to what the kids needed. That's really all they did. 

And all of our kids got on grade level in a semester, just by doing that every day. And so when you're looking at your data, you have to think about your vision, what's my vision? What's my mission? What are our core values? And then every day, you're asking yourself, are we making progress towards our vision? And if so, if so, what's doing it? If not, why aren't we, we also need to ask ourselves, Is the work we're doing on mission? And then are we in alignment with our core values, it's only through questions you really made. And then you look at the data through the lens of your vision, mission and core values. That's it. That's it. If you did that, then data gets simple, the data actually gives you information you could actually use, and you can move forward faster, because you're not bogged down on a whole bunch of numbers that don't matter. So again, I'll do a whole episode on that. But we have really streamlined and simplified our data. It has made all the difference. It has made all the difference. For me, now I look at the numbers, I understand the equation behind the numbers, I know that if I just look, if I want to get ahead, this is the number that needs to move, then I focus on moving that number. And then I see progress. It's so simple now, and again, it's taken me over 10 years to figure this out. But so I'm working on some equations for those y'all and be you just know that, you know, the, when you get to level five, we're going to be really diving into your data and helping you make sense of it based on your vision, mission and core values. And because you've done all the work in levels one through four, you have some systems in place that that are giving you better data. And now we're going to show you how to take that data, simplify it into a very simple dashboard, so that you can use that dashboard to make better decisions. So now that that's coming. Alright, so that was lesson number three, that the key to finding the right data is asking the right questions. I'm really excited about that. I'll do podcasts of it later. 

All right, lesson number four, is how are we different defined terms matters. 

This has been probably the biggest lesson for me in terms of helping me to figure things out. So here's what I mean by that. You know, we talk about things like student achievement, we talk about success. We talk about culture, we talk about staff alignment, we throw these words around in education. And we think we know what they mean. But what we think they mean or what somebody else thinks they mean, totally different. And so I have really spent a lot of time this year, first of all defining terms before I do anything else. And it's helped me solve all kinds of problems. Let me give an example. I was really struggling with culture. Thinking about the idea of culture is nebulous. People have different definitions of it. Some people think culture is you know, kind of how we celebrate our wins and and mourn our losses. So old traditions. Some people think culture is really an amalgam of the personalities in the building, you know, the peel different definitions of culture. So I really sat down to start thinking about it and someone defined culture to me one of my mentors, Annie Hyman pret gave me a definition of culture that changed how I thought about culture. She said, culture is just a collection of organizational habits and the stories we tell about them. Once I understood that, so and he told me about the collection of organizational habits, and then I was thinking about it some more and doing some reading. And then I added the part about and the stories we tell about them. But once I understood that culture is habits and stories, that's it, then I knew how to solve culture problems. But if you have a messed up culture in your school, look at what are the habits, the organizational habits, what are the stories, and you change the habits, you change the stories, you changed the culture, it once culture became that simple equation, we could solve culture. And so that's where we're helping people and be you all the time. People are saying, okay, my culture starting to suffer. And then I'm saying, Okay, what are the habits that are driving this? What are the stories people are telling change your story, change the habits change the culture, it's, it's, it becomes that simple. I didn't say easy, because there is a process for changing habits. It's a process for changing stories. But it's simple. You don't have to worry about trying to figure out what to do and trying a whole bunch of things that won't work, you know, that if you're going to change corporate culture, its habits, its stories. That's it. 

And so I've been doing that for a lot of terms. You know, we talk about what is the vision supposed to do? What's the mission? What are the core values? And once we define those terms, and understood what those terms mean, then it's easy to create a vision mission and core values that mean something, right. So one of the things that I've been doing a lot behind the scenes, so be folks know, this is coming is I've been looking at some of the challenges that have come up over and over and over again, in office hours. And some of the terms, you know, like the idea around staff alignment, that's a huge thing. How do we get everybody on the same page? really defining what does that term mean? And when you can define a term, you can solve it. So for me, anytime there's a problem that I am facing, or that I'm trying to help somebody else face, the first thing I do is I say, okay, what are the what are the terms being involved? How do we how are we defining those terms? And if you can define the term, really understand what does that thing mean? What is what is it at its elemental best, then you can solve problems. So I'm going to encourage you this year, if you feel like you are working with a teacher and or your school and things are not rigorous enough. The moment you define what rigor looks like, and you help everybody else understand rigor in that way, you solved your rigor problem, because you know what I mean this, that when I used to teach rigor, once I defined what rigor was, and you know, I had for step four elements and rigor, it changed everything. Because once you understand what rigor is those four elements, then as a teacher, I can look at a lesson plan and determine whether it's rigorous, because I just need to know does it have these four things. If I'm an administrator, and I go into a classroom, and I'm trying to understand how to help a teacher, I look for those four elements, whichever one's missing, that's the one that I support the teacher with, to help the teacher become more rigorous. So it becomes so simple. But the moment that we created that definition of rigor and understood it at those four elements, rigor was easy. Defining rigor was easy. creating lesson plans around rigor was easy look, observing for rigor was easy. supporting teachers and providing professional development around rigor was easy. Helping students became easier supporting students was easier because we just understood those four elements. So once you define a term, if you're struggling with a problem, you can look at, okay, what is the problem? 

And then how do I define that you can solve the problem, it becomes so easy. 

So, in the coming year, you're going to hear me doing a lot more episodes around taking some of the most elemental problems, challenges, terms and education and breaking them down. Because once you can define it, you can solve it. And that has helped me a lot of times when I'm stuck, I sit down, I'm like, Okay, what is the real issue? And I understand that and they say, okay, so what does it mean? What does it look like? And then it helps me solve it. It's been a game changer. It keeps me from being weighed to stress, but I start getting stressed out, I'm like, Okay, what is it? And I sit down and and I define it, and the moment I define it, I know what to do just like success, doing the right work long enough. Like once I understood, okay, I'm chasing success. What does success look like? What does it mean to be successful? What does it take? Once I defined it that way? I was like, oh, okay, so first, I gotta just figure out what is the right stuff to do? And then I just have to do it long enough. And then I'll be successful. You can't stop me, after I understood that, everything else just became, Am I doing the right work? And have I been doing it long enough? And so I don't get stressed out when things don't work, I say, is this the right work? And then if the answer is yes, I still believe it's the right work, then the next question is okay, then I just need to do it longer. And I stopped getting stressed out about things. This one, it just has saved me so much stress, it saved me so much anxiety, because now I know that if I'm struggling with something, if I can understand it and define it, then it stops being a struggle, it starts being a source of anxiety. And I think for a lot of you right now, you're anxious, because you just don't know. And if you sat down and you really looked at, okay, what am I really struggling with? And what is it? What is the thing that I'm really struggling with? And how do I define it? Once you sit down and really define it, then you're like, oh, okay, that's all I have to do, I can do that. And it makes it easy. So game changer. 

All right, lesson number five. This one kind of harkens back to a lesson that I learned in 2022, that I took into 2023. And that I learned it again, at a different level. And that is, I am the biggest bottleneck on my team. And the same is true for you. Here's what I mean by that, you know, whenever you are in charge, you are the person you know, at the front, you're the you know, the principal or the superintendent, then the end the vision because the vision belongs to you, the mission is created, the core values belong to your team. But you often have an idea and a better understanding of your vision than anybody else on your team. And the frustrating thing is that you are trying to communicate your vision, you know, you share your vision story, you don't once, maybe do it twice, and people get really excited about it. But when it comes to executing on your vision, people are lost, people aren't sure what to do, people don't do it the way you want it to do. So you jump in and you try to do it. And the biggest difference between being a leader and a builder is that a leader, everything falls on you. But as a builder, you build, but you also build other builders, one of the things you are tasked with building is not just your vision, but building other builders of your vision. And so one of the things that I really struggled with was that I was trying to do everything. And so my team was trying to do everything.

And one day, I had this epiphany after looking at data after defining terms after you know, really getting that clarity, you know, with the other four lessons, and I realized that everybody on my team was kind of had their finger in everything. And what I needed to do was have everybody own one piece of data, own one question, own one thing, the moment I did that, I said, this is what I own, this is what you own, this is what you own. And our meetings changed. Rather than having a meeting where everybody was trying to solve everything, and I was jumping into everything. Now we have meetings where we are going through our the, you know, the few pieces of data that we focus on every single time. And everybody is responsible for that data doesn't mean that they are the only ones working on that data point. But they are the ones responsible for tracking that data. They are the ones responsible for thinking about ways to improve that data. They're the ones responsible for making sure that the work gets done. And it's really empowered my team to step up. 

It's really empowered my team to take charge, they are now builders. 

And so one of the reasons why in Bu the level four work is really around building other builders is that once you get the systems in place, once you get all the pieces of the process in place, then the last step so that you're not the only one controlling all these systems is that you now have to take that data point that system that thing, and you now need to give somebody else ownership of it. You are ultimately in charge of coordinating and making sure everything gets done doesn't mean you own every aspect of your job. And so if one of the things on your one plan is that teachers are planning in a particular way, then somebody needs to own that somebody needs to be tracking it are teachers planning that way, somebody needs to be thinking about ways to help more teachers plan in a particular way. 

If part of your one plan and your success to move to move to move the work forward is that you are giving students more frequent feedback through student student conferencing, then it doesn't mean that you have to run around and sit in every student conference or check to make sure that every conference is happening. Who what why One person in your building is best positioned to be in charge of that. They own that they track that day that that's what they are thinking about. And so rather than you being the big brain, you know, the the epicenter of your school and having brain tentacles that go out and connect with other people, you become a collection of big brains that come together, you can do more that way. And in the past, I've always thought that a lot of us were afraid to let go of control. And so we feel like we have to do everything because we're the ones in charge. I've since revised that, I don't know that we're afraid to let go of control. As much as we don't know how to do it. In the options that I've done in the past have never worked, right. So either I assign or quote, unquote, delegate something to something that somebody else, but they don't really own it, and then I'm checking in with them. And then I'm frustrated. And I feel like even though I've delegated it, I still have a hand in what they're doing. And so it doesn't feel like I've actually offloaded that work off my plate, or then I get frustrated. And then I say, I'm going to offload this entirely you take it on, and what I've done is abdicated my responsibility. But I've never learned how to set up structure. So other people can own the work. And I can still be roped in looped into what they're doing, I can still have input. And I can trust them that when they own the work, they're going to get the work done the way it needs to get done. Now I do. So that's what level four BU is all about. And so those of you who are NBU, when you get to level four, that's the whole, that's the whole thing that's really about building other builders. And by the time you're done with level four, you now have a strong team in place that you can trust to get the work done. And that frees you up to do some of the other bigger thinking that that you need to be doing as the principal or the superintendent. And so that lesson has been that's you know, level four took a long time for us to develop the you know, for those of you around and be you just know that level four took a while. But we finally have it straight now. And it's good. And in the process of building level four, I've actually applied it to my own work and my own team. And as a result, the team is just, it's just I don't know, it's clicking with Greece right now, we're just doing so well, because I finally not delegate it, not abdicate it, but really built other builders who, you know, I can trust who are co workers with me. So it doesn't feel like I'm doing all the heavy lifting by myself anymore. And that's a really good feeling.

So those are the five lessons, I'll recap, you know, lesson number one, success is simply a matter of doing the right work long enough. And lesson number two, the hardest part is not showing up. It's staying, it's sticking when things are hard. It's the long enough part. And so you've got to just do that, you've got to stick with it long enough, you can't ever leave the field early. That's why you lose, you lose. When you leave, you give up you lose when you stop trying. As long as you are continuing to do the work and to try, you will succeed. Number three, the key to finding the right data is not diving in the data, it's really asking the right questions, starting with the right questions, so that you can make the data serve you really important. Number four, how you define terms matters. If you really want to solve a problem, the first step to solving it once and for all is defining the terms involved. And then the last one, you are probably the biggest bottleneck in your school right now. And when you stop delegating, or abdicating or just doing it all yourself, and start really investing and building other builders, you stop being the bottleneck, and your school can just soar because there are other people who own the work alongside you.

Now, I know those are pretty complex concepts.

I thought about giving you some, you know, fortune cookie platitudes. But you all you all deserve more than that. So just know that throughout the year, I'll be doing some podcast episodes on some of these concepts where I break them down a little bit longer, those of you and be you, we're putting modules in place that address these concepts so that you'll you'll have the training, you need to be able to apply these in your work, because they've been game changers for me this year, and I want you to have access to them as well. So that's it for today. Now, I would love to hear what are some of the big lessons that you are taking into 2024? If you wouldn't mind, would you go to the school leadership reimagined Facebook group and we're going to start a thread there and then you can share your lessons I'd love to hear what you're learning what what are some of the big takeaways from the first half of the school year for you? And so together we can take the collective wisdom, stop wasting time and and start doing the work that really matters because we are learning lessons and apply those lessons to our work. Like builders. 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 builder ship 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. Inside, 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 bill to ship University. Just go to build a ship university.com and get started writing your school success story today. Hey, it's Robin here. And I want to thank you for listening to today's episode.

If you have a question about today's episode, you just want to keep the conversation going. Did you know that we had a school leadership reimagined Facebook group, all you need to do is go to Facebook, join the school leadership reimagined Facebook group. Now there are going to be a couple of questions that we asked at the beginning because we want to protect this group and make sure that we don't have any trolls come in and that it really is for people who are principals, assistant principals, district administrators, so make sure you answer those questions or you won't get in but then we can keep the conversation going. Plus we do a lot of great bonus content. I'm in there every single weekday so if you have a question or comment about the episode, let's continue the conversation. 

Join us at the school leadership reimagined Facebook group and I'll talk to you next time.

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