- School Leadership ReimaginedHow to Detoxify Your School Culture

The Most Powerful Way to Motivate Anybody

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You're listening to the School Leadership Reimagined Podcast, episode number ​​​​​eight.

Welcome to the School Leadership Reimagined 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. ​

Hello there, and welcome to another episode of school leadership reimagined. I'm your host, Robyn Jackson, and today we're going to be talking about how you can detoxify your school culture, and we started talking about this topic in episode seven where we looked at the six early warning signs that your school culture was turning toxic, so if you haven't had a chance to listen to that episode, I encourage you to go back and listen to that episode.

At some point in this episode, we're going to be looking at a really powerful process to address radicating toxicity for good. Now I'm going to warn you that this episode is going to be a little dense, but I want you to stay with me because in this episode I'm not only going to show you the theory about how you can detox by school culture, but I'm also going to explain the exact process and then I'm going to give you a couple of really practical examples from schools where I've worked to show you how that process works. And then finally, today's Freebie is an opportunity for you to go step by step through the process. So it's a pdf that contains all the steps in the process so that you'll remember it. So that's what we're going to be covering today. 

But first I want to tell you a story.

A couple of years ago I was feeling really run down and I mean kind of sluggish. I've been traveling a lot. I've been eating an airport and I wasn't really taking care of myself. So my sister, who is, you know, the health guru in our family, she suggested that I go on a detox now. I had never been on a detox before, so it sounded like a really good idea, in a really great way to get my health back on track and kind of fast track that, that healing. So I agreed to go into detox and then she told me the rules and the rules were no meat, no sweets, no dairy, no eggs, no fish, no bread, no soda, no coffee, no tea, no Jews had to drink nothing but water and I had to do it for 21 days and suddenly her idea of a detox didn't feel like such a good idea, but she kept talking to me about all the health benefits and I was feeling kind of rundown so I agreed to try it.

It was really tough. I gotta tell you I had to make everything from scratch. There was no fast food, convenience foods. Eating out was a real pain because I had to search hard to find something on the menu that I could eat and you know, I was telling myself, you know, look, my, my body is healing itself and I actually did feel better than I've felt in years. But to be honest, most days I just really wanted a soda or some chocolate or some bread, bread and butter. That was so hard. And so what I would do is I a console myself by thinking about all the things I would eat once a [inaudible] days were over and sure enough when the 21 days were over on day 22 out, woke up that morning and I was downright jubilant and I went downstairs to the kitchen and I immediately made myself some waffles with some maple syrup and a nice warm cup of coffee.

And then an hour later I was miserable and my stomach was a little upset. My joints ache had a slight headache. It seems like after 21 days of no sugar, no white flour, my body had finally reset itself. And then the moment I started feeding it those things again, my body immediately became inflamed. Basically. I had re toxified myself. I hated the way that I was failing. But. But here's the thing, I also hated how hard was to eliminate just about everything that I was used to eating from my diet over the previous 21 days. So why did I do well? I told myself that I would do better, but eventually I slid back into my old eating habits and over time I just got used to feeling bad and feeling bad or are slightly run down. Just became my new normal.

Now what does this have to do with detoxifying your school culture?

My little sad story of my failed detox. Well, a lot of us deal with toxic cultures in the exact same way that I did my 21 day detox. I mean we realized that we have toxicity in our cultures. So we do a clean sweep and we try to eliminate everything that looks like it might be hurting our culture. We make up new rules, we established new protocols. We reformulate steering committees are monitoring committees or liaison committees, you know, just committees upon committees. And we do all this to try to track our progress. And then we institute all these new rules, these new programs. And on and on and on. And the problem is it's not sustainable. I mean you may be able to radically overhaul culture all at once, but I've never seen it. And, and, and usually it doesn't work that way. So today I want to talk about another, I think more powerful way to detoxify your culture for good.

But before we dive in, I want to mention that today's episode is sponsored by my book, the Instructional Leader's Guide To Strategic Conversations With Teachers. Not if you're having trouble confronting people about their behavior or having really difficult conversations with teachers. Then you want this guide because this guide is going to help you do that in a way that helps people take ownership over their own behavior and ultimately change their behavior for good. So it has a step-by-step conversational framework for all four conversations. It shows you how to choose the right conversation based on your goal and on the will and skill of the people that you're dealing with. And it's very, very practical. So not a lot of fluff, just a simple guide that shows you how to have difficult conversations with people whom you supervisor with whom you work, and you can get a copy of this book by visiting Mindsteps Inc.com/conversations. That's mindsteps m i n d s t e p s inc I n c.com/conversations.

OK, let's dive in...

Now, as I mentioned before, the way that most of us attempt to detoxify our cultures is that we try to address everything at once and we try to do this, this clean suite, and that may actually change things for a minute. Most of the time it doesn't, but sometimes you may actually change things, but over time we slip back into our toxic habits and soon our cultures are re toxified and yes, that's the word I looked it up. Re toxify. So there's a better way. There's a better way to detox your culture and make it stick, and it has to do with finding and changing a core habit. You see, culture is simply a collection of organizational habits. I loved when I first met him this and made it so simple for me, instead of culture being this black hole, it's really just a collection of organizational habits.

I mean, think about that for a second. It's so simple, isn't it? I mean, our culture is a collection of the habits of the organization, which means that if we have a toxic culture, then basically what we have is the collection of individually toxic habits. So if you want to change your culture, you need to change your habits. Sounds simple, doesn't it? While it gets even better, you see, every organization has a group of habits and it can be very overwhelming to try to change all of those habits at once. It's kind of like my detox and just eliminating all those foods in ones who can, who can sustain that? You may start out doing it, but it's really hard to make those changes last over time. So here's what you do. Instead of trying to change all the habits you need to focus on the root habit that's exerting a disproportionate influence on your culture.

So let me show you what I mean. You see, when I was on my detox, I eliminated everything, but in reality, the thing that was making me feel the worst, the thing that had the greatest impact on how I felt on my weight, on my joints, felt all of that. The thing that had the biggest impact on that was sugar. Sugar is ground zero for me and my health, so instead of eliminating everything for good, I really just need to focus on eliminating or at least drastically reducing sugar, and when I did that, I immediately felt so much better. So 80 percent of the results that I was seeing on the detox were coming from 20 percent of the things that I actually eliminated. Sugar was one of them. It doesn't mean that the other things didn't need to be dialed back as well, but if I dial those back and I don't do all this sugar in my diet, I'm not going to see big results or at least not see the results that I'm looking to see.

Now, the same is true for your culture. There may be a lot of toxic habits in your culture currently, but I bet there's one big habit that's exerting a disproportionate influence on your culture and it's feeding a lot of those toxic habits that are happening in your culture. That big habit, and I call it the core habit, is a routine behavior that's repeated so much that it's become unconscious and it's become an unconscious response to some sort of trigger. Most people don't even realize they're doing it. Most people don't even realize that they're behaving in a toxic way, but when they respond in a particular way, they get rewarded for that response somehow and so on. A daily basis. Schools engage in dozens of organizational habits and many of them are toxic, but rather than trying to tackle all of them, and once you really just need to spot the core habit, the habit that's at the root of all of your toxicity, and if you can change that habit, you can detoxify your culture.

So the first step is...

you've got to spot the core habit and the easiest, most straightforward way that I know to uncover the core habit is to use a process similar to the one I teach on how to uncover the root cause of a teacher's practice. And here's how it works. So first you list all of the organizational habits that you can see. It can be anything from the habits you have around communicating with each other to the habits you have around running meetings or the habits that you have around dealing with student discipline. Whatever your organization will have his are just make a list. Just go for broke.

Then I want you to look for the habits that are toxic. For instance, you might find that in your school when students come to class late, they're publicly shamed. You know, teachers might facit students in front of the entire class or being late, or teachers get fussed at the attendance office before they ever get to class. And this public shaming for late students has become an organizational habit. So what I want you to do is I want you to write that down, or maybe you notice that your school has fallen into a habit of using team meetings to complain about kids that's pretty toxic, right? So write that down and then once you have your list, the next step is to go through that list and try to figure out which of those habits is creating the greatest amount of toxicity in your building.

So again, I'm going to reference the 80/20 rule, but you've heard, we've all heard about that and the idea is that 80 percent of your results usually come from about 20 percent of your efforts. So that means that 80 percent of your toxicity is coming from 20 percent of your organizational habits. So if you can figure out which of your habits is having the greatest impact in creating a toxic culture, you found the core habit and that's the habit that you want to focus on first. Once you've identified the core habit, the very next step is to break it down so that you can understand it and you can figure out how to dismantle it. So that's how you break a habit, you break it down into three parts, and then you tweak the three parts of that habit to create a new habit. Now stay with me. I'm going to explain exactly what I mean.

So we're going to get a little technical...

because I need to talk to you about the theory, but once you understand this, you have the key to breaking toxic organizational habits and creating more healthy habits and thus a more healthy culture. So here's how it works. A habit is made of three parts. Those are trigger. There's a response, and there's a reward. Now the trigger is what starts to habits. So the first thing you need to understand when you're breaking down a toxic habit is to figure out what's the exact moment or the exact event that triggers a toxic response.

And if you can understand the trigger, then you can isolate when and where toxicity is happening so that you can address it and you can prevent a toxic response. So this guy, Charles Duhigg, and I hope him saying his name right, he wrote a book called the power of habit. And I love this book, I think I put it on the mindsteps summer reading lists and last year, the year before know, I don't know. Anyway, I'll link to it in the show notes, but his book is all about how habits are formed and how to break bad habits. And one of the things he talks about a lot in this book is about triggers and he's actually identified six common triggers that trigger could be a time of day.

So is there a toxic habit happening in your building at a particular time of day or location is another trigger. So are people engaging in toxic behaviors in a particular place in your school building? It could also be emotional state, like do people turn toxic when they get stressed out or it could be other people. So are certain people more likely to engage in toxic behaviors when they're around other people? Um, so that could be a trigger. And then the last trigger is immediate preceding action. So time, location, emotional state, other people immediately proceeding action. So you want to ask yourself just before the toxic behavior Kurz, what time of day is it, where our teachers, what is their emotional state, who else is around, what do they do right before they started the toxic response, and that way you can isolate the things that trigger the toxic behavior. And this is really important because if you can figure out what is triggering the toxic behavior in your building, then you can intervene right before the behavior happens and that will help you eradicate that behavior for good.

So if you try to intervene after the behavior, it's, it's too late. So if you can find the trigger, you have a chance to stop toxic behavior before it even ever happens. I mean, that's powerful, isn't it? So that's a trigger. Now, in addition to the trigger, you also have a toxic response and a toxic response is how people react to the trigger. And typically the reaction to the trigger is what creates the toxic behaviors that make an entire culture toxic. So ask yourself when the trigger happens, what is the pattern or the response to that trigger? And here is where you find the toxic behaviors. Now, a lot of times the response begins innocently enough, I mean it may have started out as a way for people to handle a very real problem that they were facing and so their response may not have been the healthiest way of dealing with the trigger, but that's what they did and it worked for them for some degree.

And the problem is, is that over time that response becomes so ingrained that it becomes unconscious and it becomes a habit. And then people just assume that that response is the correct way to proceed, to think, to feel, to act, to respond to a trigger. That response has become the norm and it's considered the acceptable response to that trigger. So that's why it's so important to understand what is the response because that's the behavior that you're going to look to change when you detoxify your culture. Now the last part, so you have the trigger, you have the response, and the third part of a habit is the reward. The reward is what people get out of responding to the trigger in a particular way. It's, it's why people keep responding the way that they respond, they're getting something out of it and rewards can be emotional, that it can be psychological, they can even be physical.

Now, this is where it gets really interesting...

because people behave in unhealthy or toxic ways because they're getting something out of that behavior. They're being rewarded in some way and it's hard sometimes to see that, especially when they're behaviors seem to be hurting more than helping, but trust me, people are getting some reward from their bad behavior or else they wouldn't be behaving that way. So ask yourself, what are people getting out of responding to the trigger in such a toxic manner? When you break down a toxic habit this way, by looking at the trigger, the response and the reward will you can figure out how to dismantle it for good. I know that's a lot of theory, but why don't we go through a couple of examples so you can see the process in action. You can see how it actually works.

The first example I'm going to share with you is an elementary school that I worked with a little over a year ago. When I first started working with them, I wasn't even focused on culture. I was trying to help them increase the rigor of their instructional program, but after working with them for about two days, the principal pulled me aside and said that as much as they were enjoying the material, they realized that they couldn't implement any of it and I asked her why and she said our culture is just not ready, and have you ever said that or have you ever felt that like your culture wasn't ready for the initiatives or the transformation that you wanted to take it through? Well, it can be really defeating, especially when you're excited about what you want to do, but you feel like your culture is not ready. So I asked her what she meant and she told me that right now they were battling a toxic culture. There was this mentality with the teachers where they were blaming the kids and they had really low expectations for students.

I mean, the teachers yelled at the kids constantly and it was really horrible and so I asked her, what's stopping you from addressing this toxic culture right now? Well, she sighed and then she told me that she'd been trying to address it ever since she took over the school last year. She tried everything she could think of to fix the culture. She'd had someone come in. They did their Myers Briggs types. She. She brought in donuts and had donuts in the in the staff lounge. Every Friday she tried to highlight, you know, what was good and what was some of the bright spots that are happening in the building and she tried to build all this trust and rapport, but nothing was working. As an aside, can I just say this because I'm going to do a sidebar for a second because I just need to say this.

Listen, you can never heal a toxic culture with donuts about trying to be flippant here. I'm being deadly serious. A lot of people try to go in to a toxic culture and they try to do all these feel good activities in order to make the culture work, but donuts are not going to heal a toxic culture. So let's talk about what will. So I suggested to her that we deal with our culture and we sat down with her admin team and our instructional coaches and we started listing all of the toxic habits that were currently happening in her school and there are a lot, but then we went through them one by one to figure out what the core habit was and it was about an hour of discussion. We thought we have one habit. Then we say, yeah, but that really is because of this other thing.

And so we went back and forth and finally we came up with what we thought was the core habit and the habit then we initially came up with was that teachers were yelling at students and it was pretty pervasive. I mean the teachers were really mean to the students and they yelled at them constantly throughout the day. So the leadership team and I tried to identify the trigger, what was happening before the teachers started yelling at students, when would teachers start yelling at students? And so what we did is we spent the day observing. We went into classrooms, we looked at teachers on the playground, we looked at before, care after care in the hallways, and what we're trying to do is figure out what the teachers were yelling about. And when they escalated from a simple request to yell it, can I just tell you, it was so painful to watch because the teachers were yelling at the kids almost constantly.

It's just so hard to sit there and observe. But after a few hours of watching a patterns started to emerge, you know, the teachers would start yelling at students when they gave students instructions and then the students either asked a clarifying question or they were confused. They didn't move right away. And the more confused the students became, the more the teachers started yelling. And the reason the students were confused was that teachers were giving students really unclear instructions was if the students were expected to read the teacher's mind and when they didn't, they got yelled at. So we had a trigger and we had a response and now we need to figure out the reward. So the trigger was teachers were giving students instructions and the students would ask clarifying questions when we get confused about the instructions. And then the response was teachers would yell at the kids and blame the kids for not moving.

So now we had to figure out what's the reward.

And that one was hard because we couldn't fathom what reward teachers were getting from yelling. In fact, the yelling seem to make things worse for the teachers and for the students. But the more we watched, the more we noticed. Something really interesting. You said the teachers were given instructions, the students would then get confused. And then there was a moment when the teacher realized that the reason the kids were confused is because they hadn't given clear instructions. And instead of taking ownership, the teachers would just blame the students. So what they were getting out of it was that when they yelled at the kids, they could transfer the blame to the kids and not have to deal with the fact that they were giving really horrible instructions to students. Now here's where it gets fascinating.

I asked the administrators what happened in their district when teachers were under performing and the administrator is explained that the district was coming down really hard in a school right now because it had been under-performing for quite some time and in fact they were being threatened with state takeover if they didn't get their act together. So when teachers didn't perform the administrators or the state, we're bring everyone into the media center after school for an emergency and I'm using air quotes here at an emergency faculty meeting where they would scold the teachers for not doing enough. And if a teacher was struggling, the administration would immediately put that teacher on a performance plan and there'll be all these dire consequences if the teacher didn't perform. So the more we talk, the more the pattern became clear. They had a culture of punishment the teachers were doing to the students what the administration had been doing to the teachers and what the district had been doing to the administrator, and it was just, it was really toxic chain all the way up to the district and as soon as that didn't work out or things didn't work out, people will get blamed and they would get punished.

So how do we fix it?

Well, honestly it wasn't easy. We did a couple of things that, that made a huge difference though. And I want to tell you about that. So first we identified what we wanted teachers to do differently or what was the new habit? Now in this case, it wasn't as simple as saying the new habits should be not to yell at the kids. We'd already done that and it hadn't worked. The administration had been telling teachers stop yelling at kids that wasn't working. So we focused on what we wanted teachers to do instead. And here's what we came up with. So first the big trigger was when teachers were giving instructions. That's what a lot of the yelling took place right after those instructions, but the problem was that their instructions weren't clear, so we had to find a way to help teachers give instructions were clearly and so what we did is we use a very simple framework for giving instructions who, what, when, where, and how, and we gave them training on this.

We train them on how to give clear instructions by having them answer the five big questions. Who's involved? What is it that you want them to do? Where do you want them to do it? When do you want him to do it and how do you want them to do? It almost seems too simple, but this is what we did. So if a teacher wanted students to lineup after recess for instance, instead of saying everybody line up, now they would say, fifth graders, please get into a single file line right here behind me. I want the lines straight and there should be no talking. You have five seconds starting. Now. There's something different between everybody line up and that clarity and guess what? The kids follow the instructions or if they wanted students to like get into the reading groups for instance, instead of saying, get into your reading groups now or all right, when it's reading time, everybody get into your groups.

We taught the teachers to say, it's time for reading. I'm going to call each group by name and when I do, I want you to take your reading book, go to your reading group area and sit quietly in a circle. Open your books to page 36 and start reading, and then once every group is starting to read, I'll be circulating among the groups to work with you individually. I mean, again, it's almost too simple, but just by changing their habit about how they gave instructions to students, it reduced the trigger from occurring nearly so often, but there are times when students still didn't follow directions. So we instituted the next habit to help teachers address that instead of punishing students for not following the directions. We taught the teachers to reward the students who did follow directions. So just those two tweaks reduce the yelling significantly, but we didn't stop there.

Remember, we discovered that it wasn't just the teachers who are yelling at kids. The real problem was that the entire organization was really, really punitive, so we also worked with the Admin team to change their habits and instead of calling a meeting every single time something went wrong, they started calling meetings to celebrate their successes and to reward people for what was working and they intentionally focus on the bright spots each day. So that meant that they started collecting bright spots, moments when things were going well and every day, and they met once every single day and they started every meeting by sharing something that was working in the schools. Started sharing a bright spot. So when they stopped by classrooms and they gave teachers feedback, they also give teachers feedback on what was working in addition to pointing out, well wasn't working. Now, over the course of a few months, the culture started to shift significantly instead of being rife with negativity and how the culture was focusing on the positive and that led to less yelling, less, taking out frustrations on kids, less blaming of the kids and more taking ownership.I'm telling you, it was almost magical and just by making those feelings simple shifts in the culture, we were able to do that and the reason we able to do that is because we looked at the trigger, we looked at the response and we looked at the reward and in those three things we found opportunities to make really simple shifts in the culture that detoxify that school culture.

Now, would you like another example...

because I've got one for you. I want to talk to you about a high school that I worked with several years ago and in high school the culture is a little different. It was still toxic, but this time it was a lot of infighting among the staff. You know, they just didn't work as teams. They're all these personal feuds going on between groups of teachers. This group of teacher in that group, a teacher, and then what made it worse was that there was a really vocal group of teachers and they were running the school.

Now one of those teachers who was at the lead of that group of bully teachers was the union rep for the school and he was mean. I mean it was. It was really, really mean, and he would try to bully the principal into doing exactly what he wanted and when the principal didn't do what he wanted, he would get the teachers all riled up and maybe sometimes get the union involved and make all these threats and it gotten to a point where any time the principal tried to get any initiative going, I don't care how good it was or how beneficial it was. This guy would try to shoot it down in the staff meeting and everybody else would just kind of get quiet and go along with whatever he said. So when I first started working with the school, the principal told me that he really wanted to increase the rigor in the classroom, but he was worried that if he did a school wide training on rigor or if you require teachers to plan in a highly rigorous way, he would get a lot of pushback from the union.

I mean, that doesn't make any sense, right? Like we all want bigger, but he was afraid to institute it because these people were just fighting him even when it was something good and beneficial for kids. So after doing a walk there with them, I told him, I'm going to be honest with you, you gotta really toxic culture happening here. And he agreed with me. Have you ever walked into a school and you could just feel the negativity like vibrating off of the. That was this school. So I suggested that in addition to rolling out rig​or and the school that we needed to do a little detoxifying first. He was skeptical. I mean after all toxicity has been happening for so many years at this point that he thought the only way to detoxify the culture was to get rid of the union rep and he couldn't get rid of the union rep.

​So he thought he was just kind of stuck with this guy and the toxicity. That was just kind of pervading the whole culture. And I told him, look, you're not going to get rid of that union rep, so we need to neutralize the control that he currently has on your culture. So again, what we did is we started by trying to figure out the core habit, and this is really hard because it seemed as if the trouble really centered around one person, not a habit. So it took us awhile to figure out the core habit, but the more we dug, the more we realized that there was a habit of people immediately rejecting any new idea and defending the status quo even when the evidence was clear that the status quo just wasn't working out. Does that sound familiar to any of you are in it?

You dealing with that right now in your school where where people are satisfied with the status quo, even though the status quo isn't serving all kids or when people protect the status quo because they're protecting their needs and not thinking about the kids needs. That's what was happening in this school. So we started looking for triggers and again, it was really hard because it seemed like people were resisting everything and it was hard to kind of figure out what was the trigger. But the more closely we looked, the more we realized that the trigger was any kind of public announcement from the administration you see there was this real us versus them thing going on at the school. So whenever the administration would convene everybody together and address them, or whenever the administration sent out an email to the entire staff, they immediately reacted in this us versus this evil administration ideas.

So what we had to do was we had to figure out how to overcome that. And what we realize is that when the principal worked with teachers one on one, he didn't have the same kind of resistance. It was only when he worked with them as a group. So see how understanding the trigger can be really valuable in helping you dismantle this habit that's holding you hostage. So the next step was to figure out what was the reward. And there were several rewards that we came up with. One reward was that people got to feel like they were part of a group and they felt empowered by being a part of that group. I mean, who doesn't love sticking it to the man every now and again, and that's what they felt like they were doing every time they resisted the administration, but the other reward was that teachers didn't feel the discomfort of changing and that one was really powerful as well.

So here's what we did...

First we stopped exposing people to new ideas for the first time in a group setting. Instead the principal would share any new initiative or anything it was thinking about doing to move the school forward. He would do it in small groups or he would do it individually and he would do it in a way that felt more collegial. So instead of saying, here's what we're going to do, he would talk about the problem you wanted to solve and then propose a solution using language that was in a little bit more tentative. You'd say things like, I'm thinking about doing x, y, and z. What do you think? Rather than saying outright, here's what we're doing, and just that one shift really started to shift the culture. So first he found out that when he met with people individually that a lot of people were more willing to speak up and they were.

When they spoke up, they were saying things like, I don't always agree with the vocal few that we're. We're kind of controlling everything. In fact, a lot of the staff felt really bullied by that group and the same way the principal felt bullied by them, but when he started talking to them in small groups or individually, they started to speak up and they started to show their support for what the principal was doing. So that was really helpful. But what's more by talking to the head of the bully group before the staff meeting and sharing his ideas, the principal gave the bully a chance to react and private and one on one made it easier for the principal to hold his ground and not back down versus the principal and the entire staff. So what he would do is he call in that union rep and he say, here's what I'm thinking about doing and here's the problem, I think it will solve what do you think?

And the union rep might say, I think it's a terrible idea, but they can battle it out behind closed doors and then at the end they can work out an agreement so that when the principal announced things publicly, he could have the bullies. Support was amazing. How this one little shift shifted the entire culture and that's a thing you really don't have to change everything in order to detoxify your culture. If you focus on refining and changing the core habit, you can kill the toxicity at the root and you can change your culture for good. Now, I know today was a little more dense than usual, but if you had to walk away from this, this episode with just three things,

​Here's what I want you to remember...

The first thing is that culture, any culture is simply a collection of organizational habits. That means that if your culture is toxic, it means that you have a collection of toxic habits that have taken over, and if you want to change your culture, you simply have to change the organizational habits that are contributing to the toxicity.

The second point is that you don't have to change all the toxic habits in your organization in order to turn things around. If you can find the root or the core habit, the one thing that's responsible for the majority of the toxicity in your school and if you can change that, you can dramatically shift your culture.

And the third point is this. The secret to changing the core habit is to break it down so you have to the trigger, the response, and then the reward and if you understand what's triggering the current toxic behaviors, and then you give people a new behavior to choose in response to that trigger and then you reward the new behaviors right away. You can detoxify your school or your organization for good. 

So if you want to use this process to detoxify your own culture, don't forget about today's Freebie. It's a pdf and it's going to take you step by step through this process so that you can identify the core habit and break the toxic behaviors in your school. For good, you can get today's Freebie by visiting school leadership reimagined.com/episode eight, that school leadership reimagine.com/episode eight, and there's always you have any questions about this week's episode? Feel free to hit me up on linkedin and we're not so connected on linkedin than stop whatever you're doing right now, find me at Rob​yn Jackson on Linkedin and let's connect and stay connected. Also, want to hear your success stories. If you try this out and it works, please, please, please let me know because I think there are a lot of toxic cultures out there and we need to be dismantling those all over the world. So let's get together. Let's commit to detoxifying our cultures for the benefit of our schools and for the benefit of our students and quite frankly for our own benefit as well.

So there's one more thing that I want to talk to you about...

before we go and that has to do with a question that I get asked a lot, so a lot of people come up to me and they say, I want to be a consultant or I want to start my own education consulting business and if you've ever thought about doing that, but you weren't sure how to start or how to get started or you weren't even sure if he had an idea that was good enough to build a consulting practice or business or career around, then I'm going to invite you to an upcoming five day challenge that I'm hosting. It's absolutely free and on the challenge. I'm going to help you jumpstart your education consulting business. Now we did this in the fall of 2017 and we had almost a thousand people go through that challenge and start building their education consulting business.

If you would like to do that, it's an absolutely free challenge. It's a five day challenge every single day for five days. I'm going to be training you on a different aspect of starting your own education consulting business, and then at the end of five days, you're going to have a roadmap to what your education consulting business could look like and a roadmap to how you can get started. So if you're interested in doing that, I'm going to put the link to the challenge in the show notes at school leadership reimagined, episode number eight, and you can click on that link and sign up for the challenge. It's going to be happening in a couple of weeks, and even if you can't make it live for the challenge each day, we're going to archive the recordings for the train each day so that you can come back and visit those archived trainings at your leisure and work through it.

You're also going to get a free downloadable workbook that you can use to fill in and go along, and so that workbook can become your roadmap. So at the end you have everything kind of mapped out for how you could start your own education consulting challenge. Again, it's the jumpstart your education consulting business challenge and you can find the link in the show notes and we'll be starting that and just a couple of weeks so that does it for this two part series on culture and don't worry, we're going to be tackling this topic a lot more in upcoming episodes because a lot of people are dealing with toxicity in their culture, so stay tuned for that.

In the meantime...

I've got something really good for you next week because next week I'm going to talk about core values. Now, for those of you who are rolling your eyes right now, stop it because we're going to talk about core values in a way that I bet you've never heard before. In fact, by the time we're done, you're going to have a powerful weapon in your arsenal that will allow you not only to shape your culture, but to hold everybody accountable in your culture so you don't want to miss next week and I'll see you then at the same time, same place where we're going to talk about how to establish and leverage core values like a builder. That's all for now. I'll talk to you next time.

Thank you for listening to the ​School Leadership Reimagined podcast for show notes and free downloads visit​ ​https://schoolleadershipreimagined.com/

​School Leadership Reimagined is brought to you by Mindsteps Inc, where we build a master teachers.