Hear me on the Better Leaders Better Schools podcast

Want to lead people so they want you to lead them again? To take initiative effectively?

Many people ask counterproductive questions, like “How should I do X?”, “How do I convince someone to do Y?”, or “What do I need to know to become a leader?”

The most effective question is “How do I learn to lead?“, or in entrepreneurship and taking initiative, “How do I learn to take initiative?

Leadership doesn’t come from knowing more information or facts, nor from a one-time action, nor from convincing people.

It comes from practice. By focusing on how to learn to lead, I help people become leaders. You have to practice. It takes time, not quick tricks, but it works.

I focus on becoming the best teacher and coach to change people. I’m inspired by active, experiential, project-based learning, which barely exists in universities, but is big in K-12. I’ve worked with some of the biggest names in education, like Ken Robinson, Chris Lehmann, Tony Wagner, Peter Gray, and more.

Danial Bauer at The Better Leaders Better Schools podcast spoke to me about education and leadership.

Listen to our conversation.

Here are the episode notes:

Welcome to the Better Leaders Better Schools podcast.  This is a weekly show for ruckus makers — What is a ruckus maker?  A leader who has found freedom from the status quo. A leader looking to escape the old routine. A leader who never, ever gives up.

A lot of school leaders feel frustrated with the red tape and bureaucracy while doing their jobs as educators.

In this episode, we talk with a man who might be able to offer a solution…without leaving your “this is stressing me out” job.

Dr. Spodek, a TED speaker and holder of 5 Ivy League degrees, offers advice on how to take initiative in the workplace so you can feel better and make a stronger impact as an educator.

Listen to our conversation.

Key Talking Points  

  • Rafael’s story of finding meaning as a burnt-out educator
  • The small mental pivot that increases collaboration and support in the workplace
  • The huge barriers that keep most people from taking initiative
  • Why everyone has the power to create more meaning in the workplace
  • The importance of “speaking their language” when talking with management
  • The difference between judgement and advice
  • Joana’s story of achieving something amazing by following a simple script

Listen to our conversation.

Key Milestones of the Episodes

[5:40] Feeling stuck and story of Rafael

[7:50] Helping Rafael through the gridlock

[11:38] Why it’s more important to have the right skills than “know the right people”

[16:52] How does Dr. Spodek’s ideas about initiative apply to school leaders

[20:21] Creating change you believe in with management

[25:00] One practical exercise listeners can make to be a stronger leader

[29:00] The story of Joanne

Key Quotes

“It’s a real big deal to jump ship.”

“There’s opportunities all over the place.”

“Taking initiative doesn’t have to mean ‘entrepreneurship’.”

“What gets media attention tends to be the more high-tech stuff.”

“Having a perfect idea keeps some people from starting but motivates other people to go…”…

“…something like 5 or 10% of people are naturally going to come up through their natural life to have an idea, what about the other 90-95%”

“It’s easier to succeed at something you don’t like when people are paying you for it…but it doesn’t necessarily create meaning.”

“Most people are working below their potential, not in terms of output..but in terms of alignment.”

“…when the teacher gives you an assignment to read a book that you always wanted to read anyway, it doesn’t feel like work”

Key Resources 

Initiative: A Proven Method to Bring Your Passions to Life (and Work)

Leadership Step by Step: Become the Person Others Follow

Don’t forget to catch more episodes and resources at the Better Leaders Better Schools website.

Other Resources

The Power of Project Learning: Why new schools are choosing an old model to bring students into the 21st century.

Read the Better Leaders Better Schools Roadmap

Listen to our conversation.

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