3x State Championship Football Coach’s Message: Love the Journey

Brandon once told me that his fight and competitive drive finally brought the arrival of what he’d wanted for most of his life: success in the form of a 6A State Championship. But as he stood on the field under Friday night lights, Coach Clark redefined “success” because the moment he’d worked toward for so long…felt empty. Coincidently Brandon’s shift of loving the journey instead of just the outcome created more success for himself, his team, his staff, and his family.

RT: Who is Brandon Clark?

BC: I’m a husband and father to three children. I grew up in Valley Center and went to Kansas State University and played football underneath the legendary Bill Snyder. I bounced around a few NFL mini camps until I took my first teaching job at Derby High School. I was an assistant coach for three years have been the head football coach for 11 years.

We’ve made it to the State 6A semi finals 7 out of the 11 years.  We’ve won three 6A state championships in the last four years.  But I’m not coaching for state championships. (more…)

Expertise from a Top Leader in Education

On average, seven-year-olds don’t know what a Superintendent of schools is, let alone know his or her name. However, when I was seven-years-old, I knew of John Burke and his name brought a sense appreciation as my parents, both teachers at the time, worked under his leadership.

Thirty-two years later, I ran into John again and instantly recognized a forerunner in education. A colleague of John’s expresses, “I often tell him he’s ruined me to work for others simply because of the culture and environment he creates.”

John is a trailblazer, a listener, encourager, and supporter, and a Level 5 Leader –making him a sage and expert in leadership. (more…)

How to completely change your concept of Failure

images-1SUCCESS! GOALS! OUTCOMES! GRIT! Trendy words like these resonate with people days. “Make it happen! Dig in your heals! Show grit!” they say.

While these concepts may drive and motivate people, I can’t help wondering, Where does failure come in?

Recently a client shared that because she didn’t meet a goal she’d set for herself, she didn’t feel whole. “I don’t feel whole because I failed,” she said. An uncommon jittery demeanor surfaced and her eyes avoided mine. Normally this woman is energetic and vivacious, so her discomfort with failure obvious. (more…)

Successful Leadership Avoids This

Successful people are impeccable with their words. How we speak to each other and about each other determines the quality of our relationships, and relationships are the key to success.

I learned this principle when entering a new district. One colleague befriended me quickly, and I found her to be very warm and inviting – helpful and open. On an inservice day when all faculty were gathering for beginning-of-the-year informational meetings, another colleague approached me with a disparaging “warning” from the assistant principal that I might want to “stay away” from the colleague who had previously shown me much welcome and support. From that day on, I felt distrust toward the administrator and the message deliverer, a fellow teacher, from whom my first impression was negativity toward another faculty member.  I never quite got my bearings for the integrity of leadership in that district. I felt that if I was friendly and had a good relationship with the colleague, I’d be seen in the same light administration saw her, but if I didn’t follow my heart and be kind and loving, I’d be going against my own integrity of how I want to treat others. (more…)

Who’s on your Team? How to Surround Yourself with Good Vibes.

“You become the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

So look around. Who are the top five in your daily life?

When I went to college, I hit the ground running…well actually, it was passing, hitting and blocking. I was part of a volleyball team. A group. A collective unity. If I was standing on the court, I could look around and see five teammates at any given time.

Anyone who has played sports knows how vibes within a team affect the outcome. And perhaps the vibes among a team can far outweigh the numbers on a scoreboard, leaving winning and losing an illusionary frame of reference. (more…)