This is Episode 50! Wow!!!
I can’t believe that we have made it here!
So imagine that as you listen to this podcast that confetti is falling from the sky and there are horns blowing!!! Yea!!!
I have a special one for you today as I am talking with…
Jeffrey Stillwell…Founder of Accident Avoidance Workshops. Also, known as Homer… (make sure that you catch where he got that nickname…)
He is a professional driving instructor who specializes in teaching teens but also adults how to deal with the situations which are potential accident causing! He is credentialed and recognized by many organizations like… he is a AAA Approved Driving School and certified by the National Defensive Driving Institute as well as supported by Bristol and Atlanta Motor Speedways, The Weather Channel, and Volkswagen of Chattanooga.
He is an amazing instructor who connects with the kids and families.
If you were to ask his students to describe him they would use words like Fun-Funny-Inspiring-Caring and just a wonderful Nut!
He has a background in suspension construction and racing and has been the track announcer at Bristol Motor Speedway! (Check out his voice…definitely grabs your attention!)
He also is a semi-professional slot car racer…you’ll hear us talk about that toward the end of the show.
Jeffrey takes great pride in his instructional practices and that he is potentially saving lives.
You will learn so much from listening and I encourage you to seek to bring him to your community! Make sure that you see how he will team with your school as a fund raiser.
Check out the testimonials on his web site here http://www.accidentavoidanceworkshops.org/testimonials.html
As a former high school principal, I set up the training for two communities…I highly recommend him and his services to you and your children.
(As a note, this is not a paid endorsement nor do I or Teaching Learning Leading K12 receive any monetary or other remuneration from AAW for my comments or the show.)
You can find out more information at
email Homer at email@example.com or call 770-262-7009
Follow him on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/accidentAvoidance
Length - 39:13
Dr. Mark Wilson is the founder of The Educational Leadership Group. You may remember that I interviewed him way back at Episode 8 . He is the Georgia Principal of the Year for 2008 and the National Principal of the Year of 2009!
Today we are starting a new monthly segment called iPrincipal.
Check out his TED Talk
He is a teacher, coach, consultant, public speaker and now an author. His book will soon be available but you get a sneak peek into it by joining us for these monthly segments.
Each segment will start with an “ i ” (next month is Innovate). Mark will talk and share stories about the principalship. He will provide suggestions for the school building leader in addressing the many demands of the position.
This should be an awesome opportunity for professional learning!
You can also contact Mark at
Mark.firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 706-474-2454
According to John Maxwell, "A leader's potential is determined by those closest to him."
John notes, "When you have the right staff, potential skyrockets."
The team or organization leader needs team members he/she chooses. Many times they can inherit and/or have someone from higher up in the organization want to add people to the team. This is unfortunate and can cause issues of with results orientation and effectiveness. When given the opportunity to select his/her own team mates the leader needs to take advantage of this to select the best and the brightest that will bring their special attributes to the team.
It is important for the leader to recognize that he/she wants to select those individuals who address the weaknesses of the leader not clones of the leader.
( Patrick Lencioni )
The leader has to take time to support and develop that team that will become his inner circle. This is the group that will connect with each other and will develop a deep sense of trust to the organization, the leader and accomplishing the mission. Check out Patrick Lencioni's The Five Dysfunctions of the Team.
This does not happen overnight it requires the leader spending time developing his team.
This means interacting with each other not just in meetings and eating together. It means having an opportunity to laugh and play together and to experience turmoil and difficulty together.
Check out my thoughts about playing soccer, racing cars, the fluer-di-lis, and the lightening bolt.
It also means that the leader needs to find out what training and coaching they need and insure that they get it.
As a note, it is possible that you will make a bad selection for the team, the leader has to be willing to address that because it is a weakness for the team that will disrupt success.
I hope that you enjoy this episode and I challenge you to take the time to examine your organization and ask yourself …
Do you have an inner circle?
Do you support them?
Does someone not need to be on that team?
Some words of wisdom from John Maxwell:
"One of the mistakes I often made early in my career as a team leader was that I thought everyone who was on my team should remain on my team."-John Maxwell
"Hire the best staff you can find, develop them as much as you can, and hand off everything you possibly can to them."-John Maxwell
Also, you can subscribe to John Maxwell's Minute with Maxwell.
A daily dose of leadership advice from John at no cost to you.
When a leader is assigned to an organization…success or stumbling is determined by the individual's plans for making change.
Is it... I am here to save the day and we will proceed according to my plans or is there an attempt at creating a team mentality which means that the leader is working to create trust?
Leadership requires more than a plan but time spent purposefully building trust.
As Seth Godin, in Tribes, comments... “Leadership is not management.”
This means that you have to get others on board…you have to spend time building a team…and creating a trusting organization…avoiding…It’s my way or the highway…Not just thinking that I only have to tell people what to do and they will do it.
Throughout this episode I reflect on comments from the works of Dan Pink, P. Lencioni, and J. Maxwell.
After listening, I hope that you will spend some time evaluating your team direction and decide whether you have created real trust. Ask yourself…Do your members really interact with each other or are they simply complying for fear of retribution or being wrong?
Listed below are the links to books that I mentioned as well as the opening YouTube clip. I hope that you will take time to explore these wonderful tools for developing your teams.