Gossip: Good Sign, Bad sign, or Just a Sign?

The Harvard Business Review just came out with an article “Stop Enabling Gossip on Your Team“. Yet in 2013 that same magazine published an article entitled “Go Ahead and Gossip.” As a consultant I spend a month or two at a school district and then move on. The level of gossip in an organization is immediately clear to

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This is the Way We Have Always Done It

I learned a new expression recently. “Jumping the shark” means holding on to an idea that has run its course.  It originally referred to the TV show Happy Days where one particularly silly plot device is now viewed as the moment when the show’s writers officially ran out of ideas.  Rather than give the show a dignified send off, they

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Book Review: Magic Words by Tim David

What can a magician teach you about business?  A Lot, it turns out. To quote the author: It’s pretty hard to be a leader if no one is following. If you want to move mountains you need to be able to move people…Most people try to motivate others by begging, bribing, and reasoning them to

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An Authoritarian Education

I saw an author describing the J curve on TV a few years back.  I couldn’t find reference to the concept in an internet search, so I cannot give appropriate credit to the original author.  The gist of it is that to move from a dysfunctional to a functional government, an authoritarian system will only take you so

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Indirect Costs: The Basics

What are indirect costs? Imagine your district has received a reading grant.  The grantor is providing funding for a teacher and instructional materials.  Indirect costs are all those additional costs associated with running the grant.  These will be hiring costs for the teacher, including recruitment, fingerprinting, and credential analysis.  When the teacher puts in an order for

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Strengths and Weaknesses

Interview questions about strengths and weaknesses are old standards. Everyone preparing for a job interview needs to be prepared to answer them. Strengths: Forbes suggests that you brag without being obnoxious. Provide concrete examples to illustrate your successes. Tell a couple of brief stories and make them memorable Weaknesses: This is the hard part. The classic advice is to

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Book Review: Why Motivating People Doesn’t Work

I wish I could have read “Why Motivating People Doesn’t Work…and What Does” by Susan Fowler at the start of my career. It would have been helpful to not only learn the concepts but also to be coached in their practice. I have gleaned some of this information from mentors and coaches, such as: “money is only a de-motivator”. and “when you

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Résumé Booster — Software Skills

Originally posted on Résumé Mojo:
Groupon is having a deal for those that need to boost their software application skills on their résumés and you might want to jump on it before the deal expires: The Deal $39 for the Microsoft Office Specialist and Excel 2013 Certification Bundle ($495 value). The Microsoft Office Specialist…

Bank Reconciliation

Continuing my occasional series on “the basics” this post addresses something I almost skipped, thinking it was perhaps too basic. Then I worked with an employee who reconciles the district’s clearing account, cafeteria account and student body accounts. I realized that the concept of bank reconciliation might be foreign to younger employees.  Growing up in the era of

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When Your Chart of Accounts Gets Out of Hand

Is your school district’s chart of accounts not working for you? Here are some questions to ask when designing a new one.