ADAM Grant

Bette Davis Didn't Jog: Three Truths to Run with to Build your Personal Brand

Agapi Stassinopoulos

Agapi Stassinopoulos

My  highlight  of last week was seeing the force of nature that is Agapi Stassinopoulos at a small business dinner  in the Village. She had manifested me there, but that's another story. The story is that we have common ground in knowing the respected Wharton School of Business powerhouse professor, Adam Grant. Being a big believer in Adam's theory of giving in business, I knew I had to meet Agapi. I'd already met her sister, Arrianna Huffington, and I was curious, of course, to see the woman who, in her own right, has made a difference in so many lives. 

Agapi defines Giving. Look the word up on Wikipedia. Her face should be there next to the word. Her energy could have powered the entire West Village. No one in the room, including the wait staff left that night without feeling that they mattered. As a leadership lesson, I took from this night, that I needed to be bold in an authentic way about asking for what I wanted so that I can be a better leader. The simple words of "How can I help?" and "Would you help me?" are all we need in making relationships that are win-win as leaders.


But I loved the Bette Davis line when she discussed the need for us to find the calm inside. "Calm is superpower! Stop running yourself into the ground for success. Remember who came before you...they possessed a calm. Bette Davis didn't jog, jog, jog!! Look how far she went." 

I live in a city that thrives on fast. Jogging? What about Spinning? Tindering?! So as I thought about the need to find that calm, Agapi led us to homework. Find the three words that are part of your truth, your calm, and try giving through those words. As I find myself in front of groups often as a speaker, I want to live my brand personality with those calm superpowers of truth. Here's mine. Find your own this week! And be proud of them.

My calm is rooted in a boundless, thoughtful  energy...

My calm is advanced by my curiosity...

My calm is connected to fearless desire to build relationships....

Please look to Agapi and her book of leadership lessons that are in the stories she shares in  "Unbinding the Heart", A Dose of Greek Wisdom, Generosity, and Unconditional Love. I read the book in a matter of days, and it has enriched my spirit, mind and body already! Love to share best practices in GIVING! 



David Letterman, NPBEA 2015, and A BrandED School Leader's Call to Action

What is the link between educational leadership using BrandED principles to student learning?

Dave is actually asking that question of you!

Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images Entertainment / Getty Images

Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images Entertainment / Getty Images


It's exciting to see that the 2015 NPBEA Standards', a  research-and practice-based document that guides educational leaders to their best professional development, points to a focus of well-being of students that is integral to their school success. Taking on a BrandED commitment to developing an image of a school, making an authentic promise to the stakeholders and targeting results is linked to the need for well-being that has guided educators today from the respected work of Maslow and his Hierarchy to latest thinking of one of Malcolm Gladwell's favorite thinkers-- and mine,  (And possibly Letterman's?) Adam Grant of the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. (These two incredible thought leaders, without Letterman, take the stage tonight in NYC at a sold out appearance at the 92nd Street Y--and WAIT--I'm  across town" wait listed". Next time they need to invite Letterman and  book Madison Square Garden! They have much to share!)

I see the Report's standards lead with a call to action. It's a charge for leaders to adopt the BrandED mindset that my colleague, Eric Sheninger, and are now writing about since the publication of Eric's popular book, 2014's Digital Leadership. ( #proudtobechapter7! ) Our own book is in process. After this blog post, I'm back at it!

So in memory of David Letterman's once nightly Top 10. (Who else misses this?) ...Here's the terrific NPBEA list. I'm starting from 1 . Why?

Because it's screaming BrandEd strategy to me. That doesn't mean that each one of these standards isn't part of the BrandED conversation advanced in our upcoming publication. The combined standards  fit for school leaders to develop a BrandED plan. I just like the Mission, Vision and Core Value as the rallying standard from which everything else grows. 

Let's hear it for your BrandED journey in service to Standard One! ( If you've started on the road through the NBPEA standards, I'd love to hear how it's going.)...And cheers for 2-10! 

NBPEA Professional Standards for Educational Leaders 2015 (See the publication for a complete overview.)

1. Mission, Vision, and Core Values 2. Ethics and Professional Norms 3. Equity and Cultural Responsiveness 4. Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment 5. Community of Care and Support for Students 6. Professional Capacity of School Personnel 7. Professional Community for Teachers and Staff 8. Meaningful Engagement of Families and Community 9. Operations and Management 10. School Improvement