Friday, June 22, 2018

What Adults Can Learn From Kids

Is it possible that adults can learn from kids? [wink, wink]

Here is how TED describes what a twelve-year old so eloquently had say on the topic. "Child prodigy Adora Svitak says the world needs "childish" thinking: bold ideas, wild creativity and especially optimism. Kids' big dreams deserve high expectations, she says, starting with grownups' willingness to learn from children as much as to teach." 

See and hear for yourself by clicking on to her thoughtfully beautiful 8-minute Talk.

Friday, June 8, 2018

The Culture Code

I was introduced to Daniel Coyle's The Talent Code listening to favorite author Daniel Pink's 1 - 3 - 20 podcast where he chooses 1 book - asks 3 questions - in under 20 minutes.

The video below is an excellent introduction by the author to his book that answers the question "What is the secret to getting really, really good at something."

Friday, May 25, 2018


This is the first post I have written that promotes a network television series, but the series is so good. What I like the most is its anti-bias messages, helping students, parents, and educators appreciate differences among individuals.

"Rise" finished its first season and follows high school students, teachers, and families in their lives. The trailer tells it all:

Friday, May 11, 2018


When I first wrote "Is Good Best?" for Independent School magazine in the fall of 2003, I was intrigued with success. I still am fascinated with it, especially as it applies to leadership.

"Success" is one of the best TED Radio Hour podcast episodes featuring Tony Robbins, Angela Duckworth, Ron Gutman, Mike Rowe, and Alain de Botton. Click on the podcast link to listen to their voices on success.

In a nutshell . . .
  • Robins equates success to your drive; 
  • Duckworth sees success in life as resilience (grit); 
  • Gutman talks about the smile as a success indicator; 
  • Rowe says success is about dirty jobs; 
  • Botton sees success as creating a lot of anxiety. 
You can also listen to each of their TED Talks for yourself to get a better, deeper picture of success. Go to TED Talks to hear each of their talks.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

A Force for Good

In my quest to find out more about emotional intelligence, I discovered emotional quotient expert, Daniel Goleman's book A Force For Good: The Dalai Lama's Vision for Our World. Goleman brings out the Dalai Lama's determination to raise the care of humanity and having a purpose in life of reaching out and helping others.

Here are two quotes that reflect a snapshot of the book's connection to emotional intelligence:

“Compassion reduces our fear, boosts our confidence, and opens us to inner strengths,” the Dalai Lama adds. “By reducing distrust, it opens us to others and brings us a sense of connection with them and a sense of purpose and meaning in life.” [pages 55-56]

“And when high- and low-ranking people in the same organization interact, the person of higher status not only shows less attention as indicated by gazing less at the other person but also interrupts more and monopolizes the conversation.” [p. 93]

Thursday, April 5, 2018


“The surprising thing Google learned about its employees — and what it means for today’s students,” by Valerie Strauss reporter for The Washington Post (December 20, 2017) is and excellent article that talks about what Google learned about emotional intelligence (EI).

“In 2013, Google decided to test its hiring hypothesis by crunching every bit and byte of hiring, firing, and promotion data accumulated since the company’s incorporation in 1998. Project Oxygen shocked everyone by concluding that, among the eight most important qualities of Google’s top employees, STEM [Science Technology Engineering Math] expertise comes in dead last. The seven top characteristics of success at Google are all soft skills: being a good coach; communicating and listening well; possessing insights into others (including others different values and points of view); having empathy toward and being supportive of one’s colleagues; being a good critical thinker and problem solver; and being able to make connections across complex ideas.”

The article goes on to say . . .

“Project Aristotle shows that the best teams at Google exhibit a range of soft skills: equality, generosity, curiosity toward the ideas of your teammates, empathy, and emotional intelligence. And topping the list: emotional safety.”

“STEM skills are vital to the world we live in today, but technology alone, as Steve Jobs famously insisted, is not enough. We desperately need the expertise of those who are educated to the human, cultural, and social as well as the computational.”

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Ah! Where Are We Going With Mobile Phones?

From NYTimes Sunday Review, March 4, 2018, pg. 7

"Media habits are shifting fast: The amount of time children 8 years old and younger spend on phones or tablets has increased tenfold in just five years, according to a 2017 study by Common Sense. The organization also found that 42 percent of children under 8 already have their own mobile device. That number was less than 1 percent in 2011."

Quote from "Your Kid's Phone Is Not Like a Cigarette," by Anya Kamenetz in last Sunday's NYTimes

* * * * *

For you and your kids, here is an excellent YouTube on how to manage your phone as opposed to it managing you.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Leadership Through Coaching

From TED:

“How do we improve in the face of complexity? Atul Gawande has studied this question with a surgeon's precision. He shares what he's found to be the key: having a good coach to provide a more accurate picture of our reality, to instill positive habits of thinking, and to break our actions down and then help us build them back up again. 'It's not how good you are now; it's how good you're going to be that really matters,' Gawande says.”

Friday, February 9, 2018

Listening to the Symphony 😀

I happen to love listening to classical music. So, while I was listening to the radio recently, I heard
"Thoughts While Attending the First Symphony in the Series My Wife Wanted to Buy," a 5-minute piece published by the New Yorker Radio Hour. See what you think.

Friday, January 26, 2018


Looking for perfect timing? Daniel Pink's newest book When will give you some great, research-based information. One of my favorite—of many—parts of the book is when he talks about the advantage of taking breaks in the workplace. Like his books A Whole New MindDrive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, and To Sell is Human, When is an easy-to-read and convincing book. Go to his website to learn more.

If you have six minutes, check out this Face the Nation interview with Pink about When.

Back in 2010, I had the pleasure of interviewing the author myself. Here is a link to the Montessori Life article "Drive to Montessori: An Interview With Daniel Pink."

Saturday, January 13, 2018

A School's Way To Fight Phones In Class

From NPR website
Listen to this excellent NPR story, “A School's Way To Fight Phones In Class: Lock 'Em Up' ” by Tovia Smith. (January 11, 2018)

Here is how the story begins . . .

“Any teacher will tell you, class has never been the same since kids started coming to school with cellphones. Ancient Roman history will pretty much never win the day when competing with Snapchat and Instagram.

And sneaky as kids think they are, teachers know exactly what's going on when students look up with those zombie stares and constantly ask: 'Can you say that again?'

‘You can see that they're not listening to you,’ says history teacher Tony Patelis, at Newton North High School in Massachusetts. ‘They're looking down, and they tell me they're checking the time, even though the clock is on the wall.’ ”