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SamTastic Weekly Tip: 4/10/17 - First, Break all the Rules

This week’s tip: First, Break all the Rules.

Sounds appealing, doesn’t it? First, Break All the Rules, subtitled What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently (1999), is a book authored by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman, who offer solutions to better employee satisfaction with the help of examples of how the best leaders work with others. The book appeared on the New York Times bestseller list for 93 weeks.


Colorado Time Change Coach Kent Schnurbusch uses the authors’ twelve guiding question to encourage his SAM teams to better focus their instructional leadership work. All of the questions connect to TimeTrack instructional descriptors—Kent encourages his SAM teams to focus on the six highlighted below:


1. Do I know what is expected of me at work?

2. Do I have the materials and equipment to do my work?

3. At work, do I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day?

4. In the last seven days, have I received recognition or praise for doing my work?

5. Does my supervisor at work, or someone at work, seem to care about me as a person?

6. Is there someone at work who encourages my development?

7. At work, do my opinions seem to count?

8. Does the mission/purpose of my company make me feel my job is important?

9. Are my co-workers committed to doing quality work?

10. Do I have a best friend at work?

11. In the last six months, has someone at work talked to me about my progress?

12. This last year, have I had opportunities at work to learn and grow?

Kent uses TimeTrack, too, as he works with his SAM teams. Here’s how he uses the six questions:


“Each of my ‘fave six’ are tracked within the data that is collected within the individual dashboard of data within the TimeTrack calendar, documenting interactions with the staff. Number 1, Do I know what is expected of me at work? Is documented in my data surrounding “employee supervision” and “direct feedback.” Number 4 is documented within my charts and graphs related to “feedback celebration.” Number 5 is also documented within “employee supervision” as it relates to building a strong, caring culture that extends throughout the school and to every student. Certainly, number six and twelve are documented in “professional development” and “planning, curriculum and development.” Finally, number eleven, In the last six months, has someone at work talked to me about my progress?, is tracked within the data found within your dashboard included within “walkthrough, observation, feedback: directive, non-directive and celebration.” For those of you who have the capacity to merge your data with other instructional leaders within your building, the data is compounded by the recorded events of other calendar users within your building.”


Kent connects this leadership book really well with the work of SAM teams. Working on even one of the twelve questions can move your SAM work forward.

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