Review and Reflect: Better Decision-Making Through C.A.R.E. — #reviewandreflect

Review and Reflect: Better Decision-Making Through C.A.R.E. — #reviewandreflect


This is TheSchoolHouse302’s monthly #reviewandreflect, wrapping up our focus on Decision-Making.

Our Review and Reflect series embraces the powerful sentiment from Soren Kierkegaard: “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” Throughout this post, we take a deep dive into our leadership content so that you can develop the skills you need to lead better and grow faster.

Skills I need to develop for improved decision-making…

If you’re reading this post, which we are very grateful that you are, you probably made about five decisions just to get to this point. You may have asked yourself, should I read it on my phone or laptop? At my desk or on my couch? Should I grab a cup of coffee first? Will I take some notes or just screenshot what really jumps out at me? The point is that we constantly make decisions every second. Some of them are significant and critically important, while others are common and ordinary. Regardless of the type of decision, we make over 30,000 of them per day.

Because we are rapidly deciding on one thing or another all the time, we need to establish the right environment to improve our decision-making skills and align them to our core values and purpose. That may sound simple, given that we are the ones making the decisions for ourselves, but we know how easily influenced we can be by friends, co-workers, social media, and marketing techniques.

For stronger alignment with your values, we ask you to use C.A.R.E. when making decisions. It’s a formula to ensure better decision-making in life and work. 


#1. Core Values–If someone were to ask you, “what are your Core Values” could you answer them clearly and succinctly? If not, don’t read another word before identifying them.

“If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable.” ~ Seneca

#2. Automate Routines–If someone were to ask you, “what does your morning routine look like that sets you up for success” could you tell them? If not, stop reading and identify what your morning routine will be from this day forward.

“Either you run the day, or the day runs you.” ~ Jim Rohn

#3. Rely on a Trusted Few–If someone were to ask you, “who do you really trust and can seek their wise counsel when needed” could you readily identify them? Take a minute, grab a pen, and write their names down, then call them and let them know how much you appreciate their advice.

“We need people in our lives with whom we can be as open as possible. To have real conversations with people may seem like such a simple, obvious suggestion, but it involves courage and risk.” ~ Thomas Moore

#4. Evaluate the Impact–If someone were to ask you, “how do you know if the decisions you make are any good” could you show them the results? If not, take a few minutes right now and evaluate if a decision you recently made turned out the way you had expected.

“Reflective thinking turns our experience into insight.” ~ John Maxwell


Wherever you find yourself on the scale for each area, we encourage you to immerse yourself into some powerful literature to lead better and grow faster in the area of decision-making.

Great Leaders Are Avid Readers

Review: In our #readthisseries we featured practical books that offer actionable information to improve decision-making.

Our first recommendation is The one thing: The surprisingly simple truth about extraordinary results. If you’re tired of thinking about what needs to be done, and you are ready for real results, read this!

Our second recommendation is from Doug Reeves, Leading change in your school: How to conquer myths, build commitment, and get results. This is a terrific book for school and district leaders who are ready to lead the necessary change in their organization.

Our final recommendation is Leading with focus: Elevating the essentials for school and district improvement. What we truly respect about Mike Schmoker is that he cuts to the chase and provides real examples. If you don’t have a lot of time but want to read incredible stories about real schools, pick this up!

Let us know if these great reads change your leadership practices and deliver real results.

Who should I follow…

What does an expert have to say about decision making? Toni Faddis is the real deal. We truly appreciate her book, The Ethical Line: 10 Leadership Strategies for Ethical Decision-Making. Strategy #6, Unifying Around a Collective Vision, is just one aspect that all leaders need to read. She walks you through an organizational values audit that is quite telling.

Toni Faddis

Action: Throughout this month during our Three Minute Challenges we asked you to take decisive action to improve your level of C.A.R.E.

Our TPA: A Framework for Growth Through Reflection, is a powerful tool for personal development and growth. Reflect on the self-assessment you just completed and identify those areas that you need to develop with focus.

Think - Plan - Act

Please subscribe!

Listen to the entire podcast on iTunes, One Thing Series, and please rate and like (it helps).

That’s our #review&reflect for decision-making. Take a look back to take a step forward.

TheSchoolHouse302 is about getting to simple and maximizing effective research-based strategies that empower individuals to lead better and grow faster.

Please let us know how our leadership posts are working for you, what you are reading to improve yourself, and your thoughts on leadership and growth here on our blog and Twitter. Follow our #onethingseries podcast on iTunes and our #readthisseries on YouTube.

Joe & T.J.



Motivation Model Consciousness of Ourselves requires an intense inward inspection that is simply tough to do. Many of us are scared or unable to navigate all that comes up when we look deeply into what makes us tick. Despite how difficult this may be, knowing thyself is liberating as you uncover the motivation behind your thoughts, feelings, and actions. Take 3 minutes this week to meet the challenge.

Challenge Yourself: Let’s Get RAW

Reflect–What is one strength that you have as a leader that you believe works for you during your day-to-day interactions with others?

Act–Pick one experience that you believe will help strengthen you and commit to participating in that experience this year.

Write–Submit one journal entry today that reflects something that didn’t go well despite your best efforts and how you felt and responded as a result of it.

Stay tuned for more challenges, reflection questions, leadership models, podcasts, and more by following It’s our job to curate, synthesize, and communicate so that you can lead better and grow faster. In a world plagued by nothing but noise, we help you by getting to simple. Joe & T.J.
#onethingseries: Tribes, Optimal Performance, & Compassionate Leadership w/ Christine Comaford

#onethingseries: Tribes, Optimal Performance, & Compassionate Leadership w/ Christine Comaford

christine comaford

Don’t miss this leadership interview with Christine Comaford. Christine’s coaching, consulting, and strategies have created hundreds of billions of dollars in new revenue and company value for her clients. The potent neuroscience techniques she teaches are easy to learn and immediately applicable to help leaders see into their blind spots, expand their vision, and more effectively influence outcomes.

Christine was recently named one of the Top 50 Human Behavior Experts to Follow in 2017. She is also one of the Global Employee Engagement Influencers. As an entrepreneur, she has built and sold 5 of her own businesses with an average of 700% return on investment. She has served as a board director or an in-the-trenches advisor to 36 startups.  Christine has consulted to the White House twice (Clinton and Bush), 700 of the Fortune 1000, and over 300 small and medium-sized businesses. She has repeatedly identified and championed key trends and technologies years before market acceptance, due in part to her work as a software engineer in the early days of Microsoft, Apple, and Adobe.

Christine is a leadership columnist for and she lectures at Harvard Business School. She has appeared on Good Morning America, CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, FOX Business Network, PBS, and CNET. And the Stanford Graduate School of Business has done two case studies on her unconventional rise to success as a woman with neither a high school diploma nor a college degree.

Her three bestselling business books are: Power Your Tribe: Create Resilient Teams in Turbulent Times, SmartTribes: How Teams Become Brilliant Together, and Rules for Renegades.

Her interview with TheSchoolHouse302 was incredibly insightful, all about building your tribe and much, much more.

  • Christine identifies three critical areas that we are constantly craving as humans–Safety, Belonging, and Mattering. Listen to her breakdown these areas, including the 10 powerful questions you can ask to assess your own environment so that people are functioning at an optimal level.
  • She talked about being open to learn by being still and finding silence. Paying attention to the Japanese concept of ma, the space between the noise that holds richness and value.
  • She advises us to meditate. to slow down for inspiration and take control of our thinking, which is incessantly repetitive. Listen to her morning routine to make sure that you start your day off right.
  • The one thing she said she wants to do is to be compassionate all the time, to meet people where they are and not where she may think they should be. Don’t miss it.
  • She talks about the powerful work of Michael Singer and his incredible book, Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself. She also dives into the powerful, Outcome Frame, to help us understand what we truly want.
  • Lastly, you can’t miss her emotional story about her mother and how she learned that stress can be controlled.

Christine’s interview is filled with practical advice for leaders and it really speaks to how we can behave and act to perform at higher levels and influence others to do the same. She reminds us to Power Your Tribe and build emotional resilience. To find out more visit:

Please follow, like, and comment; it really helps. Use #onethingseries and #SH302 so that we can find you.

Joe & T.J.

#5thSunday: Year-End Reflection Infographic–R.E.F.L.E.C.T.

#5thSunday: Year-End Reflection Infographic–R.E.F.L.E.C.T.

Every month at TheSchoolHouse302, you get a blog post with a leadership development model, a podcast with a leading expert, a “read this” with three book selections, and a review and reflection tool–all on a particular topic of leadership to help you lead better and grow faster. Posts are always blasted out on Sundays so that leaders can think and prepare for the week ahead. In months when we have 5 Sundays, we also provide an infographic to help visualize and solidify the concept. This month, as we end our year, we want to R.E.F.L.E.C.T. on several powerful concepts to propel our success into the future of 2019. We hope you enjoy and Happy New Year. R.E.F.L.E.C.T._Infographic As always, please like, follow, and comment. If you have topics of interest, guests you want us to interview, or books that we should read and recommend, please let us know that as well. Joe & T.J.
#onethingseries: Conversational Intelligence & Communicating Better as a Leader w/ Judith Glaser

#onethingseries: Conversational Intelligence & Communicating Better as a Leader w/ Judith Glaser

Judith Glaser

Don’t miss this leadership interview with Judith Glaser. Judith is an Organizational Anthropologist. She is one of the most pioneering and innovative change agents, consultants, and executive coaches in the consulting and coaching industry, and she is the world’s leading authority on Conversational Intelligence®, WE-centric Leadership, and Neuro-Innovation. She is also a best-selling author of 7 business books including her newest best seller – Conversational Intelligence: How Great Leaders Build Trust and Get Extraordinary Results. Through the application of “the neuroscience of we” for business challenges, Judith shows CEOs and their teams how to elevate levels of engagement, collaboration, and innovation to positively impact the bottom line.

In 2017, Judith was selected by Marshall Goldsmith as one of the top 15 Coaches in the world. She has also been ranked as the 10th Coaching Guru in the world by Global Gurus and has been selected as a 2017 Brava Award Winner. From 2016 to 2018, Conversational Intelligence® was selected by INC, Magazine as one of the top 5 business trends of the year.

In 2004, she was awarded Woman of the Year in New York City, and the same award, again, in 2017 by Smart CEO. Since 2006, she has been listed in the top 10 consultants globally in the Excellence Top 100 Consultants list and is one of the Top 100 Thought Leaders globally on the subject of leadership.

In 2011, Judith was awarded the Drexel University Distinguished Alumni Award, and in 2006 she was inducted into the Temple University Gallery of Success. She is a Founding Fellow of the Institute of Coaching at McLean Hospital, a Harvard Medical School affiliate. She guest speaks at a number of universities nationally and internationally including Dubai and China, universalizing Conversational Intelligence.

She has appeared on CBS Morning News with Charlie Rose & Gayle King, NBC’s Today Show, ABC World News, The Fox News Channel, The Martha Stewart Show and the Family Network talking about We-Centric Leadership and Cultural Transformation.

Her interview with TheSchoolHouse302 was incredibly insightful, check it out below.

  • Listen to what Judith has to say about traditional methods of communication–asking and telling. She says we need to move to much deeper, richer conversations, which she calls going from transactional to co-creational.
  • Judith is influenced by a number of leaders and you can find out more about her work, like the concept of C-IQ by visiting
  • She advises us to “listen to connect not judge or reject.” The key is to learn how to pull the right information from people and not push them away. This style of listening shifts the chemistry in our brains and moves to an open space for greater communication. Don’t miss what she says about language.
  • Listen to how she truly believes in living outside-of-the-box and not being bound by others. This isn’t the first time that a leader told us that they wanted to be able to fly. Check it out.
  • She talks about listening to herself and trusting her gut. Don’t miss what she says about instinct.  
  • She talks about the rhythm of the universe and the bond we all have with one other. Fascinating. Don’t miss it.

Judith’s interview is filled with practical advice for leaders, and it really hits home on something we do everyday–communicate–but that we need to do better as leaders. Her ideas helps develop leaders by getting to simple with speaking and listening in a more profound way. Be sure to get your copy of her book, Conversational Intelligence: How Great Leaders Build Trust and Get Extraordinary Results, and let us know what you think.

Please follow, like, and comment; it really helps. Use #onethingseries and #SH302 so that we can find you.

Joe & T.J.

#onethingseries: Making Better Connections w/ President Mark Brainard (@DrMarkBrainard)

#onethingseries: Making Better Connections w/ President Mark Brainard (@DrMarkBrainard)

Mark Brainard

Don’t miss this fantastic leadership interview with Dr. Mark Brainard, @DrMarkBrainard, the fifth president of Delaware Technical Community College.  Dr. Brainard has a wealth of leadership experience in a variety of capacities. He spent over three decades in a series of executive-level leadership roles in the higher education, business, government, and legislative arenas in Delaware. He has served as chief of staff for the House Minority Caucus in the Delaware State Legislature, Director of External Affairs at DelDOT, Assistant Vice President for Human Resources and Legal Affairs at Delaware Tech, Executive Vice President of the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce, and Chief of Staff for Delaware Governor Ruth Ann Minner. His experiences and genuine belief in providing a first class education that meets the needs of students and the community is evident throughout this podcast.

  • Listen to what Mark says about how Del Tech has evolved through their efforts to truly listen to their community–businesses and students–to not only attract and prepare learners, but to ensure that they fully meet the needs of the future.
  • Even as president of the college, Mark emphasized how critical it is  to learn from people in every position in the organization. He stated, “leaders are made when no one is looking.” The organization is not one person, it’s everyone.
  • Mark reinforced that our peak performance comes from exercising regularly, especially in positions that don’t require a lot of physical activity. Major takeaway–don’t miss it.
  • In light of his successes and various positions held, he stressed a true desire to learn current and cutting edge technology that is changing the way we live.
  • Mark attributes much of his success in life to reading, a huge part of his ongoing development as a learner and leader. He reminded of us of the power in having an E.Q. along with an I.Q. Be sure to check out Daniel Goleman’s Emotional Intelligence as well as Robert Cooper and Ayman Sawaf’s Executive E.Q.
  • Finally, you have to hear what he says about how we are programmed to deal with situations and life and the mistake we may be making along the way.

Dr. Brainard’s interview is jam packed with practical advice for leaders, and it’s a must for anyone leading an organization who is service-oriented and constantly evolving to meet the demands of those who they serve. Of particular interest is his focus on making connections, networking, and finding the right people to take the next steps for the organization to stay healthy.

Please follow, like, and comment. Use #onethingseries and #SH302 so that we can find you.

Joe & T.J.