Breakfast Club Blog

4 Tips to Cultivating Leaders in Your Organization

The singular most important role of today’s leader is growing those around them. This is not just a lofty goal, but one of intentional thought and commitment. I view nurturing those around me as a benefit not only to our organization but also as a way to develop skills that will lead to success in any organization. Gasp! Yes, I believe it is my duty to shape leaders who may someday join a competing organization. So, where to begin? Leadership development is offered for many reasons. Poor company...Read More

BOOST 2018 Workshop RFPs due 10/31

BOOST requests workshop proposals that support and highlight trends, innovative research, and promising practices to support quality out-of-school time programs. The deadline to submit a workshop proposal for BOOST 2018 is Tuesday, October 31, at 5 pm PST. Any proposals submitted after this date will go on a waiting list. To submit a proposal, visit the BOOST Conference website and click on the blue button to start the application process. Every year the BOOST Conference offers a variety of work...Read More

The Role and Vision of a CEO from a CEO

I have a lot of breakfast meetings these days, the hardest kinds of meetings. Not the kind where I get excited about pitching a program to a new client or get to brainstorm curriculum and advocate for youth. Those meetings I love. No, lately my days are filled with meetings wherein I talk—or, more often, listen– to people expressing real fear and vulnerability about their present and future. Not just people: my staff. In February 2017, I gave speech to my staff on “the state of Arc&#...Read More

8 FREE Resources to Welcome In the New School Year

Happy New Year! Greetings! It is a new year! 2017-2018 starts now! This is a time when you will see kids you know and a time to meet new kiddos. But most important, it is a time to learn from last year and make this year even better. It’s back to school time!     Take a moment to think about what you learned from last year and what your New Year’s resolutions are for this upcoming year, how will you improve your program? Will you concentrate on staff development, sustainable programmi...Read More

7 Healthy Makeover Ideas for Your Office & Breakroom

Back-to-school is Here. For youth serving organizations, transitioning from summer to the school year is stressful. With tight budgets, limited capacity and less-than-inspiring news headlines, staying optimistic, energized and creative is a challenge. This article builds on my previous blog, “Designing Welcoming and Healthy Environments” with seven ways to makeover your office and break room this fall. Like this topic? I will be presenting a workshop based on this article at the National Recreat...Read More

5 Reasons Why You Should Attend the BOOST Conference in 2018

Join the largest, most recognized and comprehensive global convening for after school, expanded learning, and out-of-school time professionals May 1-4, 2018! Here are 5 reasons why you should attend the Best of Out-of-School Time Conference next year: Reason #1 – It’s FUN and ENGAGING What if your conference experience felt like an after school program? You’ve got it! Set in a retreat-like atmosphere, this annual, extraordinary event will rejuvenate your passion, boost your direction for quality...Read More

Keep The Channel Open

I’ve been sitting in contemplation of this quote by dancer/choreographer Martha Graham for a few weeks now: “There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with...Read More

BOOST Master Class: Strengths Based Leadership

I’m grateful for the opportunity to host a Master Class on the topic of Strengths Based Leadership on Wednesday, April 19th from 2:30-4:30 pm during the BOOST Conference. In nearly 20 years of learning from and working for Gallup, I can’t think of a more exciting and impactful topic to share with conference attendees this spring. Gallup research proves that people succeed when they focus on what they do best. Each person has natural patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving that ca...Read More

A Journey of Self-Discovery

The students in our programs come from diverse backgrounds and face unique challenges in navigating the world they are growing up in. It is a privilege to be their guide in this journey called life. Many of the students we have in our programs are having experiences that may be similar to the staff working in our programs. The true challenge is being able to create an environment that supports the staff and students to feel emotionally and physically safe and not just survive but thrive in spite...Read More

Why it’s Important to Ask “What Could Go Wrong?” During Program Planning

Planning a new program or improvements to an existing program usually involves setting objectives, planning activities, and other critical tasks. In the excitement of planning something new, it can seem like a buzzkill to ask, “What could go wrong?” Several months ago, I started asking this question consistently with staff teams in my division of the Ann Arbor Public Schools. We discussed it when we were planning a kick-off meeting for a district-wide initiative, when we were conside...Read More

A Modest Proposal: Taking Your Program to the Next Level

As Common Core gets underway, we have a great opportunity to take our programs to the next level. We can ensure that students aren’t just consumers of knowledge, but creators, critics and communicators of ideas! We have a chance to become more student-centered, to be guides-by-the side and facilitators of learning rather than adults who are in charge of what kids learn or what they experience. We can expand on youth development as a principle and practice by making 21st Century skills real...Read More

Lead People, Not Programs

If you are in any sort of leadership role in any type of organization running any type of program and managing any number of people, I’m asking you to do something. I want you to copy the sentence below, paste it into a Word doc, increase the font size to about 200, bold it, italicize it, and post it somewhere in your office where you read it every day. Here it is: NOTHING INCREASES STAFF MORALE AND JOB SATISFACTION MORE THAN A WELL RUN ORGANIZATION. Do it. Seriously. Do it. Now. I’l...Read More

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