Cocoon to Butterfly – The Metamorphosis of a School

Cocoon to Butterfly cover smallIntroduction

Several years ago when I accepted the job of principal at Yuba Feather Elementary School, a K-8 school in Northern California, I was told by a colleague that I was crazy to take the job. She told me that the atmosphere was hopelessly negative, that the staff was demoralized, and that students’ pride and interest in school were dismally low.

Having been given this advice and background information, I guess I was a little crazy, for I took the job. Despite the poor condition of the school, I sensed a powerful reservoir of potential. I saw a butterfly inside a tightly closed cocoon and believed a metamorphosis could happen. The metamorphosis of Yuba Feather School is something of a miracle? Today it is a school recognized through Northern California for its academic excellence, positive climate, and innovative atmosphere. The school has an award-winning writing program, a successful mastery learning “levels” math program, intense peer collaboration, a peer observation program, a highly successful literature-based reading program, a staff trained in teaching critical thinking, and an adult learning and problem solving environment for the teachers. Teachers from our school are sought out to make presentations locally and for other districts through Northern California. Two video films which focus on the Yuba Feather Writing Project have been distributed nationally and won first place in the 1986 National Education Film Festival. In 1986 the school was chosen as a California Distinguished School as a result of our students’ improved performance on the California Assessment Program test and our outstanding pride in their school.

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Finding the Right Employee in 6 Steps



Hiring is more of a headache than ever, so say many companies who receive services from my firm. This might come as a surprise considering that there’s no longer an overheated talent market in which companies desperately compete for top talent. But instead, business owners are facing a down economy in which scores of job seekers clamber over each other in order to land scarce positions. The influx of new candidates into the marketplace makes it even more difficult for executives and hiring managers to find the perfect people for open, high-impact positions.

And yet, hiring the right person is more important than ever. A single bad hire can cost between $60,000 and $120,000–that’s not exactly the way you want to spend precious dollars in a difficult market.
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There IS a Better Way to Hire the Right People



There is a better way to hire the right people.

  • Companies hired people who looked great on paper, only to find they couldn’t deliver because they didn’t fit in.
  • They spent a huge amount of time (and money) to land the right person, only to have them leave early on.
  • All too often, candidates didn’t even show up for interviews, or for their first shift after paid training.
  • If they did stay on, the damage to employee morale or the reputation of the company was disastrous.

We changed the game.

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Using Job Match Assessments With Existing Employees

Have you ever worked with someone whose performance was not what you expected?  Today, job match assessments can tell you why that happened and whether it can be changed. The accuracy of higher-generation assessment instruments has created extraordinary possibilities for analyzing and understanding the performance of existing employees.

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Let The Rabbits Run

Soar With Your StrengthsJob match is an integral part of a candidate’s actual on-the-job success. Job match refers to how well an individual’s cognitive abilities, interests, and personality traits match those required for success in a particular job.

To illustrate, let’s paraphrase the parable “Let the Rabbits Run,” from the book Soar With Your Strengths:

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The 6 Huge Hiring Mistakes Everyone Makes

Great article!

“You need a top-notch team to do your best work–but you need to hire them first. Here’s half a dozen common ways managers shoot themselves in the human-resources foot.

If you can recruit people who are talented, brilliant, natural leaders, it can make all the difference to your organization’s success–and your sanity as a leader. There is nothing that improves your chance of success more than having a strong, trusted team.” To read the rest…..

An 80-Year-Old Graduate With an Online Marketing Degree Kept His Promise

Michael Stravato for The Texas Tribune

Published: November 29, 2012

Robert Titus likes to make jokes. Discussing his recently earned bachelor’s degree in marketing management, the 80-year-old said, “I wanted to get it while I was young, so I can start off on a good career.”

But Mr. Titus has no illusions about getting hired, and he is just fine with that. After more than a decade of retirement, he is happier than ever. Continue reading

The First 100 Days of New Principal Position

Principal Start Up Manual cover small


It is common knowledge that public education has a critical shortage of qualified and talented people stepping into school leadership roles. A common lament among school districts is that there are so few candidates for principal positions. Educators who do take on a principalship often voice, very early on, frustration over the complexity and demands of the job. After being appointed, new and even experienced principals get little effective guidance and support, and there are few places for them to turn to for support and direction. This situation especially affects the brand new principal but is also a concern for those with experience entering a new job. Continue reading

Hiring Winning Talent



In its most simple definition, talent is any individual who has the capability to make a significant difference to the current and future performance of the organization.

It is no wonder that more and more organizations are realizing the importance of good talent as a competitive edge. The scary thing is that in the next 10 years, HR professionals expect three out of ten employees in their organization’s workforce to retire. That’s a lot of talent leaving organizations.

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