SOAR® Elite Consulting
Microsoft’s Partners-In-Learning University has called me a “Global Expert in Education Innovation.” I’m the author of the worldwide best-selling study skills book, SOAR®Study Skills. I am the developer of a revolutionary, brain-based learning model, The Brain Circuit™, which quickly analyzes any learning challenge and determines simple, prescriptive courses of action to build effective detours around those challenges. My work has raised grade-point averages of an entire class by a full grade-point!
Are you feeling overwhelmed with the increasing expectations and mandates flowing down on top of you?
Are your teachers stressed out?
Or, even burned out?
Truth is, educators are drowning in mandates…from multiple sources! Often, those mandates are in conflict with one another. And, rarely are the mandates aligned with developmentally-appropriate expectations of students.
As a result, educators all over the country are feeling overwhelmed, ineffective, and hopeless. These feelings ignite layers of guilt because endless data collection and inappropriate mandates are NOT why they chose this vocation.
Why Did You Become An Educator?
I ask this question of educators every chance I get. Some people describe an inspirational parent or mentor that suggested they would make a great educator. Others describe a desire to provide support that they didn’t have when they were in school. Their stories are varied and fascinating, but they all boil down to one common principle…
The vocation of education is chosen by people who want to make a positive difference in the lives of young people. Yet, our power is often stripped by ‘The System’.
What Is the Source of This Conflict?
The System “thinks” it can do the job better than we can; as if it can transform us (and our students) into consistent, predictable robots. As if our hearts and human capacity for compassion and nurturing are not valuable in the growth and cultivation of a precious young life. Obviously, we know that’s not true.
But, The System does not seem to allow creativity from anyone: the students, the teachers, or the administration.
The System treats human beings like animals. This includes: students, teachers, administrators, and all who attempt to live and function within The System.
There Is One Fundamental Key Missing from Education
The System overlooks the fact that education is supposed to nurture and develop human beings. And there is one thing that makes human beings different from any other living species on the planet; our innate desire to explore and learn.
Picture a wide-eyed toddler inquisitively inspecting his world. He is proof that human beings are born with a natural, unbridled curiosity. However, instead of exploring new learning and creative thoughts, The System requires students to sit still, while we shove curriculum at them.
Of course, students are not the only victims. Educators have rapidly lost their creative opportunities for connecting with students. For inspiring natural inquisition. For making a real difference.
We all know The System, as it exists today, is grossly inefficient. It must change. And, soon enough, external influences will force monumental shifts of change. But, on an individual level, we don’t have to wait.
What if you could…
- Change how you work in The System?
- Reduce the heavy burden of layers under which you are buried?
- Have more flexibility in your work?
- Improve the quality of life for yourself, your teachers, and your students?
- Improve grades and test scores while *reducing* your stress and *improving* student motivation?
…What if you could do all of this within the next 12 months? Nine months? Or even six months?
Education Always Overlooks a Fundamental Law of Nature!
This law of nature is the Law of 80/20. It is a mathematical principle that can be identified in: every aspect of our lives, human behavior/interaction, and in elements of our vast universe.
It is the principle that small forces yield disproportionate results.
You see this…
In nature. Where 80% of the globe is covered in water. Only 20% of the globe is land. This principle goes deeper. Of that 20% of the globe’s surface that can be inhabited by humans, 80% of the humans live in 20% of that land.
In society. Where 80% of the crimes are committed by 20% of the offenders. Only two different models of cars make up 80% of all vehicles stolen in the United States.
In your own closet. When you wear 20% of your clothes, 80% of the time. Or, 80% of your clothes, 20% of the time.
In education. When you realize that 20% of the students cause 80% of your headaches.
The principle goes even deeper…
- 20% of your mandated content will have 80% of the impact on your mandated outcomes.
- 20% of the skills you teach will be relevant; in or outside of the classroom.
- 80% of the problems you encounter can be fixed by adjusting just 20% of your efforts.
- 20% of your roadblocks are consuming 80% of your energy.
There are infinite implications and applications of this 80/20 principle if you know how and where to look for them. Once these leverage points are identified, you can literally alleviate 80% of the layers and roadblocks that are squelching the spirit and creative learning force out of everyone in your building.
And, all of this can be done while RAISING the mandated outcomes you are expected to reach!
I Have Lived This Frustration, Too!
I’m a former classroom teacher who has lived under these suffocating layers. Since my classroom days, I’ve had unique experiences as a consultant for the world’s largest educational publishing company, other educational companies, and as the global leader in Relevant Education with study skills.
Just like you, I’m an educator who chose this vocation to inspire young people. Unfortunately, I found my work in the classroom increasingly more ineffective every year. Meanwhile, I was “moonlighting” as a study skills teacher, teaching and tutoring students simple and effective skills to learn and get organized efficiently. My students were experiencing great gains! As my day-time work sucked more and more life out of me, my evening/weekend work with study skills grew more and more energizing!
I left the classroom, intending to make a full-time living out of study skills; it was NOT an easy journey! As important as these skills are, my challenge was getting people to recognize the power that learning how to learn can have on students’ lives. I had to get my message out to the world!
That journey led me into the world of entrepreneurship, where I have been blessed to meet and work with many mentors and colleagues.
Two of those mentors are the two leading experts in the world on the 80/20 Principle. From them, I have learned how to identify 80/20 patterns in just about anything. Frankly, this can sometimes be a curse; when I’m driving down the road and come across a lovely tree, I used to think, “Look at that beautiful tree!” Now, I think, “Wow! Look at the fractal pattern of those branches? 80/20 is all over that tree!”
I promise you, never in my wildest dreams did I expect, or even seek, to become an expert in a mathematical principle, but that’s the path that life carved out for me.
And now I see that the 80/20 Principle is the key to liberating students and educators from The System.
How Do You Use the 80/20 Principle to Increase Test Scores While Reducing Stress & Energy Drains?
Start by identifying bottlenecks: student motivation, excessive/redundant documentation, fragmented goals/values/objectives, too much content, misaligned curriculum, dis-empowered teachers (usually due to The System or lack of student engagement), lack of resources, etc.
Next, identify the core bottlenecks. What are the core, 20% of bottlenecks creating 80% of your challenges?
Finally, create systems to unblock the core bottlenecks. Even “mandated” bottlenecks have work-arounds. Removing these blocks will cause a massive flood of energy and outcomes! The key here is to work in alignment with how humans naturally work. Creating human-friendly and brain-friendly strategies will result in ultra-efficiency pared with purposeful collaboration.
This process could be overwhelming; however, we have created a comprehensive –yet ultra-efficient—system for identifying bottlenecks. And, we have proven models for crafting customized solutions. These models allow us to maintain “human-friendly” and brain-friendly principles as we weave through your unique situation and objectives.
What Can I Do for You?
I can help you:
- Raise the average GPA of your students by at least 0.5 points in four months!
- Reduce your stress.
- Reduce your teachers’ stress.
- Create a community culture where academic excellence is valued and individual interests of students are celebrated.
And, I will guarantee these results! When we sign our contract, half of the money will be put in an escrow account. So, if you do not experience the improved performance I outlined above, you will get the full amount in escrow back, and I will work with you to continue to improve your performance for another four months.
How My Consulting Services Work…
Before I explain the specific steps involved in my consulting process, I want to address one specific –and vital- piece of information right now. That is, to explain… what I will *not* do!
My Top Goals & Objectives as Your Consultant
I will *not* override you or undermine your role as the leader of your school. You know your school community better than anyone. You have responsibilities to which you are held accountable. And, you don’t need me parading around your school contradicting you.
Instead, my goal is to: provide an external perspective, present you with objective options, and serve as a “coach” or facilitator on your mission to transform (or improve) your school community.
My objective is to stand behind you and provide support, armed with a fresh perspective and educated recommendations based on your objectives and my 80/20 analysis of your school community. I will interview many members of your community for their feedback and input on their top roadblocks and best recommendations for moving forward. But, beyond that, I can be as visible (or invisible) as you’d like me to be.
Personally, I rely very heavily on two, trusted consultants to help me navigate my business. Both individuals are very smart people with a lot of experience. The greatest value they bring to me is their objective point-of-view. They are not immersed in the mundane day-to-day tasks that absorb a lot of my energy, robbing me from my ability to see my circumstances clearly. They provide an “aerial view.”
The Application Process
- The first step is to fill out an application.*** This helps ensure the greatest level of success for both parties; by extracting valuable information that will determine if we share complimentary values, and if I have the resources to help you achieve your objectives. The application also asks for key data points, which I will review as part of the application process.
- Next, selected applications will then progress to the “Interview” phase. I will interview the key administrator involved in making this decision and commitment. Based on the information provided in the application and interview, I will develop a Blueprint Report outlining my suggestions.
- If, after receiving the Blueprint Report, you decide to move forward, I will schedule a Needs Analysis visit. During this visit, I will interview: additional staff members in your building, several (or all) of your teachers, many students, and parents. The purpose of my interview will be to learn more about your community and collect honest feedback, giving each member of your community a “voice” as everyone prepares to embrace new possibilities. I will also review any additional data points that come to my attention during this detailed survey of personnel.
- Following all interviews, a comprehensive analysis of data, and careful review of your objectives, I will do an “80/20 analysis” on your school to create a Customized 80/20 School Improvement Plan.
NOTE: There is a fee for this application. If I don’t believe I can be of value of you, I will refund your fee and not waste any more of your time. My long-term reputation is far more valuable than a short-term gain at your expense. So, I can assure you of my honest evaluation and consideration before we even begin.
How Is the 80/20 School Improvement Plan Different from the Blueprint Report?
The Blueprint Report is a preliminary outline with a primary objective of raising questions about potential leverage points. It’s a “30,000-foot” analysis of potential areas in which you can probe and take further action.
Your 80/20 School Improvement Plan, starts from big picture then tunnels down deep into courses of action with specific objectives, timelines, and the resources assigned to implement the actions.
Once we reach agreement on the 80/20 School Improvement Plan, we will move forward with implementation. During that time, I will provide weekly coaching calls and accountability emails to key performers. I will be assessing progress frequently and determine additional training needs; identifying bottlenecks, and bridging communication gaps as needed.
Each of these phases in the process are subject to strict time limits for both parties. That means: I will submit your 80/20 School Improvement Plan within 7 days of the conclusion of my visit. In return, we must reach agreement on the final School Improvement Plan within another 7 days.
The guarantee is subject to these specific guidelines…in order to ensure rapid changes that will fuel greater motivation and initiative from all parties involved.
“But, What if…”
If you’ve read this far, I’m guessing you’re very interested in facilitating massive changes within your school; changes that will be win-win-win benefits for you, your teachers, and ultimately, your students.
But, you are probably riddled with some (common) questions and hesitations…
“Why can’t I figure this out on my own?”
It is nearly impossible to diagnose and fix our biggest problems without an outside perspective. This is why I rely so heavily on my own consultants. We share a mutual respect for the fact that none of us is “smarter” than the others, but that we each bring varying expertise to the table. We also have a deep appreciation for the value of an external, fresh perspective; a perspective free from all of the limitations of dealing with minutia.
I share my own experience with consultants as the most tangible example of how I approach my work as a consultant; I will treat our partnership with the same respect I receive from my advisors.
“If I’m struggling so much, maybe I’m not cut out for this responsibility!”
As the CEO of my own company, I fully understand what it feels like to question your own decisions. We don’t have colleagues with whom we can confer or a “boss” to advise our every move. In fact, if we don’t measure up, we have Boards of Directors, Boards of Community Members, and balance sheets that deliver pretty severe consequences.
All the more reason to seek input from an outside consultant! It is, without a doubt, the healthiest thing I’ve ever done for myself. It has shaved years off of my learning curve, saved me thousands of hours and untold amounts of money by preventing me from chasing lost opportunities, helping me identify when poor performing employees are beyond the point of rehabilitation, and helping me identify windows of opportunity I never would have found.
“What if I’ve been doing everything wrong?”
When all is said and done, my job is to help you become the hero for your community! You’re obviously a bold person looking to make a bold difference. (No one else would have read this far!) Therefore, my job is to build you up, capitalizing on your strengths and the strengths of each member within your community. Otherwise, I will have failed you and your school community.
What Results Can You Expect?
As a result of implementing an 80/20 School Improvement Plan, you can expect the following results:
- Fewer layers! We will simplify the layers standing between you, your teachers, and the students you are trying to reach.
- Better grades! While we actively simplify your lives, we’ll boost your students’ performance. Grades will increase by at least one half of an increment on the GPA scale!
- Your students’ confidence will skyrocket! Remember the reason(s) why you became an educator? Imagine the fulfilling sense of satisfaction you’ll feel when students are confidently learning and actively improving their own lives.
- Your stress level will be cut in half! Imagine if you actually had time to eat a relaxing dinner most evenings and even had extra free time to pursue that hobby that you keep putting on the back-burner?
- Your teachers’ stress levels will be cut in half, too! Imagine how it would feel for your staff to know that you are all working together as a team to empower your students? If they could have more time with their families and more rest, relaxation, and recreation? Imagine how their mood and levels of cooperation at work would improve? Many of the most frustrated teachers have the potential to become your greatest allies when they recognize that you are working to ease their frustrations!
- You will have accomplished your primary objective in education! Although, really, you’ll just be getting started.
- You will be a hero to your staff, students, and community. They will have a renewed and revitalized spirit of collaboration now as they have more freedom to be the educator they wanted to be from the beginning.
- Your school will be a lighthouse school for the nation…and for global reform! This can lead to untold opportunities for you and your school!
Results Are Guaranteed!
If you don’t see the increased performance I have promised, I will refund the escrow account established for this project AND continue to provide support for an additional contract period. I’m putting a lot of my time and money on the line so you don’t have to!
Get Started Now!
Fill out the SOAR Elite Consulting Application here.
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