Podcast Interviews

Better Leaders Better Schools

October 14,2015 / Podcast / admin

Listen to the full interview here ( 45:36 minutes)


Full Transcript


Hey guys, this is Daniel from better leaders, better schools. I help school leaders create a winning culture, focus on the essential in lead with courage and integrity. Today’s interview is with Tom Schwab. He’s a really awesome guy, a master at digital marketing. Hey, I thought this was a podcast for school leaders. You said, well, tell you what. Tom Has this really awesome perspective on a delighting your customers and seeing them as experts and I really believed that that translates to how we see our staff and our students as experts and how we should start pushing ourselves as school leaders to overdeliver in what we offer our staff in terms of resources and development and relationships in the same thing with our students. The blog and podcast was made specifically for you to help you meet your leadership potential, get more content and resources at better leaders, better schools that come in now for the show.

Welcome to the better leaders, better schools podcast, where school leaders go to finding inspiration and learn world class strategies from top influencers in education, better leaders. Better schools was created by Daniel Bower and now for our Bauer Trivia question, Daniel was quarterback of the Illinois state champion High School football team. Stay tuned. The answer will be revealed following today’s amazing podcast.

Hello, this is Daniel from better leaders, better schools. I’m honored and thrilled that you are listening today. Today’s guest is Tom Schwab. Tom knows how to build an online business with an inbound strategy. He led the growth of goodbye crutches, a direct to patient private pay ecommerce business from a regional player to national leader in under three years is the leader of ecommerce Hubspot user group published in the leading industry blogs, featured guest on tv, radio, webinars and podcasts, and hubspot featured ecommerce case study. Ladies and gents, let me introduce to you Tom Schwab.

Hey Daniel. Thank you so much for having me here. And you forgot to mention Chicago native. So anytime that I get to talk to somebody else from the Chicago land area, I just love that. So it’s great to connect with you.

That’s right. Sweet Home Chicago. Glad you’re on the show. So Tom, you know, we connected a through something called the community and you know, I’ve really enjoyed the relationship that I’ve built with you. I’ve learned so much from you. You just an honest, incredible guy. Tommy, how would you describe your leadership style and how’d you develop this style?

Boy, that’s a great question. And my history is, you know, my leadership style came from the military. Um, I, I grew up in the Chicago land area, but then, uh, went to the naval academy. He spent five years active duty, uh, afterwards, you know, just leading a great group of people. I ran nuclear power plants in the navy and the, the people that were doing that were just educated, motivated. Um, it wasn’t a driving, it was actually leading and motivating and uh, I learned from some of the best leaders there. So to me, uh, I would say a cheerleader, somebody that believes in them, uh, that sets the mission and, and really, uh, drives everybody forward with that. Uh, my best captain ever had was a huge cheerleader. And that’s what I’d like to see myself as.

You’re so interesting. When I talked to different leaders about their leadership style and a few years ago, well actually every year I go to this conference called the global leadership summit. It’s an engagement of all the top leaders around the world happens the first week in August, every year and one of those years I was blessed to see Colin Powell and one of the things that struck me was he said, I’ve never told a subordinate that’s an order, right? It’s all about building relationships and like you said, a facilitating leadership in cheerleading and making people feel great about themselves in something that struck out to me when I was, uh, looking at your linkedin profile is this, this one line? And it talks about delighting customers. It says building a marketing machine that delights the customers and business. And I think it’s so important to pull apart this idea and what you mean by delighting the customers. Because for principals, we get so stuck in the routine of everything we do day to day tasks come nonstop. The emergencies of fires have to be put out by us, but we need to be other focused. So can you elaborate on what you mean by delighting customers?

Well, the first thing is defining who the customer is. Right. And so, you know, in the ecommerce standpoint, sometimes it’s easy to say, okay, the person that’s given me the money is the customer, but in the school system is different and you know, my background is I’ve, you know, went through and was a mechanical engineer, went through my Mba and then I’ve learned so much. I’m just, you know, um, since then also, so I look at the whole system is who is your customer defining that first. And that could be the student, it could be the person paying it, it could be the employer that they go to afterwards or you know, the next school they go to trying to look at all of those. And now we had a joke in the military that if it wasn’t good enough it wouldn’t be the minimum and it was always shooting for that minimum.

But that was tongue in cheek with that. Nobody remembers if you just do the minimum, they always, when you delight them, and sometimes you can’t do that on every step, but you should always take the opportunity to do something above and beyond to surprise them to do something beyond what they expected to overdeliver. Um, and, and that’s what people remember. They remember that deletion and I don’t know if that’s even a word I made it. I ended up, I use it all the time, the relationship. So with that, because that’s what, that’s what you just don’t want customers. You just don’t want people that are going through the motions because you’re the best option out there. I really want people that are so delighted that they become advocates, advocates for what we offer for the brand. That’s your best marketing ever. And you know, while we’ve got new tools out there in the internet, you know, I’ve got social media and everything like that. It all goes off of happy customers. And uh, you know, our business that we’re running today, no matter what it is, is very much like the, what our grandparents ran. Um, you grow your business by having delighted customers that tell other customers about it. The only thing different now is that with the tools we have, they can eat, they can amplify it. So the people that are delighted, they’re going to be amplified. Those people that are mad and uh, aren’t satisfied, they’re going to be amplified to,

you know, that’s something we definitely want to avoid in the school systems in. And sometimes it’s all too common to have a teachers to have students that are just going through the motion and they get there at 8:00 can wait till 3:30 in the bell rings where they can get home and do what they’re actually passionate about. But when you’re talking about, uh, I guess I’m building these advocates for you, right? These delighted customers because you overdelivered uh, what are some specific things that you do in your business setting that we can translate, you know, will translate that to the school setting. That’s my job. But what are some specific things that you’ve done to overdeliver to delight your customers?

One of the things that I love to do is once you can measure, you can improve and um, you know that how well you’re serving your customers are delighting them from a customer service standpoint. That was always that nebulous thing, you know, I love digital marketing because you can measure everything and then trying to measure between customers and advocates. It’s just sort of this grey nebulous area and I ran across an article in Harvard Business Review from, I want to say it was like 2006 and it’s called the only number you need to grow. And we’ve all experienced this. It’s that email that you get that says, how likely are you on a scale from zero to 10 to recommend this company, this brand, this product, uh, to a friend or colleague. And it’s called the net promoter score. And it’s based on a lot of research and a statistically proven.

And then the business community. It positively correlates to the growth of accompany the profitability of a company and the value of a company as far as mergers and acquisitions, how much somebody will pay for it. And it’s a very easy thing to ask a customer and um, it’s, it breaks down if somebody gives you a nine or 10, that means they’re a promoter. That means they love you. They’re throwing their hands up and saying, you know, pick me, pick me, I’d love to help you. If there are seven or eight, that means they really don’t care about you. And those zero through six is called into tractor. Those are the people that really low the you. So the only ones you really have to worry about are the lovers and the low others. And really not a whole lot of people give you seven and eights because they don’t care enough to even fill out the survey.

Right? But I love that because you can use it in so many ways because you don’t want to treat everybody the same way. So if somebody is a promoter, they say, give you a nine or a 10. Well then give them the tools to, to recommend you to a friend or a colleague, you know, use their testimonials, ask them for testimonials, ask them to be involved in the company as a, as a, uh, a customer feedback, anything you know, they just raised their hand and said they wanted it to be part of that. And shame on us as leaders if we don’t get them involved. The flip side of that is that if somebody gives you a zero to six, they tell you they love you. Well first of all, it’s really easy to hate a accompany. It’s hard to hate a person, so if you just go ahead and follow up and anybody that gives you a zero to six followup is a person as a leader and say, I’m so sorry.

We let you down. You know, how did we not fulfill our promise to you? And a lot of times that affirmation that you actually care, that will change their mind and say, oh, well, you know, that makes a difference. Let me take this survey again. Other Times they’ll tell you what you did to let them down. And that’s so important because not only can you correct that issue, but you can correct the process so that you don’t have that issue in the future. And I just love that open ended question and I’m in our staff. We, we struggled back and forth with it on the customer service people and they’re like, well, you know, a seven isn’t that bad or six isn’t that bad? Can we call that, you know, a sort of promoter. And I’m like, no, the, the study says that nines and tens are promoters. So, uh, and the, the way they do the calculation on that number then is, uh, it’s the number of voters minus the number of detractors divided by the promoters plus the detractors. So some of your best companies out there. I’m apple, I’m a southwest airlines. Those people have like numbers of about 70 as possible. If everybody loves you, you have a positive 100. If everybody load zoo, you have a minus 100, but at least gives you a sense there of where you are. And you can measure that.

No. Three things I want to pull apart real quick for school leaders, but one would be, uh, I think there’s a really great opportunity for school leaders to focus on customer service and building what Tom is describing as these advocates that go out and really celebrate your organization as a school. Secondly, I think we far too often go through the motions and, and rightfully so, we focus on student growth and student achievement, uh, AP tests, act scores and all that. But, you know, I’m challenging school leaders right now. What other ways can we enrich our student, our parent, our community, our teachers, uh, just all staff members lives. How can we over deliver in the school setting? That’s a question I want every school that leader to reflect on tonight. Uh, and then number three, it’s easy to hate a company according to Tom. It’s hard to hate a person.

And I think the challenge there for school leaders is the reach out when you know, when things are going great, reach out when things are a challenging, reach out as a leader and have those tough conversations. Build those bridges. Because when you have that type of relationship, conversations can happen and you definitely can improve the school system. So town, one of my favorite posts we talked briefly before the show was something you posted recently called the five secrets. All podcast guests should copy from Pat Flynn and this post is on your website, which is www dot t, m schwab.com and that’s t m as c h w a, B dot Com. And you know, this is a great post for people that are trying to grow their business and learn to become excellent podcast guests. But I really think that these, these pieces can help school leaders become better leaders as well. And so the five things that you stay a make a great podcast guests is make the other person the star to be yourself, keep getting better, to be honest and vulnerable and the fact that nice guys and gals do finish first. So Tom, could you pick those pieces apart a little bit for us?

Yeah. The first one is, you know, every, the, the most important word in the English language or anybody’s language is your own name. So when you start saying that with somebody, you know, when you have a discussion, if you’re only talking about yourself and not the other person or do you don’t make them feel, feel good. Um, it sets the tone there. And the gentleman that I, uh, I wrote this about Pat Flynn is, is he won the award this year for the number one podcast and I saw pat at this podcast movement and I walk up to him and I really didn’t know what he was doing. He just had a, um, his phone in his hand and I walked up and said something to him. The next thing I knew he was on periscope. He was live streaming. He put his arm around me and introduced me to the whatever it was, 100 people that were watching. It would’ve been so easy for him to say, you’re interrupting me or something like that. But he didn’t. He was so gracious to just say, Hey, you know, um, who, you know, introduce yourself to everybody. And I think everybody wants to feel important and everybody wants to feel us. Be a star. And if you can remember that you’ll go a long way in making friends and relationships.

What about the idea of keep getting better?

Yeah, you should always. I’m real big into, into, to numbers and the analytics, you know, my background is as an engineer and I think the way you’re trained really sets the way you learn from then. And I was looking at it from the engineering standpoint of you’re always getting feedback and uh, it’s up to you whether or not you use that feedback. So trying to always get better, um, with what people tell you, with what you tell yourself with what you’re learning, um, that, uh, you know, uh, you should always start as soon as you can because that’s the fastest way to learn, but always make a commitment to keep raising the bar. Um, I think all of us can be better than we know,

know I skipped one being yourself. But I think it’s a good segue into being honest and vulnerable to. Because a lot of times, um, you know, we, we had this imposter syndrome that’s telling us that we’re not good enough. We’re not smart enough or whatever, and it pushes us to a corner where we sort of hide who we really are. So what have you learned over the years in terms of how to really be yourself in all sorts of different situations, uh, and on top of that, be yourself in an honest and vulnerable way?

Well, I think the hardest thing to do was act because it takes a whole lot of effort and when people try copy and other people, you only get, you know, 90 percent of it, right? And the other 10 percent I’ll just feels fake and it’s for me, it’s too hard to work for me to try to copy what somebody else is doing or to act a certain way. And it’s never consistent. It’s never honest. It’s never full with the character. So I think at every point some somebody’s going to look at themselves in the mirror and just say, this is who I am. I’ve got to work for my strengths. I’ve got to acknowledge my weaknesses. And the thing is, is the vulnerability there. Everybody knows the elephant in the room. Everybody knows what strengths. And your weaknesses are, if you’re a strong enough leader and a strong enough person of character to acknowledge that you’re not perfect, that you’re, that you need people that, um, that you need ideas.

I think those are the leaders that people rally around to help. If you’re the know all that dictates from on high, they’re just standing around waiting for the king to, uh, to fall down. You know, and I’ve seen this in other areas too. And uh, I had uh, uh, experience in, in medical sales. I’m with a fortune 500 company and I learned so much. There was the doctors that had the premadonna and everybody would stand around, scared to death to say anything to them and they were on their own. But I would much rather have the one that was the team leader, the one that valued everybody’s portion in there because everybody was looking out for each other. Everybody was helping him and they had a better product with that. And I think that’s a great example of leadership and, um, your, your followers, see who you are. And so it’s important for you to acknowledge that too.

You know, and I think what you just sharing there as well in terms of watching the, uh, the authoritarian king, top of his mighty hill, you know, people just wait for that moment and that last point that you shared in your blog posts. Nice guys really do finish first and it’s truly about a leadership is about empowering your people, building your people up and giving them opportunities to succeed and fail and then catching them when they fall, instructing, um, you know, revising the mistakes they made and put them in positions again to succeed. So, you know, we talked about a few things that are, I guess are nice about leadership, but one of my favorite questions to ask folks is, what was your worst leadership mistake and what’d you learn from it? Because I truly believe that failure is one of the best teachers. Right? So what was your worst mistake in leadership? Tom?

My worst mistake was probably being more responsible to my boss than my followers. Um, and doing what he demanded one time, um, as opposed to what I knew was right for the followers and not using my power and authority to say, no, this isn’t, this isn’t what’s best for the organization and for the people below me. Um, that I think if you look out for the people below you, you’ve got that loyalty, you’ve got that comradery. Um, you’ve got that support and if your loyalty only goes up and doesn’t go down, uh, it’s a dangerous place.

No time. We talked earlier about delighting our customers and we talked about them turning into advocates for our business or for our school. But I’m curious, is there any type of, uh, I guess workflow or, or some sort of exercise that you go through in terms of identifying your dream dream customer?

Very much so. And we call it for the marketing side of ideal buyer persona. Some people will call it an Avatar and it’s this fictitional character. Um, and it gets into who they are, both from the demographics, which is, I always say what the census data knows about us. So it might be, you know, narrative the motivated mom and that’s the person that’s 30 to 50 years old. She’s, you know, high school educated to college educated, you know, makes this much money, lives in this zip code. Okay, that’s who they are from the Census Bureau, but then also flip through and say the psychographics, you know, who are they and this is the stuff that only their best friend or spouse would know. Where did they get their information? What influences them? What are their predispositions about our industry? What are their desires, what are their wants, what are their fears?

Um, and those things. So you can really talk to them. And I think too often, especially now with the Internet, we look at this and say, wow, we’ve got 7 billion people, you know, I’ve got $7, million potential customers. Well, if you try speaking to everybody is serving everybody. You serve no one. And so if you can really niche down and say, these are the people we serve best, you know, these are the things that we do best business a lot of times talks about the niches or the riches are in the niches. Um, you know, a lot of times it’s saying the things that, no, we don’t do these things. Um, you know, there’s that decisions of what you are, you can be excellent in and you can only do that by giving up on other things. So with that, yeah, we’d always go ahead and try to boil it down to three to five ideal buyer personas and then each time that we have any kind of message, we look and say, okay, who is this going to, you know, any communication should be from a real person to a real person.

So if we’re, if we’re sending out an email to mary, the motivated mom, well we want to make sure that, you know, it comes from a person, it doesn’t just be like info at, you know, nobody knows that they get to a real person’s name, Tom, at, um, and then try to connect with them. So if you’re, if you’re sending an email or communication to marry the motivated mom, put pictures of other people that look like her that she can relate to. I’m the same way. You know, if you’re sending communications to the kids that they’re supposed to read, you put pictures of the kids and it too, because we all like to see people that look us and not necessarily in the ecommerce site is called a trust seal. So it’s something that you can look at something and say, Oh yeah, I can relate to that person. You know, time.

One of the things that you’re known for is this idea of forgetting flash, flashy, and just be helpful. I’m wondering if you could go into that a little bit because school leaders oftentimes I think it caught up into flashy initiatives within the schools. Uh, there’s different types of, um, education programs, a dual certified teachers, you know, I’m not going to get into it too much because there can be kind of political too and I might lose half my listeners as well. But I love this idea of um, what you said as well just a minute ago. Sometimes it’s saying no, that opens up the floodgates to your business. So it’s like identifying really those, those dream customers, those avatars, if you will, and really catering to them and saying no to everything else. But is there anything that you want to add on top of it in terms of forgetting the flash sheet and just being helpful?

Yeah, I think I’m too much now. We can spot the advertising and if something is flashy and overproduced, our guards go up on it and we’ve got, you know, we see so many commercials throughout the day and if all you’re trying to do is pitch another commercial, well the, the guard goes up from the very beginning and that could be, you know, the commercial to your, uh, to my kids in the morning trying to sell them too hard on why they should do something. If it sounds like a pitch, they’re going to stop doing that. So just be honest, be vulnerable. Um, be um, be helpful. Um, there was a book out I guess about six years ago by two smart guys out of Mit. It’s called inbound marketing. Brian, Brian Halligan and Dharmesh saw and they said that the world is changing and especially on the Internet that nobody wants to be sold anymore.

You know, nobody, nobody out there, um, goes to google saying, I want to be sold something. But everybody goes there because they’ve got a problem and are going and looking for a solution so that person that can help them with a solution with content usually, you know, so it could be a blog, it could be an answer, it could be a video, it could even be like audio content, like we’re doing right here. That content that helps somebody builds no liken trust and builds authority and thought leadership and that once you get that trust, then people will start engaging with you further. And you know, from an standpoint, um, the reason people don’t engage with you is because they don’t trust you. It’s not price, it’s not anything else. It’s, it’s a trust issue. And I would say in any other business to the recent customers aren’t moving along is because there’s some breakdown there and trust.

And if you’re just trying to sell hard of, you’re not helping that relationship. Um, you know, there’s a gentleman by the name of Gary Vaynerchuk out there, um, and uh, uh, you the dome, but if you know them, you either love him or hate him. There’s no in between. But he wrote a book called Jab, Jab, Jab, Jab, right hook, and I always look at that from the standpoint of serve, serve, serve, serve, ask, uh, you know, if you keep serving people and helping them and building that trust, boy, they’re almost a asking to buy or what they can do for you before, where you can ask it.

That’s such a great a idea that school leaders need to take on the idea of throwing a towel of our arms. And how can we as school leaders serve, serve and continue serving multiple times, right before we ever asked for anything or need something from our staff. So leadership really is about service. So one thing that I know is that school leaders are incredibly busy and I know you with a number of businesses also have a lot of balls in the air. Tom, how do you avoid distractions and stay focused on the essential things you must get done?

Boy, that’s tough. Um, I, I, I probably should have been diagnosed with add when I was young and they just didn’t have it. I’m one of the things that has struck me that somebody had told me is that if you focus your mind to actions follow up, but if you don’t focus your mind, you’re just chasing the actions. So, uh, one of the things that I tried to do in my routine is just have a theme, what’s the theme for this month and I want to get done, what’s the theme for this week that I want to get done? And then focus on that because there’s a great book out there called essentialism by Greg McCowan. And the truth is, is that your schedule will get filled. It will either get filled with your priorities or someone else’s priorities, but it will be filled and you can either make the decision to, to do it with your priorities or somebody else’s. So to me it’s always, you know, doing it, focus the mind and the actions follow.

So before we recorded the podcast, you mentioned how your family was visiting and they just took off and now we’re doing the podcast. How do you balance work life and family?

Oh, better than I used to. Um, I used to lie to myself and the say I could multitask and then I’ve realized that I don’t, I don’t do it well and people are watching. Um, so for example, um, when you’re, when you’re, when I talked to my granddaughter who’s a 16 months, she never sees me with my phone in my hand because if I’m standing there talking to her and pushing her on the swing and I’ve got my phone in my hand, what I’m telling her is that, um, this is more important than you, so I make go around and push her from behind and check my email real quick, but she doesn’t see it. So I, I think that whole idea of work life balance, it’s almost a misnomer. I think we’ll never get life fully and balance and you’ve got to be comfortable with that. It’s almost sets us up for failure. When we say always kind of the work life balance. Um, there are certain times where, you know, there are seasons in your life where you’ve got to work really hard. There’s other seasons where you’ve got to work hard in your business or your family. Um, just what I have learned is a, do them separately, don’t try a cramming everything together because both sides will see that you’re not giving it your all.

Yeah, I think that that’s really wise that there’s different seasons that we go through. But you almost shot an arrow through my heart there when you’d said that you lied to yourself. I, I, I definitely need to be vulnerable with that. Like, um, I know when I’m at home and with my wife trying to get this podcast off the ground, the website, you’ll participate in different community groups online, you know, and just other stuff that I’m interested in, you know, sometimes that takes the priority over her and it really shouldn’t. So I think the challenge to myself and to other school leaders and whoever’s listening to this podcast is depending on the season, but if you’re in a season where you can’t strike this balance, have a hard shut off time and uh, you know, and if you’re around people, be what they call being present and give them your full attention because, you know, I know, I know. I don’t want to feel second to an iphone, right? So just put your devices away, shut them down and really get that quality time with relationships and your family and friends. You’ll never get that time back. So time my is interested. What do you do for fun? I love hearing how guests answer this.

Oh, um, anything with my family. So I, I skied, shoot a lot and the reason being is because my son likes to do it and he’ll call up and say, Hey dan, do you want to go skeet shooting? And he brings along a couple of friends and I have to pay for all the animals, but I love it. Anything, anything with the family is fine. We, uh, we live on six acres and uh, uh, so, uh, we had them out a lot and I’m a volunteer work at Church and uh, reading, um, I’m a bad golfer. But uh, uh, somebody once said they never saw somebody golf, so enjoy it so much.

I have one story was skeet shooting. I, I participated in that once and it was through a church outing, a but a group of men. This is a men’s outing right behind me. Shotgun, first time shooting shotgun in my hand goes out, Bam. Hit It on my first shot. And I tell you all those years of video games, I think they paid off hand, eye coordination. Nothing beats a roar of men. After you nail your target shooting a shotgun that is the best. So Tom, let me ask you this. What is one book that you think every principal should read right now and why?

Oh, definitely essential ism. I mentioned that before. It’s the disciplined pursuit of less. I’m going after the important thing as opposed to the trivial many. I’ve read that so many times. I think I’ve read it four times and each time with different people. One time it was a mastermind group in business and it had a certain idea there. Another time my wife and I read it and it had a whole different field for a men’s group. And I read it and then I read it in another business group. So, um, I like going back and each time you read it, and I would, I would encourage any business to do that because there’s probably, it’s that old paredo principle 80 slash 20 rule. There’s probably 20 percent of the stuff that you’re doing that has a positive impact. The other 80 percent is just wasting time. I’m so focus on that stuff that’s really doing that and it’s, it’s hard to say no, but you’ve got to say no to good to get to grade.

It’s true. And that’s actually, you’ve read it four times. I can’t beat that. I’ve read it twice, but I, I’ve gotten so impacted by the book essentialism. We’ll hook that up in the show notes so people can purchase that if they’d like a that is a killer book, a killer resource and actually on the blog, better leaders, better schools.com. I’m doing a 20 part series just based off my notes that I took on essentialism. So the audience audiences free to check that out. So Tom, we’re always looking for ways to become more effective at work. Is there any type of tech resource that has helped you become more effective?

That’s always a double edged sword there. There are so many great tools out there, but no tool is better than the operator. So find something that works for you and work it. There are certain people that um, uh, like, uh, there’s a project management system called a Trello and it’s very visual and I’ve got virtual assistants that love it and I worked a little bit with them on it, but I’m not a, I’m not a visual guy. I like spreadsheets. I’m evernote is a great one and all of them are great as long as you use them. It’s like which diet works best? I don’t know the Diet that you can stick to.

Exactly. So we’re up the show. This is the last question that I asked my guests and I love that you are from that outside the education industry. Really interested in how you’ll answer it. The question is, you’re building a school from the ground up. You are not limited by budget. Your only limitation is your imagination. How would you create the school if you’re given a blank slate and unlimited resources, what would be your top three priorities? Building the school.

This is an interesting one and I’ve got to point back to the high school that I went to. Um, and I still wanted their ideas there and it goes in with the ecommerce or digital thing here I would listen to the experts. And in online business I always tell people the experts are your customers. The experts are not the consultants. The experts are not the academics. The experts are not the person that runs the company. Everybody’s got an opinion, but the only people that have the answers are the experts and those are your customers. And I can think of, um, my high school experience, they looked at the experts. So it wasn’t while we were going through there that they cared about our opinion as much as when we graduated and they said at that point, what were you prepared for? What weren’t you prepared for?

Who were the best teachers? Who were the worst teachers? And that gave a very unbiased view of it. Um, so if I was a, you know, if I was doing a school that was teaching people just before they went out to get a job, I would go out to the people that we’re trying to get a job and say, where did the education system lets you down what was the good, what was the bad and use that. If it was kids that were going into, I’m a junior high, I would look at the ones that went through there and said, you know, what was missing in the program? Because the other thing too is they don’t have a biased impacted that point. There’ll be on there. So that would be the first one and asking the experts. The second one would be, um, collaboration. Um, I don’t think we’re, we’re meant to have for man to be alone or to learn alone.

Um, we’re it more interconnected than ever. So I would go ahead and I’m a foster and look at collaboration as much as possible. The final thing is just looking at it is that I don’t think it needs to be a physical place anymore. The idea of going to one building to learn, um, blows my mind, I’ve learned more having discussions like with you, Daniel online or having a group of people together on a conversation and you know, the, the idea that every, every smart person is going to be in that same room with you in Chicago or in the same room with me in Kalamazoo, Michigan, um, is just insane these days. So I would see how we could bring people together and the tools are out there so we can bring students, we can bring educators, we can bring the best of that and really niche something down. So, um, those would be my three things

that was, uh, experts in, in seeing your customers, in this case, the students, right? As the experts, how did we support them, how did we fail them? A collaboration because that’s really the world we live in. And I love what you’re saying in terms of redefining the physical space of school and looking at how we can make more online connections with other students in, in, you know, not even in the nation but internationally as well. One of the things that I’m, I’m sure this is true with your business, but one of the things I most enjoy, uh, were better leaders, better schools that calm is a, I have readers right from 84 different countries and counting and they email right? And they’d tell me what they’re struggling with and I get to help them and there’s just such a cool opportunity so we should look to make those connections as well for our students outside the physical space of school. So, Tom, I want to thank you so much for being a part of the better leaders, better schools, podcasts. Do you have any parting words of advice and was the best way of getting a hold of you?

Well, Daniel, I was just so thrilled to be on this and honored. Um, I’m excited about education going forward and you know, I’m going to turn 50 years old this year and I’m looking forward to learning more in the next decade than I did in the previous 50. We’ve got such great resources, great technology there, and we’ve gotten great people leading the way. So I applaud all the educators out there, um, you guys are making a difference and you’re making it much, much bigger than we were ever able to decades ago. So I applaud you. Um, you know, our future is in your hands as far as parting words. There’s a gentleman by the name of Derek Sivers and he was the founder of CD baby. Nobody remembers the name of the company, but it was the precursor to itunes and he said something that’s always struck me. He said, what’s ordinary to you is amazing to me and it’s so true. Every time I talked to somebody I learned something and I’m so reach out there, learn from other people. Um, those could be mentors or people you’re mentoring. Um, and if you ever want to connect with me, um, I love doing that. I can be reached@mywebsitewhichisTomSchwab.com. And uh, I’m also on Linkedin. I’m the only time Schwab in Kalamazoo. Uh, so I’d love to connect with you any way could help you. I would be honored.

Ms Dot Great. And, you know, you talked about something, uh, uh, for the audience, Tom Schwab.com forward slash better what kind of a Freebie, I guess, do you have for them?

Sure. We’ve got this set up, a separate landing page there. So if you go to Tom Schwab.com forward slash better, um, I’ll have a special welcome page there. So if you’re listening to this the first day at posts or years afterwards, we’ll have the same spot for you there. And we’ll have everything that Daniel and I talked about today. There’ll be some extra information about that net promoter score that I talked about and how we used it. There’s an infographic in there. Um, all my contact information will be there and if anybody’s ever interested in getting your message out, uh, as a podcast guest, that’s something that we have found has been extremely beneficial. Our data shows that a interviews on podcasts convert 25 times better than things like blogs. So if you’re trying to get the message out about your school, your institution, your, your project, they’re consider going on a podcast like this. You know, people are listening to it, podcasts are growing, so the question is, are they going to be listening to you or listening to somebody else and you get all those resources again@TomSchwab.com forward slash better.

Alright, well thanks again Tom. I appreciate it. Thank you. Daniel. I want to thank you for listening to today’s interview with Tom Schwab. Is he discussed how to delight our customers, our students, staff, parents, and community. Don’t forget to check out the show notes at better leaders, better schools.com. Just search tom in the search bar and the show notes will come up there. You can grab the books that mentioned, uh, through the interview, uh, and also get key quotes and other important information from the show. Today’s podcast was brought to you by audible.com. You can get a free audio book download and a Thirty Day free trial@www.audible trial.com forward slash better. That’s www.audible trial.com forward slash better. It has over a 180,000 titles to choose from, just like essential ism mentioned in today’s show. For Your iphone, Android, kindle, or MP, three player, I also want to let you know that I have a free gift for you.

That is the 15 phrases of an effective school leader. If you text the word phrases, p, h, r a, s e, s two, three, three, four, four, four. That’s phrases two, three, three, four, four, four. And you could download the 15 phrases they have served me so well in all my different leadership positions. So final note, please rate and review in Itunes, soundcloud, and stitcher. That’s really the greatest things that I can get in. I appreciate honest reviews. If you’d like to connect with me, you can ask Daniel had better leaders, better schools that come, uh, cannot guarantee what I will respond. But I will respond to our emails. And if you’re on twitter, I love twitter. You can get me at a, at underscore better schools. And now to answer today is trivia question. The only thing team that I’ve ever led to a championship while playing quarterback is fictional on something called the xbox where I can create myself to be an amazing athlete because I was not there in high school and I didn’t play football. I swam. I played volleyball. Little bit of basketball until I got cut. I was never. The high school quarterback was only in my dream. Thanks again for listening. See you the same time. Same better place. The same time.