What investment will you make in yourself and your team this year that guarantees results?

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Dennis McDavid

Superintendent of Schools

Berkley School District

Top 10 School District
Kennedy Center/Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Award (one of only four the country)

“I don’t like consultants. These guys are different.  Simply put, Tom and Brad have been fantastic and this is the best investment I have made in my time as Superintendent.  They are as committed to our kids as we are.  And their approach is different from anything I’ve seen in my 30 years as a professional.  We will continue to work with them to build capacity within our organization to intentionally grow and develop our school Principals and all of our people. I highly recommend them for any school district looking to improve, grow, and take it to the next level.”

Dr. Daniel Nerad 

Superintendent of Schools

Birmingham Public Schools

#1 School District in Michigan

“Thank you very much for the work you are doing with me.  I think the best way I can express myself is to share with you that I appreciate you serving as both a mirror and a window for me with my leadership work.  The mirror involves you helping me see what exists in the data about my leadership work, but more important, helping me see the blind spots that seem to have developed in me as a leader (I believe this is true for all leaders).  While difficult and challenging, I am grateful for the discussions and ideas.”

What investment will you make in yourself and your team this year that guarantees results?

The Culture Experts

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Brad Zimmerman

Resourceful. Strategic. Insightful.

Brad Zimmerman believes there is unlimited potential in the human spirit, and that we all adopt beliefs that can limit our potential.

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Tom Willis, MBA

Trustworthy. Discerning. Strategic.

Tom Willis believes we are all born with unlimited potential.  As a former classroom teacher, he also believes in the power of lifelong learning. 

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“This work is genuine and authentic. Knowing when to use leadership and when to use management and when to use coaching has been a tremendous breakthrough. It’s terribly exciting to know where we are headed. It gives me goose bumps. So exciting!”

~ School Principle

Create the High-Performing Culture You Want

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You have a vision.  You face mounting pressure to generate results. 

You know that the majority of education initiatives today simply do not produce results.
We offer a different approach.

We are the culture experts.  We specialize in turning your vision into reality.

“This approach isn’t for everyone.

I advise other leaders to only take this on if they are really committed to growth for their organization, their team and, most importantly, for themselves.”

Learn more from leaders who can speak to our integrity:
Dr. Daniel Nerad Birmingham Schools Superintendent
Dr. Daniel Nerad Birmingham Schools Superintendent

Superintendent of Schools Birmingham Public Schools, Birmingham, MI Thank you very much for the work you are doing with me. I think the best way I can express myself is to share with you that I appreciate you serving as both a mirror and a window for me with my leadership work.

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David Guth
David Guth

CEO at Centerstone Brad has served as a leadership consultant, trainer, and coach for me and members of my executive cabinet and senior leadership team. In my nearly 30 years of executive leadership I have encountered scores of management consultants, though none in Brad's league. He is very smart, insightful, and truly committed to the success of his customer. I have found his work to be of enormous benefit to both the organization and to me personally.

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Dennis McDavid
Dennis McDavid

Superintendent at Berkley School District We have begun work with Brad and his team at Phoenix Performance Partners. We did a great deal of careful vetting before we decided to engage in the work with Brad and his team. We wanted to make sure that our work with Phoenix would be meaningful, that it would immediately have impact, and that it would be long-lasting. Our executive team retreat with Phoenix delivered in all of those measures.

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Jessica Stilger
Jessica Stilger

Communications Supervisor at Berkley School District & Executive Director of Berkley Education Foundation Phoenix Performance Partners have been a tremendous asset to our administrative team. They are reframing how we think about leadership, and how we can enhance our school district through coaching. Tom has been my personal coach as well and helps me think about ways to be an effective leader, manager and coach. He pushes my thinking to make me better at what I do.

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Daniel Varner
Daniel Varner

President and CEO at Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit I worked with Tom while he led Cornerstone Schools. He is a great guy--thoughtful, intelligent, hard working, positive, and honest. I would be pleased to work with him again, and recommend him to others without reservation.

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Heather Lackey
Heather Lackey

Director of Student Services at Berkley School District Tom’s coaching addition to our administrative team has been very positive and tangible. With his calm and kind yet direct and funny reflections and challenges to our thinking, our team is using his model to more effectively interact with one another. The impact is a change in our leadership style which is noted by those who work for us which in turn is inspiring them.

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Susan Rivers
Susan Rivers

Executive Director & Chief Scientist, iThrive Games The executive leadership work and coaching that Tom and Phoenix Partners offer is exceptional. They aptly connect personal growth with organizational mission, structure, and functioning couched in what it means to lead and how to lead more effectively. Their frameworks are both intuitive and practical. I was immediately able to adopt them, incorporating them into the way I approach work.

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Mark Forner
Mark Forner

K-12 Principal - Mason County Eastern Schools Tom Willis is a high-integrity individual who has committed his life to helping young people and organizations to grow and become successful. His thoughtful insights and wisdom make him a special guy and an asset to any institution who is interested in internal and external growth.

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David Breen
David Breen

Retired Managing Partner at PwC Tom is one of the best leaders I have worked with. He is a builder of teams with a strong sense of mission. The thoughtful, open and honest approach to issue management results in high performance. He will be a quick study of your team's issues and deliver real and practical answers.

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Dan Mulhern
Dan Mulhern

Distinguished Practitioner of Business and Law at UC Berkeley Tom is one of the most dedicated, focused, and thoughtful people I know. He is a great listener and a creative problem-solver. needless to say these are the attributes of a phenomenal coach. I would trust Tom any day to help me get better at what I do and how I live.

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Trish Dewald
Trish Dewald

Skilled nonprofit executive experienced in securing community investments while building meaningful relationships. It’s rare to encounter someone like Tom. He’s an inspiring leader, strategic thinker and all around dynamic person. When I met Tom, it was clear within seconds that his commitment to the children in his schools runs far deeper than simply as the CEO of Cornerstone.

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Tony Regier
Tony Regier

Enterprise Account Manager at Dell Technologies Tom is an excellent thought leader and consummate professional. He has the unique ability to balance a set of skills that deliver strategy and execution to empower organizations to the next level of business transformation.

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Terry Langston
Terry Langston

Experienced Fundraiser and Grant Writer Loved working with Tom and Brad. They provided excellent coaching sessions that have led to some dramatic results. We are now engaging them in more broader and deeper work with our organization.

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Steve Hyer
Steve Hyer

President at IGD Solutions Corporation If you are looking to change the culture of your organization, Brad and his team are the ones for the job. Brad has a special ability to take the vision of the leader and create buy in from every level of the organization aligning everyone's personal mission with the mission of the organization.

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Sharon Tse
Sharon Tse

Strategy & Performance Improvement Consultant at Wayne State University Tom led a number of focus groups for us that required an advanced skillset beyond meeting facilitation, as well as the ability to quickly learn about and adapt to the needs of the organization. He seamlessly did this and played a key role in gaining the insights needed to help us drive change and improvement.

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Rob Dutkiewicz
Rob Dutkiewicz

MST President of Clayton & McKervey I had the great pleasure of serving on the board for Cornerstone Health + Technology High School for several years when Tom was the CEO of Cornerstone. I was quickly impressed by Tom's tremendous ability to execute difficult and ambitious projects, taking the concept of starting and growing a high school into action.

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Richard Beadle
Richard Beadle

Owner, Vistage Michigan The "thing" about Tom is that he is "gentle, kind, focused and he has an amazing human spirit". To be in a conversation with him is quite different than it is with most others because he is such "a good listener and he always seems fascinated with the conversation". The end result of all that, is that "I like me better when I'm with him".

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Nicole Husa
Nicole Husa

Personalized Learning Manager at Cornerstone Education Group Tom is a servant leader who not only discovers your strengths and talents, but provides you with authentic opportunities to foster and develop them. The value he places on each team member is palpable, and that understanding creates an environment of innovation and worth. Working for Tom has been a privilege.

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Radhika Magoo
Radhika Magoo

Project Management & Relationship Management Thomas was my client while he was the CEO of Cornerstone Schools. We worked on several financing needs for the schools and developed a great working relationship through the years. He was easy to work with and always responsive. He was hard working and dedicated to meeting the school's goals and open to new ideas to make that happen.

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Molly (Wiarda) Kaser
Molly (Wiarda) Kaser

President & CEO at Center for Family Health We have been working with Brad & Tom of Phoenix Performance Partners and I am happy to give them excellent references. Brad and Tom have helped our team learn to work together more effectively. This hasn't always been a cakewalk but we have definitely seen improvement. Brad & Tom use humor and their own personal stories to get their points across; you will enjoy them!

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Michael Warren
Michael Warren

Judge; Author; Patriot Week Co-Creator Tom is a very hard working, intelligent, and ethical worker, who has nothing but the best for the organization at heart. Highly recommended

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Marshall Hunt
Marshall Hunt

Director of Tax Policy & Advocacy at Accounting Aid Society Having worked with Brad for several years now, I consider him to be an excellent executive coach. He is able to assist an organization in moving from its current reality to a vision of the future by assisting its leaders in identifying their personal purpose and default success strategies with a goal of developing a common vision for the future.

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Margaret Trimer-Harley
Margaret Trimer-Harley

President/CEO at Junior Achievement of SE Michigan Thomas Willis is one of the most significant thought leaders in education today. I knew him during his years at Cornerstone Schools. There he was regarded as one who could break new ground at the same time he represented stable, sustainable and solid best practices.

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Lisa Diaz
Lisa Diaz

Co-Founder at Insignia Partners I met Tom when he was running Corner Stone Schools. Over the years he partnered with the state charter association on a number of occasions to help advocate for important policy. Under Tom's leadership, Corner Stone Schools grew and remained an important part of Detroit's education landscape.

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Lauren McGrath
Lauren McGrath

Vice President of National Policy at Centerstone Brad's executive coaching style can lead a team as well as an individual to develop personal and professional insights into performance, work/life balance, and accountability.

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Laura Allen
Laura Allen

Membership Development Manager Brad made us reach extraordinary heights to work at being the best we can be in our personal and professional lives. He is an awesome coach. I highly recommend him.

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Larry Denton
Larry Denton

President Ghafari Process Engineering at Ghafari Engineering I was a Board member for Tom Willis for over 5 years. I witnessed his growth, maturity and management skills grow every year. Tom is a great team builder , coach , and leader that can make order out of chaos and deliver results in a difficult environment. Tom's integrity and ethics are not exceeded. I would recommend Tom for any C level position.

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Kevin Schneiders
Kevin Schneiders

Chief Executive Officer at Educational Data Systems, Inc. I met Tom Willis a decade ago, when he was presenting a strategic plan to a large group of people. I was impressed immediately. Since that time, my respect and admiration for Tom has continued to grow. His character and integrity are second to none, and he cares deeply about other people.

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John Markley
John Markley

CEO of Centerstone of Illinois Through Brad's leadership we have navigated some very difficult challenges. Our work with Brad has enabled us to stay focused on developing a healthy culture, which strongly supports our efforts to be effective leaders and builders of leaders. I would strongly recommend consideration of engaging Brad and his team when you feel the work place culture is failing you!

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Jennifer Craig
Jennifer Craig

LCPC, SHRM-SCP Chief Operating Officer, Centerstone of Illinois at Centerstone Brad's program and work with our executive team has been transformative for our organization. In addition to our team working more effectively with each other, we have seen significant growth in terms of revenue, clients served and quality outcomes metrics.

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Jeremy Rodgers
Jeremy Rodgers

Passionate about Poverty Alleviation, Entrepreneurship, Christian Education, Philanthropy, and Stewardship Tom is a gifted communicator. More importantly he is an excellent listener. Tom's expertise in asking great questions was key to helping me understand how and why I do certain things. If you need someone to ask challenging and difficult questions while holding you accountable, I suggest you reach out to him.

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Jeffrey Brown
Jeffrey Brown

CEO, Lakeshore Regional Entity Brad is an exceptional coach and consultant in implementation of change management strategies. His methods are applicable to any industry. His efforts create growth and lasting strength in organizational leaders at all levels.

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Jodi Landers
Jodi Landers

Chief People Officer, Certified Executive Coach, Seasoned Facilitator, Leadership Consultant I had the opportunity to work with Brad a couple of years ago and it proved to be a life-changing experience for me. My place of employment contracted with him to take our leadership team through a program as well as provide 1:1 coaching to all of the team memebers.

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Harriet Markell
Harriet Markell

Behavioral Health Policy and Management Consulting My organization contracted with Brad to conduct a day-long seminar on Change Management for Executive Directors of non-profit community mental health agencies. Brad worked well with our program committee to custom tailor his workshop to meet our needs and worked flexibly and effectively with large group of diverse executives.

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Eric Cummins
Eric Cummins

Chief Executive Officer at St. Joseph Orphanage Brad and Phoenix Executive Coaching was very instrumental in helping our executive and leadership teams as we moved into a new era of providing services. Their team building and coaching helped our teams stretch themselves, grow and think in new ways. Their coaching helped to jump start our change initiative and helped us shave months off of our implementation.

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Deirdre Groves
Deirdre Groves

Nonprofit Leader Focused on Community Engagement Tom has been a wonderful partner to Challenge Detroit and an advocate for our community. He has shown exemplary leadership and kindness, especially in his roles in the education system. It has been an honor to maintain connectivity to Tom over the years!

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Daniel Ward, RHU, ChHC
Daniel Ward, RHU, ChHC

Area Vice President at Gallagher Benefit Services Tom does excellent work for Cornerstone Schools and makes my job when dealing with this client very easy.

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Amanda Newton
Amanda Newton

VP of Marketing & Business Development for Centerstone KY Brad challenged me to develop new ways of leading people. Brad guided on how to share my thoughts and strategies with my peers. He pushed me to look objectively at my interactions with others and to make substantive changes on engaging people. Every organization needs a Brad!

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Christian Anderson
Christian Anderson

Student Information Specialist at Macro Connect Tom Willis is a very dynamic and strong leader. He is very thoughtful in his approach to working with others. He has a strong understanding of how to get a group to come together, focus on a goal and accomplish that goal. He has an amazing ability to assess people and personalities and get the most out of everyone.

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Amanda Roraff
Amanda Roraff

PlanetM Operations Manager at Michigan Economic Development Corporation I met Tom Willis in 2015 during Leadership Detroit, an intensive eight-month leadership training program. Tom left a lasting impression as one of the most upstanding people I’ve ever met. Tom is sincere and open-minded, and approaches challenging situations and conversations with calm, creativity and positivity.

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Ann Lewis
Ann Lewis

CEO at CareSouth Carolina, Inc. I think that the work with PMP has been manifested in our organization as renewed strategic committment, accountability, integrity, and even personal fulfillment. At a time when the health care industry is in perilous shape, the work of PMP has given us a lifeline!

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Mike Richardson
Mike Richardson

President at Fairway Products Tom has the unique ability to question your actions, push your thinking, and steer you towards new approaches in a way that makes you feel good about the outcome. The process and tools Tom uses and teaches have made a difference in the way I lead, manage, and coach. Good stuff!

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What is the Phoenix Promise?

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We guarantee that this will be the best investment you make in your people.

 

And we will continue to work for free to ensure this happens.  100% of the time.  Just ask our clients.

What game-changer are you bringing to your school system this year?

What are the Cultural Outcomes You Can Expect?

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Your School Leadership Team will adopt and foster an intrapreneurial culture throughout your organization.  The characteristics of this intrapreneurial culture are:

  • Accountability exists at all levels and is supportive of personal growth and accomplishment, not punitive.
  • Open communication exists throughout the organization, unimpeded by organizational rank.
  • Confronting difficult issues is accepted as necessary to produce forward movement and is conducted in a manner that strengthens interpersonal relationships.
  • People within the organization are united by a commitment to a common purpose that is superior to individual agendas.
  • Departmental “silos” are breached and new-found ideas are generated.
  • Inspirational leadership exists throughout the organization.
  • Coaching is the norm in relationships and fosters personal and organizational growth.

Our Clients Say Our Approach Works

95% of clients engage us in additional work

90% of our work comes from referrals

100% agree their work has been impacted by what they’ve learned

What significant impact will you make this year?

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The Approach

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Our approach to building an intentional culture of inspiration, integrity and support in districts goes beyond the standard team-building exercises and individual coaching sessions made popular in the last century.

We specialize in creating future-focused, sustainable coaching cultures in which your team members learn to empower each other through effective leadership, management and coaching.

We employ three distinct disciplines (Leadership, Management and Coaching) and a variety of tools in our work:

The process spans several months, and includes group workshops and coaching as well as one-on-one coaching.  We refer to our programs as Transformational Leadership Projects because they are a catalyst for cultural transformation.  They are comprehensive in nature and incorporate team building, management training, training in coaching, development of inspirational leadership, change leadership, and strategic plan vitalization.

Click the drop down arrows below to learn more about each area:

Breakthrough Workshops


Breakthrough Workshops provide an opportunity to create new ways of looking at reality; not merely information gathering, but a process of discovery. You will emerge seeing yourselves and your organization from the vantage points of your peers, leaders and teachers, providing the understanding needed to make desired changes. You and your team members will also generate a clear and conscious commitment to a purpose that you find personally compelling. This personal commitment is linked to the purpose of the organization increasing the power of the team.

People emerge from our breakthrough workshops highly energized with a renewed commitment to expanding personal boundaries. This project combines personal development, strategic targeting, leadership development, and team building. Phoenix Performance Partners promises that each participant will:

  • Develop clarity of personal and shared visions and values, linked with the organizations’ values, mission and goals.
  • Develop new perspectives and skills that expand their capacity to lead, manage, and coach others.
  • Create an effective, cohesive relationship with the other participants, allowing for an open and direct “coaching” dialogue on even the most difficult issues.
  • Broaden their understanding and perspective on key organizational issues that contribute to and impede the organization’s success.
  • Develop an understanding of how other associates perceive their leadership style and effectiveness.
  • Create a cohesive set of Key Performance Indicators that form the basis of personal accountability and a culture of integrity.
  • Achieve personal breakthroughs in their ability to produce sustainable results.
Have unifying values, purpose, goals, and an operational plan for sustainable, measurable growth and financial success. Our approach is specifically designed to provide the critical support necessary because it is inevitable that after the Breakthrough Workshops, human nature is such that much of this energy and enthusiasm could fade over time without significant ongoing support. This support comes in the form of individual and teach coaching over a series of months:




Unlimited 1 on 1 Coaching


provides personalized and periodic, regular access to a professional executive coach to work through the challenges of employing new thinking in the real world. People in our programs find that they must operate in new, sometimes uncomfortable ways. By operating "outside of the box", we help clients engage in new capabilities to achieve the future they are committed to. The Phoenix Performance Partners coach (a former School Superintendent/business owner/CEO/corporate executive) is trained in applying our technology in the real world and is the clients' personal guide through this process.




Team Coaching


sessions bring the entire team together to ensure the necessary change is occurring.




Our Insight™ Coaching System


is a tool we designed specifically for our clients to use to foster the development of coaching relationships throughout the organization, fomenting personal and organizational growth. This tool ensures that the value we create together lives into the future.





We Don’t Do PD

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A frequently heard complaint about professional development is that people return from training programs or PD (professional development) with new concepts and when faced with on-the-job pressure, revert to old behaviors.  Our comprehensive approach, backed by our promise for results, guarantees sustainable change and measurable results.

“In order for students to prosper, academically, socially, and emotionally, adults in the school system must prosper in the same areas.

This is where Phoenix Performance Partners truly shines."

High Impact Learning

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The common technology to all of our programs is high impact learning... learning that makes a dramatic impact in the real world.

We promise to create breakthroughs that can be measured in results that you care about.  We work directly with you to identify the specific results that you want to accomplish (examples include employee satisfaction, productivity, fund balance growth, etc.).

Are you tired of the myopic focus on test results?

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FAQs

and other tough questions you may be too polite to ask:

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Who is this for?


Any Superintendent looking to take their schools to the next level. We only engage with schools where the Superintendent is 100% committed. We do this for the simple reason that the only way for an organization to achieve the results they are looking for is to have the Superintendent fully engaged. The Superintendent must be committed to growing personally and to making change happen.




How does your Phoenix Promise work?


We promise that you will get exactly what you want. Typically, our work takes about 5 months. At the end of the 5 months, we will have a conversation with you to see if you received what you signed up for. And if you say no, then we will continue working (at no additional cost) with you and your team until you do. It’s just that simple. You are guaranteed results, and we are guaranteed 100% client satisfaction.




What about Initiative Fatigue?


We provide an approach to creating high performing cultures, not an initiative. It’s indisputable that educators face mounting pressures unlike in any other industry, and initiatives are no match for this reality. And initiative fatigue is real in schools around the world. In his book Transforming Professional Development Into Student Results (ASCD, 2014), Douglas B. Reeves labels this phenomenon the Law of Initiative Fatigue: it states that when the number of initiatives increases while time, resources, and emotional energy are constant, then each new initiative — no matter how well conceived or well-intentioned — will receive fewer minutes, dollars, and ounces of emotional energy than its predecessors. And Charlotte Danielson speaks to the challenge in her Education Week article Helping Educators Overcome 'Initiative Fatigue'




How much does it cost?


Our pricing is done on a per-participant basis so once we know how many people will participate then we can provide pricing. Our pricing is constant for each school this year.




How many school clients do you serve each year?


We (Brad and Tom) do all the work ourselves so we limit the number of schools we work with every year. We currently have openings for 3 more schools this year.




Why do we need a coach?


There are many reasons why an effective executive coach can be a game-changer for you and your team. The simple reason is that a coach is the most effective way for someone to become the best in the world at what they do. We are professional executive coaches, and we too have coaches. Every great athlete has a coach. You should too. And if you’d like a world-renowned doctor’s opinion on the subject, here’s a compelling TED Talk speaking to the advantages of a coach: Atul Gawande: "Want to get great at something?"
Check out the TEDx Talk Here




What do school principals say about working with us?


This quote was sent by the principal to his entire team of 100 and all the parents: “While I never enjoy being out, it was probably the most meaningful development I have had in a very long time- maybe in my whole career.” “I was skeptical of this process and frankly of others. I now know I can grow to be more open and trusting of the team.” “We really need to think differently and coaching really does matter. I can apply this to my life. Anything is now possible... let’s go after it!” “I now know how to lead.” “This will make our schools better.” “Great time. I just feel so great about our team. I will be a better leader. The sky is the limit! We will get there.” “We will find a way to make education better.” “This has and will continue to push me. This will make me better and the organization better.” “Knowing when to use leadership and when to use management and when to use coaching has been a tremendous breakthrough. It’s terribly exciting to know where we are headed. It gives me goose bumps. So exciting!” “I’m clear now on how I need to focus on the future to be a great leader.” “I honestly believe this experience will change me. When I came yesterday I wasn’t sure. I now know how to listen. We have an immense opportunity before us now!” “We were overwhelmed and stressed. I’m excited and know I’m not alone. I’ve found even more meaning in our work. We will be extraordinary.” “Everything is clear for me now, especially on how to be the best leader. Asking for and giving help will now be welcomed and we won’t be afraid to ask.” “I’m excited about creating this coaching culture!” “I’m committed to embracing change.” “This was different and I’ve been through a lot of ‘programs’ in my career.” “I am inspired! I didn’t realize I had really lost sight of the future.” “We will make remarkable things happen for our community and for our kids!”





What legacy will you leave?

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