Masterminding for Growing and Developing School Leaders with Danny Bauer
November 2, 2021
Masterminding for Growing and Developing School Leaders with Danny Bauer

If you’re an educator, you’ve heard about PLCs, professional learning communities. Some see these as a way for groups of educators to gather and talk about students, outcomes, and future plans. Others see these as an excuse for another meeting.

The problem with PLCs is that there’s no focus on the educator; it’s all focused on someone else’s ideas of what outcomes should look like. That’s why I was so excited to welcome Danny Bauer back to the podcast to talk about his new book and how we can truly support educational leaders outside of the classroom so they can really make the impact our students need.

We talk about the value of masterminds, why it’s so vital that school leaders have mentors, scarcity mindset vs. abundance thinking, and how Ruckus Makers can help transform schools.

If you haven’t listened to Danny’s first episode on this podcast, be sure you tune into that too!


About Danny Bauer:

Daniel Bauer is an unorthodox Ruckus Maker who has mentored thousands of school leaders through his Better Leaders Better Schools blog, books, podcasts, and powerful coaching experiences. 

Mastermind: Unlocking Talent Within Every School Leader is a book that reimagines what professional development for school administrators looks like in order to meet the needs of all school leaders who currently feel isolated and overwhelmed.


Jump in the Conversation:

  • [1:34] Danny’s new book
  • [1:43] Better leaders, better schools
  • [3:25] Surprise requests for help
  • [4:11] Scratch your own itch, do this stuff in public, connect with others
  • [4:34] The enemy of school leadership is isolation 
  • [6:06] Big name sponsorship for Danny’s podcast 
  • [9:10] Learning abundance vs scarcity mindset
  • [12:28] There’s plenty to go around
  • [14:45] Mastermind: Unlocking Talent Within Every School Leader
  • [18:52] ABCs Framework
  • [22:38] What is a mastermind
  • [27:30] Ruckus Makers – leaders want to make change
  • [28:24] Turbo Time
  • [32:43] How other Ruckus Makers can help to transform schools
  • [33:12] Danny’s Magic Wand
  • [35:15] Maureen’s Takeaways


Links & Resources:

Thanks for listening! Don’t forget to subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Android. If you like what you heard, please leave a review on iTunes and share what you liked about the show.



Maureen O’Shaughnessy  0:03  

Hello fellow parents and educators. Thank you for joining me at Education Evolution, where we are disrupting the status quo in today’s learning models. We talk about present day education, what’s broken, who’s fixing it, and how. I’m Dr. Maureen O’Shaughnessy, your host and founder of education evolution, micro school coalition, and co founder of active, I consult and train with schools and leaders who are fiercely Committed to changing the narrative, reimagining the education landscape, and creating learning that serves all children and prepares them to thrive. 


Maureen O’Shaughnessy  0:49  

If you are new, welcome to the podcast. Please subscribe on our website to get it delivered to your inbox weekly. If you’ve been around a while, have you left a review?


Maureen O’Shaughnessy  1:07  

Hey, Danny, it is so good to see you.


Danny Bauer  1:11  

Hello, Maureen. Thanks for having me back.


Maureen O’Shaughnessy  1:14  

Absolutely, listeners. Today I’m chatting with Danny Bauer, you may remember him from Episode 28. And not only is Danny the biggest name in mentoring school principals, I count him as both a friend and an ongoing coach on my journey as a school leader. Danny, you have a new book to celebrate. So let’s dive in.


Danny Bauer  1:38  

Sounds good. Thanks, Maureen.


Maureen O’Shaughnessy  1:40  

Yeah, your brand is better leaders, better schools. Danny, I’m curious what got you started on this path of blogging, writing, podcasting, leading masterminds, all of this coaching that you do for our school leaders?


Danny Bauer  1:56  

Yeah back in the day? Maureen, you know, it’s, it was scratching my own itch. And even recording a podcast yesterday I did with a friend and colleague, Jason tropic, we were just talking in the pre chat, right? Like, hey, it’s gonna be an awesome interview, because I’m gonna ask questions that I’m personally curious about, right? And I want to grow in it that hasn’t that formula hasn’t changed, right? 


Danny Bauer  2:20  

So I want to develop myself and my lived experience was just listen, when, when the district brought us together, I’m sorry to say it and again, just my lived experience, but the leadership meetings were raise student achievement, raise attendance, decreased discipline, or you’re fired, right? And that is just not, that’s not compelling. It’s not inspiring, it’s not meaningful. It’s like in a business sense, just helping a rich person get richer, right? Nobody is excited to be there. 


Danny Bauer  2:53  

And so I wanted to grow, right, I wanted to figure out how to create a meaningful and lasting vision, how to have difficult conversations, how to address, you know, systems that oppress students to this day, right? And yeah, how do you do that? So I would talk to people like you, you know, I’ve had you on the show, and figured if I learned from your success and failure, and the important part took action on just one idea, you know, that I learned from you that my leadership skills would grow. 


Danny Bauer  3:24  

But I didn’t realize is that long story short, people who start asking for help, and that was, you know, that was pretty crazy. I just, I didn’t see that coming, you know, and before you know it, you know, six years later, there’s a million and a half downloads. Wow, you know, I yeah, I joined I joined a mastermind, myself, I had such a transformational experience. That’s the lightbulb moment for me. And I said, Who’s connecting education leaders like that, and I started inviting people and, you know, seven, early adopters grew to 20 to 40 to you know, 72 at this point in seven different cohorts, three of them, led by coaches I, I train, right and develop Yeah, that’s, that’s the key to scale. 


Danny Bauer  4:10  

So there’s a leadership, there’s a few leadership tips there and what I just shared like one, scratch your own itch, always be curious, always be a learner to do that stuff in public too, because it really puts a positive type of pressure on you, you know, to keep showing up and being consistent, which builds trust and creates value for others. And then, you know, three like, connects people like gather people that you’re better together, one of my enemies in school leadership is isolation. You know, it’s just, it’s ridiculous. And I think that might be the greatest threat to effective schools and effective school leadership is doing it alone. 


Danny Bauer  4:47  

And so that, like I said, that transformational experience I had starting to share that with others in and I truly believe we’re going to change the landscape. We already are changing the landscape of how school leaders Experience professional development through a mastermind. So that’s a bit of the story of where I’ve been in where I’m going.


Maureen O’Shaughnessy  5:07  

Yeah, I remember back in the day as an early assistant principal, luckily, I taught overseas and caught the attention in my big districts of an established principal who’d worked in China. And he pulled me in because everything we got trained in or did were like one and done conferences, they’d send us off, but then back in the trenches, he pulled me into a breakfast group. And they just said, Enough. And I got all of this amazing covey training and application and conversation with these experienced principals. And never again, in my career, was there something like that, like what you’re talking about? 


Maureen O’Shaughnessy  5:42  

So I know, this is huge. I know that there’s a really big graduate education program sponsoring you. So maybe you can tell us who’s sponsoring you and a story of one example of the transformation when we can break principals out of this isolation and give them ongoing mastermind support.


Danny Bauer  6:05  

Sure, sure. Okay. So in terms of sponsors, you know, that that would be Harvard is who you’re talking about? 


Maureen O’Shaughnessy  6:12  

Yeah. Crazy. Yeah,


Danny Bauer  6:16  

crazy. They got a great program. You know, there’s Certificate of school management and leadership, people are getting a lot of value, you know, so I’m proud to talk about that program. But the neat thing, there is a similar story to my book with that I’m doing record when it’s actually co published with the school superintendent’s Association, right, the aasa. But both of those sorts of projects fell into my lap, in a sense, because I have been consistent through six years consistently showing up in my attempt to create value for school leaders and that kind of thing. 


Danny Bauer  6:53  

When people watch now, you might not get all the emails, right, you might not know that people are watching and yeah, the other day I did a live video it was it was almost nearly 40 minutes, I was really I was talking about something another any enemy of mine in school leadership would be the status quo and tradition, right? So in addition to isolation, so I was just going off. And to be honest, Maureen, nobody was watching. There was zero people watching, right? But the point is, people are actually watching, right? Maybe not in that moment. 


Maureen O’Shaughnessy  7:28  

Mm hmm. 


Danny Bauer  7:29  

But there’s evergreen value, you create it, then there’s replays, and there’s tons of people who’ve watched it since then. So I didn’t know Harvard, was watching, right? I didn’t know Corwin and Aasa were watching. But they were, and then they come in. what happened is they said, Let’s, let’s tell let’s tell your story that you know, with the book, and then in terms of Harvard, they said, Hey, your listener is our ideal graduate student, right? They’re thinking differently. They’re innovative in education, they want to change the structure and build upon the strong foundation that’s there. 


Danny Bauer  8:07  

And they said, Hey, so what does it look like to sponsor the show? And next thing, you know, they’re their Graduate School of Education, you know, we’re working together, which is, you know, quite an honor. So, yeah, I would have thought,


Maureen O’Shaughnessy  8:18  

who would have thought, well, and you truly are a leader who gives more than you receive, I get the sense that you’re grounded in abundance, like, there’s not this scarcity going on. You have so much to give away. I remember the first time when I wanted just to figure out Hey, could this guy helped me in the next step on my journey? And you’re like, yeah, let’s hop on you did this whole consultation. Another time, I asked you a question. Could you look at this and you sent me a video answer, editing and giving me feedback. 


Maureen O’Shaughnessy  8:48  

So many people I think, are afraid, you know, will I get back something if I’m generous, and you consistently are putting out content and putting out weekly information every Sunday, it’s in my inbox, you’re putting out so much. Talk to me about abundance versus scarcity because you’re not a pushover, but you’re super generous. How do you balance that?


Danny Bauer  9:12  

You know, that was something I had to learn Maureen, like abundance versus scarcity. And I wasn’t always like that. So the, you know, it’s growth mindset, you can teach an old dog new tricks. And so I had to learn that abundance mindset outside to learn, you know, sort of like the infinite versus the finite game that in order for me to win, marine doesn’t have to lose. And, you know, the funny story is like Jethro Jones or Justin Bader, they were, I think they were the two podcasts that were really established when I came on the scene in 2015. 


Danny Bauer  9:41  

And back in the back then in 2015, Danny, I’m like, I’m gonna defeat I’m gonna destroy, you know, like, I’m gonna beat these guys. And that was honestly my perspective. One of my strengths is competition, and I have to be mindful of that. So self awareness is important as a leader, but it’s all about who you Surround yourself with, right. And the catalyst for me to join a mastermind back in the day was hearing this quote from Jim Rohn, that you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Right? 


Danny Bauer  10:14  

And the more personal development, you know, in coaching that I invest in for myself, and I do that a lot, I realize how important it is the inputs, right in the that come into my mind, and the people I surround myself with. And so anyways, this mastermind joined in, they weren’t, they weren’t that competitive, the feed everybody type of group, and my mentor, you know, he used to own a construction firm in Nashville, and he would bring all the contractors together. And there is competition, right in capitalism in the market decides, you know, that kind of stuff. 


Danny Bauer  10:55  

But he brought back, you know, brought together all these contractors, it’s funny to me to this to the south, who typically, you know, they don’t do unions that often and that kind of thing. They were actually unionizing. They didn’t know it, right? They brought, they brought themselves together, and they would bargain with people who had the materials for building, right. So the wood, just all the stuff, you need to build a house. But by coming together, they got better prices, right? 


Danny Bauer  11:22  

effectively, that’s, that’s, you know, being a union, in my estimation, so but the point is, they would share, they would come together like that to get the best rates, they would share projects, hey, I can’t get to this, can somebody else build this, they would share sort of the secrets of what was working in the industry. And as a result, everybody in Nashville won, right? That’s like my motto, everybody wins when a leader gets better. So people were getting better houses and all this kind of stuff. And as a result, my mentor was like the top construction guy for a number of years, right? 


Danny Bauer  11:56  

And so I just said, Hmm, okay, he won by collaborating. And by being generous. And that challenges, you know, the narrative that’s in my mind, well, what if I adopt it? Let’s see what happens. And now the results speak for themselves. So, you know, it was just it was something it feels better to, you know, when you’re always competing, or you feel like even though there’s not enough or scarcity minded, that kind of thing. You’re always looking over your shoulder. That’s not a good feeling. 


Danny Bauer  12:24  

And the other thing, I think, too, when it comes to abundance, like listen, Justin does great work. Jethro does great work. You do great work, right? Listen, there’s 91,000 school leaders in the US alone, let alone the world. Right? Yeah. So there’s way too many. Yeah. And, you know, my vision and where I want to grow, you know, I use the think like, for where we were going as an organization, let’s serve 600 leaders, right? 


Danny Bauer  12:51  

And in literally in a second, my other sponsor teach FX, this the founder and CEO, Jamie, he said, Well, why not? 1200 right in like in one second, he removed my upper limit challenge, right and raised the bar, in that felt super scary in the moments at Huh, 1200. But then when you do the math, and again, back to the US, like, that’s only two to 3% of all the leaders in the US now it feels like I could do that two to 3% versus 1200. Right?


Danny Bauer  13:22  

 It’s not, nothing’s guaranteed. It’s not a given. But it feels doable. And even if we deliver on that and achieve it, there’s still like, 90,000 liters. And so it’s like, wow, you know, so that’s, that’s just kind of how my mind thinks about that type of stuff.


Maureen O’Shaughnessy  13:41  

I really appreciate that. I’ve been the benefactor of that thinking. And I agree with you, it’s a hoarding or anything that scarcity tightens me up. And when I give something, you know, if nothing else, I’ll just say, Hey, I’m paying it forward. People have been so generous in my life. Yes So even if it felt like whoa, maybe I gave more than I wanted to or this person, it’s still being picture cosmic feels good. And I think the piece that goes with that is you’re not supposed to get into that woowoo and affirmations in this net. 


Maureen O’Shaughnessy  14:17  

But you also are taking the steps doing the work six years consistent, hard work. So you’re not that sometimes in the real world, people are like, well, I made I said this affirmation and I wrote it 20 times and I say it daily. Why didn’t magically something appear? That abundance thinking and that generosity also takes a lot of hard work? And I see you not afraid of that at all.


Danny Bauer  14:40  

Hmm, thank you, Maureen. 


Maureen O’Shaughnessy  14:42  

Yeah. Yeah, I wanna, I want to talk about your book, your book launch was so fun, a remote launch and remotes kind of like Oh, another zoom and you had you did that gathering that you talk about connecting you. I love that you had a In the field, share a little snippet. And then breakout rooms, we got to meet all these people from all over and unpack it, and then do it again and do it again. 


Maureen O’Shaughnessy  15:07  

So you brought us together, we were celebrating your book. And it was also a celebration and a connection and a chance for us to grow. So I felt like I want to go support damage, and then I end up getting more again than I could possibly give. So let’s talk about your book mastermind unlocking talent within every school leader. Yeah, I’m curious about what brought this about, and how that ties in to these enemies that you talk about the enemy of isolation, and the enemy of status quo tradition. Tell us about your amazing new book.


Danny Bauer  15:44  

Right, thanks. Thanks, Maureen. So like I said, you know, Corwin approached me, which was quite an honor. And they said, let’s do a book on how you serve school leaders. So that was, that was cool. And I had to work through my own fear of like, oh, man, because it’s so close to me, you know, how do you write a book about that? Because I was in talks, actually, with every education publisher, they all wanted to do a book deal with me in 2019. Which, again, you know, that was pretty humbling to put it in the proposals, that’s a lot of work in itself, just thinking about, okay, is it gonna be about productivity? 


Danny Bauer  16:20  

Is it going to be about mindset, you know, all these different approaches, but Corwin said, you know, the mastermind, wow, so close it, you know, there’s a business aspect to it, right? Like to offer such high quality professional development that isn’t free. Like you said, I do a ton of stuff that is free, generous, etc. But the mastermind is not. And so I had to get out of my way, because I was like, how do I talk about this in a way that creates value that describes what makes it a special community, and that the reader, the school leader could integrate some of those ideas into his or her school to create better professional development or better classroom experiences. 


Danny Bauer  17:04  

And eventually, I did figure it out. Not right away, you know, the first draft, the first draft had a lot of great ideas. My editor said, Hey, great ideas. Very poor organization, your organization sucks. Yeah, she didn’t really say that. But I love the story like she did. And the key to me, too, that I taught leaders, the key to writing a better book was I stopped reading a book I got out into nature, took a lot of long walks, really unplugged, you know, no social media, no device on me. And I had to think deeply, like, why is this such a special place? Because again, I am so close to it. 


Danny Bauer  17:05  

And in many ways, it’s a natural outflow of my sort of zona genius or superpowers. It’s like riding a bike, I don’t think too deeply about what we do, because it’s just it’s very natural to me. But that doesn’t help somebody reading a book about, you know, that experience. So I said to myself, hey, there’s a lot of great books out there that like, have a framework. And I think at the time, we might have been reading, we might have been reading radical candor, which has a framework, right, like you’re personally challenged directly, which is a great way to like, provide feedback. I thought about Rory vaden is a procrastinate on purpose. He has some common focus funnel, which is about efficiency, productivity, right? 


Danny Bauer  18:29  

Like procrastination on purpose, what a great name. But you have a task in the framework is right? Do you eliminate it? Can you eliminate it? Right off the bat? Can you automate it? Can you delegate it right? And if you can’t do those three things, can you procrastinate and wait, or do you have to actually concentrate and do? And so again, framework is everything. 


Danny Bauer  18:51  

So being in education, I thought it’d be catchy if I created something around the ABCs, right? foundational to the school experience. And I played around with it. And actually, now that we’re talking about it, I want to take some pictures, and add that to the website is like a download, I think people might get a kick out of what the first few frameworks work, because they didn’t work. But finally, right, I didn’t give up kept thinking kept thinking, How can I fit it in? authenticity, belonging, challenge, right? 


Danny Bauer  19:24  

And if you have those ABCs in a professional development experience, in my view, that leads to life and leadership transformation. And that just worked. And then the research got deeper, right? Like, what is it what’s out there about authenticity? What about belonging? What about challenge, and what I’ve been able to produce is an easy to read, yet well researched book that’s like conversational. It’s funny, great stories. You know, I think people will absolutely love it in. That’s what I’ve created and to date. The thing I’m the most proud of too, for sure.


Maureen O’Shaughnessy  20:00  

Yes, I love those ABCs. Because sometimes I feel like as a school leader, I’m supposed to be automated and just boom, boom, boom, boom, saw these, do this, do that and figure these back end finances, whatnot. So to get to that authenticity, who are we, and to feel like we belong? That’s super important in my microscope. And that’s a sweet spot that kids do belong. 


Maureen O’Shaughnessy  20:24  

But then the challenge, you know, so Okay, how am I going to keep growing? I love your ABCs and that it aligns with school lingo that will stick and that’s important. We want to have a framework that like sticks, like the radical candor framework sticks for you.


Danny Bauer  20:41  



Maureen O’Shaughnessy  20:43  

So what are you hoping principals who read the book who maybe are in Iowa, or Alaska somewhere just feeling really isolated? What would you want them to be able to get from your book?


Danny Bauer  20:59  

Yeah, well, well, they get that framework. And I guarantee if they integrate that into the PD experience, they offer their faculty, it’s going to be much better, right? So it’s an intentional way to design that. I think if they share this book with their teachers, and the teachers think deeply about adding that ABCs to the classroom experience, the students are going to, you know, do way better as well. And I hope they use it almost as an evaluative tool for PD, they might join themselves, right? 


Danny Bauer  21:29  

If you have conference over here, or mastermind over there, or coach or whatever, think about how they’re talking about the ABCs, even if they’re not using that language, right? Because ABCs that’s made up of like authenticity is safety, self awareness, and being values driven. Belonging is about shared purpose, inclusive environment and trust. And challenge is about mindset, taking action in creating a powerful community. So all these things, right, whether they’re integrating it into their school experience, or looking at a PD experience. This is what makes it powerful. 


Danny Bauer  22:06  

And so I hope they think about that, folks might start their own masterminds, you know, we talk about a very high level and get some practical things that they can do. And then finally, I think some people will join, you know, the community we have in, which would be great, you know, because I have that bold, audacious goal of serving 1200 liters. And I know some people will join as a result of the book.


Maureen O’Shaughnessy  22:29  

Yes, you know, Danny, I realized I jumped ahead just a little bit, because I’m in a mastermind. And could you step back and explain to our listeners, what the concept of mastermind is planes?


Danny Bauer  22:44  

Sure, sure, sure, yeah. And so you know, the ABCs is why it works. But in terms of the structure, and it’s going to be different, but the cadence for us, it’s a weekly gathering. And so every, every week, we’re having very deep conversations about education and leadership. There’s different components, you know, some might have like, let’s celebrate some wins tips of the week, maybe a book discussion, that kind of thing. 


Danny Bauer  23:08  

But really, what every mastermind needs to have is some sort of like, Hot Seat component. And that’s essentially just 1520 minutes or so where you could briefly share context, about a challenge, you currently face a project you’re trying to get off the ground. And now imagine you have a personal Board of Directors, right, maybe five to 14 or so other people who understand the role that you have understand that the challenge you’re experiencing, maybe they’ve even been there before. And now they can ask you provocative questions, or questions that will help you think deeper about your experience. 


Danny Bauer  23:49  

They’ll share stories of success and failure, they’ll point you towards resources that have worked. And you know, a lot of leaders that join my community feel like they might feel a bit lost or stuck, you know, what is up what is down. And by having that type of personal Board of Directors, all of a sudden, you now feel like you could do it all right, then that you have a robust approach to all these challenges and projects. And anyways, you feel competent? Either leaders don’t need to have all the answers. 


Danny Bauer  24:27  

But imagine if you don’t have the answers, but you have 14 other people that understand the role, and you don’t work with them. And they’re all effective, right? And what I would call like a player’s listen to this, we gave a quarterly survey recently 100% of our members said, in the mastermind in my mastermind, we can talk about what we need to talk about without worrying about judgment or some sort of consequence. You know, I mean, yeah, when you talk about that safety in terms of authenticity or that belonging . Like, we talked about difficult issues, and people are able to really grow as a result. 


Danny Bauer  25:06  

And that’s, that’s a real, that’s a, that’s a gift, they really is a gift and a special thing to experience. But you asked for a story. So like a very quick story, I met Scott, he was an assistant principal at the time, one of the principal conferences, you know, national wise, do you I gave some talk, we ended up you know, chatting Afterwards, he did end up joining the mastermind. And this isn’t going to happen for everyone. But it was important to him. And he wanted to grow in his leadership and be able to lead at higher levels, so to speak. 


Danny Bauer  25:36  

And so over the last five years, Scott’s gone from AP principal, now assistant superintendent, right, and so that, that that might not be everybody’s goal, right to, to, to grow in to build their capacity in that kind of way. It might just be that I want to show up more courageous today, and have difficult conversations, right? Or I want to be a better storyteller, and influence write my faculty at a higher level. So whatever that goal is, like the type of quality of leaders within our community that they can help you take action on that and experience the results.


Maureen O’Shaughnessy  26:13  

Absolutely. I love that story. And as you know, I’m all about education becoming more engaging for our youth more relevant with learners having more agency. And that’s exactly what your mastermind is doing, instead of going to a conference and sitting and getting passive learning. They’re engaged, they’re in the hot seat, they’re getting feedback, they’re growing. So your mastermind is definitely that higher level of educational experience. I just love the parallels, it just struck me.


Danny Bauer  26:47  

Thank you. I appreciate that reflection.


Maureen O’Shaughnessy  26:49  

I want to just ask one more question before we head into some rapid fire turbo type questions. So your group those that work and learn with you are called ruckus makers. And we know schools need to shake that status quo and tradition, as you mentioned, that’s an enemy of education, reckless makers, that just is so tantalizing. Tell us what that’s about.


Danny Bauer  27:16  

It’s just it’s really a tip of the hat. So another mentor of mine, Seth Godin, and he’s always talking about to go out there and make a ruckus. And they’re not the kind of like where you’re a toddler and banging pots and pans. But just like you said, shaking education of making change in your industry. And in this case, it’s education. And so he’s had such a profound impact on me. I own that, right? Like I adopted it. And it really resonates with the audience. You know, I see them tweeting, right, making a ruckus, ruckus maker type stuff, we have some plbs swag, and that’s popular, like the ruckus maker hat, or shirt or sticker coffee cup, that kind of thing. 


Danny Bauer  27:57  

But you know, at the end of the day, I think a leader wants to make impact, and then once the create change, right, positive change. And so I think that’s why that ruckus maker idea, like you said, is tantalizing, but you know that the community resonates with it, because it’s exactly what they’re trying to do. They don’t want to be the boring, traditional, average, they want to be spectacular. They want to be remarkable. Yeah. And we help them do that.


Maureen O’Shaughnessy  28:23  

Yes, love it. And now I’d like to take a little bit of time just to get to know you better with some turbo time questions. So I’m gonna do some rapid fire. Are you ready? 


Danny Bauer  28:34  



Maureen O’Shaughnessy  28:36  

What’s the last book you read?


Danny Bauer  28:38  

We’re reading cast in the mastermind. So that’s a difficult look at our country’s history and race and that kind of stuff. So that’s a great one we’re reading right now.


Maureen O’Shaughnessy  28:48  

Absolutely. How about two inspirational folks, you’d love to meet


Danny Bauer  28:54  

Seth Godin, I haven’t met him, right. I’ve met him on zooms, but not face to face. So that would be ridiculously amazing, folks. And I would bring Nelson Mandela back, right. He’s since passed. But that’s somebody who I just find it to be a remarkable leader. And I’d love to just learn more about him.


Maureen O’Shaughnessy  29:16  

Yeah. How about a TED talk that inspires you


Danny Bauer  29:20  

go to the clues to a great story by Andrew Stanton. Now if you’re very, there’s nothing wrong being conservative. But listen, if you don’t like cussing, or sometimes like a crude joke, you will hate this talk, okay? Because there’s a very crude joke in the beginning, but I find it hilarious. And it and it talks about why it’s a great joke, because there’s the element of surprise, right? And so that is one of the clues to a great story. And I’ll just leave it at that. Check it out.


Maureen O’Shaughnessy  29:52  

I can’t wait. And I grew up with big brothers and everything. So it’s like a Yeah, that’s just those are just attitude. Or nouns or verbs however, using them? Um, what’s the biggest thing you wish folks knew about professional development for leaders?


Danny Bauer  30:09  

Yeah, well, you know, the more I serve in this space, I realize there’s all these organizations that do like, let’s say, SEO, or unit planning or PLC is like we know where to go. But there’s not a lot of places that just focus on the leader. And I realize, Oh, that’s me. Like, I can talk some of that other stuff, right? But the edge that I’ve chosen, is I’m going to just serve school leaders, I’m going to care about them, right and see them and hear them. And I realized, like, there’s not a lot of people doing that. And that’s part of the value in the magic of what we create. We just care about school leaders as individuals, and we always will.


Maureen O’Shaughnessy  30:54  

Love and it’s not like you’re not a professional learning community PLC, because you are reading books, you are going deeper and stuff. So you’ve got to both and going on.


Danny Bauer  31:02  

Yeah, yeah. But will always just be really, really focused on you. Right? How is Maureen, the individual doing? And that’s why that’s first and foremost. What matters?


Maureen O’Shaughnessy  31:12  

Yes. being valued. Love that. How about a pet peeve of yours?


Danny Bauer  31:18  

Besides isolation in the status quo? Hmm. pet peeve. I don’t like when the kitchens dirty. 


Maureen O’Shaughnessy  31:29  



Danny Bauer  31:31  

It really bothers me. 


Maureen O’Shaughnessy  31:34  

Yeah yeah, there are those annoying things in our lives? What’s the passion you bring to mentoring school leaders?


Danny Bauer  31:42  

The ability to see and hear them, you know, and create that safety to know and be known. I think people just don’t experience that. You know, actually, yesterday, I had a one on one call with Sarah, who’s an AP down in Florida. And she’s like, I don’t know how people do this without somebody like you. And I said, I don’t know, either. And actually, the research and this is in the book, like it shows that right? First of all, one out of four school leaders lack a coach or a mentor, right? Like, and they haven’t had access to one in the last two years. That’s not going to cut it with making the industry better. Right? 


Danny Bauer  32:17  

And I don’t Yeah, this was to be rapid fire. So I’m not gonna go into I was about to do a master class and why that’s, like, so annoying to me. It just doesn’t make sense leading alone. So anyways, yeah,


Maureen O’Shaughnessy  32:30  

it sure doesn’t. And it’s no way to be supported. And it’s a tough job. It’s lonely at the top. And, boy, we need that support and to be known and valued. How can others be reckless maker activists and transform schools?


Danny Bauer  32:49  

Take action, you know, just stop, stop. You know, just talking about stuff. Here’s a really funny quote, I don’t know if you know, the guys over at base camp. And they whatever they really cool, just like entrepreneurs and founders, and I like the way they think about organizations and meetings. And, you know, you have to ask for permission, you know, this kind of stuff. 


Danny Bauer  33:12  

But anyways, in 2010, they wrote, listen to this, we all have that one friend who says, I had the idea for eBay. If only I had acted on it, I’d be a billionaire. And what Frieden Hanson say is that like that logic is pathetic, and delusional. Having the idea for eBay has nothing to do with actually creating eBay. What you do is what matters not what you think, or say, or plan. And so yeah, when it comes to making a ruckus, talk, that’s fine, but do do more than you talk.


Maureen O’Shaughnessy  33:45  

Amen. Yes. pet peeve. When people tell me what I can be doing, it’s like, no, no. I’m with you on that. How about something most folks don’t know about you?


Danny Bauer  34:00  

I have a web tool on my left foot.


Maureen O’Shaughnessy  34:03  

Ooh, okay. That’s good to know, I guess. Oh, Danny, you’ve been on the show before. So you know, I like to close with the magic wand drill. So if you had a magic wand, what would you wish so that our principles could become supported ruckus makers of the best kind,


Danny Bauer  34:27  

just communities exist, you know, so maybe it’s mine, maybe it’s yours. Maybe it’s another right? And again, connecting dots. It’s an infinite game. There’s people out there that want to serve and support you and you are worth it. So go out there and join something right? Stop leading in isolation, find a community that will support you. And no, Facebook doesn’t cut it. So that group you’re in that’s not good enough. Most people just complain. No, Twitter’s not good enough social media. It’s all pretty much fake. So join a real community, with real people to make real results in your life.


Maureen O’Shaughnessy  35:02  

Mic drop. Thank you, Danny, so much for joining us today.


Danny Bauer  35:07  

pleasure. Thanks for having me back.


Maureen O’Shaughnessy  35:18  

Danny is truly one of those leaders who walks his talk. He’s constantly modeling the concepts he shares. I’ve even read his posted goals and the data he publishes around how he has been doing on those goals, transparency and forward motion all the way. It was timely to hear his reminder about how we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. I know when I’m feeling stressed, often, I’m not filling my life with good thoughts and people who bring out the best in me. 


Maureen O’Shaughnessy  35:55  

I’m intrigued by the idea of procrastinating on purpose. And we’ll put the radical candor book in the show notes. I really encourage everybody to get Danny’s new book, because what community doesn’t need the ABCs to grow authenticity, belonging and challenge with a mindset to take action. in the show notes is a link where you can buy a signed copy of Danny’s book and get bonus freebies. Be sure to check out that link. 


Maureen O’Shaughnessy  36:31  

Danny always seems to give more than he gets. The students in my micro school thrive. And we aligned with our motto of making sure each child is seen, heard and valued. One of the enemies of leadership that Denny talks about his isolation. And Danny is about making sure school leaders in his mastermind and coaching programs are also seen, heard and known. It’s really can be lonely being a leader. colleagues can be wary of becoming close or even have ulterior motives for being friendly to a leader. And it feels like few decisions please everybody. So making sure principles are known is foundational to having better leaders, and therefore better schools. 


Maureen O’Shaughnessy  37:28  

Our schools deserve leaders who are getting the support, they need to break through the status quo and create the change. Our learners need to be thriving and future ready. Thank you, Danny, for making this happen. And thank you listeners for being a part of the education evolution.


Maureen O’Shaughnessy  37:57  

If you are finding yourself thinking, I need to do this in my school. Let’s talk about it. I consult and also have a book TEDx talk, an online course to support starting learner driven schools and programs. My goal is to help schools and individuals find new innovative solutions to reaching every student. Let’s create an action plan together. Visit to book a call and let’s get started. 


Maureen O’Shaughnessy  38:33  

Education Evolution listeners, you are the ones to ensure we create classrooms where each student is seen, heard, valued and thriving. We need you. Let’s go out and reach every student today. I’d be so grateful if you’d head over to your podcast app to give a great rating and review if you found this episode valuable. Don’t wait. Please do it right now before you forget. I really appreciate it. 


Maureen O’Shaughnessy  39:05  

Thank you listeners. Signing off. This is Maureen O’Shaughnessy, your partner in boldly reimagining education.


Transcribed by

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