I'm a parent, strategist & steadfast optimist committed to helping parents and teachers
Develop the mindset and skill set kids need to do their best work need to be and become their best selves
Build the emotional intelligence and intrinsic motivation that fosters kids' initiative, meaningful connection, and engagement at home, at school, and in life.
...on a flight from LA to Washington DC to speak at an ethics conference. I sat next to a professor from Duke University who told me that in his experience, only 10% of students are prepared to truly succeed and to be happy and healthy in college and in life. And he knew their secrets...
"I know who,
and I know why, and
it's not what you think."
The "secrets" I learned on our five-hour, cross country trip profoundly changed my perspective on success and happiness, reframed my career goals, and inspired the creation of an effective new paradigm in preparing kids to succeed and be happy.
The Secrets of the 10%
1. Happiness drives success:
When we are well, we can do well.
2. Leadership drives happiness:
When we develop mastery, autonomy & purpose, we thrive.
3. START drives leadership:
When we practice leadership language and processes, we
build essential knowhow for living life well.
is a parent, educator, and visionary committed to helping parents and teachers model, teach and reinforce a leadership approach to:
Build the Responsibility, Resilience and Resourcefulness kids need to thrive and prosper
Foster the meaningful connections kids need to discover who they are, what they care about, and where they can contribute.
Through a series of fortunate events...
I met Ron Duska, EdD, head of The Lower School at the Haverford School in the Philadelphia area. Over the Thanksgiving break some years back, I shared the vision I had for embedding leadership skill development into students’ daily classroom, extracurricular, and at-home experiences. Ron and the administrative team immediately saw the value. (Ron’s a steadfast optimist as well.) A one-hour meeting extended to three as we outlined the ways in which the START approach could be introduced to the faculty, students, and parents of The Haverford School.
Our Research and Results
With the help of students from Penn’s Grad School of Education, we designed and implemented a research study that would assess the effectiveness of START’s experiential curriculum, including workshops to train parents and teachers to deliver it. We assessed the development of a core set of leadership attributes, including Responsibility, Resilience, and Resourcefulness, in students.
The results in the first year and for the next seven years were so compelling, Ron joined the START-Leadership team full-time to extend the reach in helping schools and parents actualize this important work.
Students, learning and applying the language and process of leadership reported and were observed by teachers and parents demonstrating greater agency, well being, and connection to themselves, one another, and the important, leadership work they sought to complete. The shift has endured through seven years to date of follow up research.
Which brings us to you!
We’re here to be of service to you, your family, your school, and your community. Everything we do is designed to help you prepare your kids & students to thrive and prosper. Right now and in the Future. Through our books and workbooks, our parent and teacher leadership labs, our online workshops and everything else we offer – we’re here to help to create conditions to equip the next generation with the mindset and tools they need to thrive and prosper.
Given the opportunity, kids raised and educated with this model can take the lead, in both small and large ways. When our kids’ experiences are designed to scaffold and build over time to provide increasing levels of responsibility and privilege, they have opportunities to apply the ways in which they’re uniquely Wired, in areas in which they have strong Interest, to make a real difference where Needed (WIN) in their family, their community, and the world. In this process, kids learn to believe in themselves. They experience broad success without sacrificing well-being.
What’s more, the START Leadership Process is more enjoyable for everyone. Kids who experience this approach during childhood report greater satisfaction, joy, and hope, even in the midst of working hard and facing inevitable challenges. And that's way more enjoyable for you too.
We invite you to join us in shifting the culture in families, schools, and communities for good.