Thank you!

I hope you all had a wonderful time at NYS CLSA this year! It was a privilege to work with so many of you and your students talking about how to go back to your schools and do the good, sometimes really challenging work of making people feel valued, important, and LOVED.

A quick review of what we talked about:

  • Even though we might have different titles and positions and responsibilities as leaders at our school, our JOB is the same: to get better at loving people.
  • Love looks like a lot of things and it can be confusing. That's why I like the Greeks - they used 4 words for Love.
    • Storge: Family love. Feelings of affection.
    • Philia: Friendship. Commonalities. Feeling of closeness.
    • Eros: Romantic. "In Love." Feelings of attraction.
    • Agapè: Unconditional love. Selfless. Love as a CHOICE.
  • Most people love others whenever they feel like it - whenever it is comfortable or easy or convenient. But as leaders, we must CHOOSE LOVE even when it is challenging. Sometimes it is the people who are the hardest to love who most need it!
  • We get better at kindness and compassion when we practice them during difficult moments. As my friend Tyler Durman says, "A commitment to growth is a commitment to PAIN!"
  • Love looks like patience, honesty, kindness, forgiveness, humility, commitment, selflessness, respect - all SKILLS that are equally available to all of us! We aren't like Michael Phelps, but we can be like Mother Teresa!
  • Like any skill we want to be as a habit in our life, we have to PRACTICE daily!
  • Oftentimes, we only take time to look at people and we forget to see! Kindness and compliments depends on our ability to understand people deeply. This requires us to 1) Ask meaningful questions and 2) Listen to their answers!
  • When we invest in people, our projects get better. Leadership happens in between the items on your to-do lists! Don't forget to write some postcards today!

Phew! A lot for just a few hours. The good news is this - our time together doesn't have to be over! Check out all the ways we can keep the ways to keep the message alive...

How To Keep The Momentum Going

Assembly Programs

I've done over 500 school assemblies. If you have me at your school, there will be totally different content than what your kids heard at NYS CLSA.. New stories, new material, new learning! Plus, a follow up 60-90 minute workshop with your leaders. I'll be in Buffalo in February!


I've partnered with my long time friend and hero, John Norlin, to create curriculums that infuse servant-leadership into your daily teaching. We have:

The Shirts!

Hand printed by a student who designed them for me from Iowa, they are incredibly soft and a great reminder of the message. We have "Make Kindness Normal" and "Choose Love" available in the store!

In 17 years at the middle level, I’ve never seen a more transformative curriculum that meets the whole child right where they’re at. It gives them purpose, value, and it allows them to learn about themselves in a healthy way. They navigate tough social waters as a middle schooler and the curriculum builds skills for students to use in all facets of their life.

Our climate and culture has dramatically improved as more and more students are exposed to the curriculum.
— Sally Rusk, Inglewood MS

Download the CharacterStrong App.

The workout program for your heart <3

CharacterStrong will send you a daily push notification with a simple, practical way to exercise LOVE. Currently only available for iOS - but Android and web app coming soon.

  • A range of difficulties to help build effective habits from the ground up

  • Follow your friends to hold them accountable and encourage them

  • Track your character progress by earning points for each dare you complete

  • Be reminded with daily push notifications

  • Reflect on your experience & read inspirational stories

  • Shareable images and quotes that can be sent directly to your Instagram


I'm grateful for young people like you who are going to make your school and this world a better place. Let me know how I can help.

Choose Love,


be a part of the choose love movement

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