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May 31, 2022

Why We Need to Hire Great People w/Chris Fore

Why We Need to Hire Great People w/Chris Fore

#43. This episode features Chris Fore, a veteran educator, athletic director and football coach from Southern California. Coach Fore currently serves as the principal at the Palmdale Aerospace Academy (Palmdale, CA). He's also authored three books, been featured in numerous publications, and since all of that is not enough to occupy his time, he also operates two websites: Coachfore.org that provides coaches and athletic directors with resources to be successful and  eightlaces.org, which is coach force consulting company, helping coaches get their dreams. 

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Transcript

Luke:

This is episode 43 of the The "I" in Win podcast

Chris:

but that's my philosophy hire the best you can stay out of the way, support them. that's how I like to do it.

Luke:

welcome to The "I" in Win today. We feature Chris Fore a veteran educator, athletic director and football coach from beautiful Southern California. I'm sure he'll rub it into me being here from. Coach Fore currently serves as the principal at the Palmdale aerospace academy. He's also authored three books, been featured in numerous publications. And since all of that is not enough to occupy his time. He also operates two websites Coachfore.org. That's F O R E, which provides coaches and athletic directors with resources to be successful. And also eight laces.org, which is coach force consulting company, helping coaches get their dreams. That's a lot going on, coach. Thanks for joining us bright and early on the podcast.

Chris:

Yeah, I'll thanks for having me, Luke. I appreciate it. love coaches love working with coaches and, uh, helping to serve coaches. So anytime I can get on a podcast. like this, I. Thank you for the, uh, invite and look forward to speaking to you.

Luke:

Well, one thing you could help all of us with is time management. how do you find time for all of these different adventures you have? I mean, some people barely have enough time to just be a principal, let alone an author, a consultant, a father, a coach. How do you do that? And create that balance between professional life and family.

Chris:

Yeah. You know, it's hard Luke guy. I coached for 17 years here in Southern California and, actually had to step away from that when I became an administrator. And when I did become, an administrative. The full time. you know, there were some things I had to sit down with my wife and kind of take off the board. Some things I was doing, quote unquote, on the side. And you know, one of those is exactly what you're doing right here at podcast. I had started a podcast, uh, it's called coach's locker podcast. I think there's about 55 episodes out there. And that's one of the things I just said to say, Hey. Absolutely love doing this podcast, but it takes up an hour, hour and a half a week. And so, you know, I had to cut that off my list of to do's, but, working with coaches is such a passionate, really is a hobby like. I don't have hobbies, you know, coaching was a hobby for 17 years. And so now just, you know, working with coaches on their career search on their special teams, program management, that's kind of a hobby of mine along with, you know, working and, and doing things, with my family. So for me, I make the most out of my days, I don't sleep a lot and I just don't need a lot of sleep. so. I guess it's an old adage, but when you find something you love to do, it's not really work. I mean, that's how I feel with my job. I'm lucky I wake up ready to go to be a principal that's something I just live, eat and breathe is my, my job serving my, my staff and my kids. And then, um, kind of the passion side hobby is working with coach it's. So to me, none of them. Very difficult. It all just kind of comes natural. And, and I love it now. There are times I crash, you know, like when I go away, I went camping a couple of weekends ago, right here on the beach in sunny, Southern California. And you know, at those times, I'm, I'm pretty good at just not pretty good. I'm very good at, you know, when I go away with my family, I delete my email off my phone. You know, something simple like that to where I'm just not going to be distracted. When I'm with my family. if I get a text from a coach, it's like, Hey, I'll call you back Monday, you know, with my family camp. and so I think that it's really important to block off that time when you are on vacation or getting away with your family. if that's for three days, like we did a couple of weekends ago or a whole week, like we got coming up in June. I don't talk to anybody when I'm doing that stuff. So.

Luke:

Well, you're a real Renaissance man. match at the introduction. Teacher coach school, administrator, author consultant, entrepreneur, we're in tons of hats. Would you recommend others to follow your path and expand the reach or is it more advantageous to kind of find your lane and hone your craft in one specific.

Chris:

Great question, you know, for me. For a long time. I did hone my craft just on, on coaching, you know? And, um, Luke, I kind of fell backwards into, you know, I was a teacher and a coach and that's, that's what I did. I did those two things, like probably a lot of your listeners As far as the consulting stuff and helping coaches, you know, like I said, my hobby on the side, I fell backwards into that, that there was no plan for me to go into that. There was no business plan to follow in 2011. Uh, more than a decade ago, I was fired at a job at a private school. Not that I didn't do anything wrong. I just, I was at a private school. I was in my fifth year at that time. The superintendent who hired me, retired new superintendent, came in a football, had a bad season that fifth year I'm here to admit it. You're going to have bad years. Have you coached long enough? And the superintendent who came in wanting to bring in a new coach. And so unfortunately in the private sector, you know, you don't have tenure, anything like that. And especially here in Southern California, where it's pretty competitive he wanted to make a change. And, and so he did it. He was nice enough to give me some warning. You know, he told me in March, I wasn't going to be coming back. so at that time I started a website coachfore.org. my only thought was I need to market myself different than everybody else is. I've always kind of had a marketing brain. Part of that comes from my stepfather. Who's a marketing Wiz and his insurance line of work. And so. I was like, I'm going to start this website I'm just going to put together 10 pages to help market myself for my next head coaching job. At that time, I'd been a head coach for eight years. And so, you know, I built one page was like, Hey, here's my, first 30 days on the job at your school. Here's what I'm going to do. One page was, you know, my first parent. One page was a sample calendar. One page was my coaching philosophy. And then at the same time, this kid, the student athlete, uh, on my team, he was a, you know, this was 2011. So, he was like, Hey, there's a sink called Twitter. You should get on it. And I'm like, what is that? why would anybody care what some coach in Southern California is doing? You know, so he didn't know, it would be a way to market yourself, get an audience, and try to help it just another way to find a job. And I'm like a 17 year old. I don't know if he knows what he's talking about or not, but I'll try it out, and then I started just tweeting out some links to those 10 pages and then I had coaches. Start following me and then started asking me for some of that material. And then I found out I've always loved writing. And now I'm writing for my website mixed with football. And then I just started writing more articles as I was just kind of found that passion and that hobby like, man, this is cool. This coach in Iowa is asking me about this kick return scheme I put together. That's pretty interesting. And so I just started writing more. I think I got close to 400 articles on there now. so it just kind of came naturally long. Long-winded answer to your question, but I would say hone in on one thing, but then other things are going to come natural, you know, um, probably six or seven years ago, I was recognized by California coaches association, some of the men on. Group had reached out and said, Hey, we'd love to have you come help. Um, recruit coaches in California or association. And so I joined that association again, was never planning to, uh, I got on the board with that association and then all of a sudden I'm going to the California coaches association, annual. And I'm going to tell them, Hey, I'm stepping down. Cause I just got this principal job. So again, I need to kind of refocus some priorities. And at that meeting they said, Hey, you're the president. So, you know, again, nothing I've I never planned in my wildest dreams. You know, I'm going to go be the California coaches association president, or I'm going to go start this business. Those things just kind of happen. Naturally. as I progressed through my.

Luke:

And let's talk about that coaches association piece. And you mentioned recruiting coaches and you have to do this as a administrator recruit teachers as well. Is it my imagination or is it getting harder and harder to find? And most importantly, retain quality educators, coaches. What are your thoughts on that?

Chris:

Yeah, it really is. I mean, especially right now, you know, we're sitting here in may of 2022 and. Supply and man is on the side of teachers. I mean, just in the last month, we've offered three full time teaching jobs to, to teachers who accepted those and then, reneged on them. Cause they found something better. just better financially is what is what they told us. And so, and our school plays, you know, pays pretty decent here in Southern California. So, teachers are in the driver's seat. There are, there is a district up here giving a $14,000 signing bonus to a special education teacher. Man. I never seen anything like that in my life. So there's no doubt about it. Listen. Yeah. You know, teaching and coaching is so difficult, so much time involved and these days you're under a microscope, like you've never been. And so there's some people just, they're just, they're walking away from that lifestyle of sir. I mean, I think it's a lifestyle. As a teacher, you're serving kids. Teachers don't make nearly what they should make. Right. We, we know that. And so, and then coaches are nowhere close to, I mean, they're at a whole different ballpark and not making anything where they should make. In California, it's not unusual to be a head coach for $3,500 for the entire season and not just the season, the whole. And so there are a lot of really good people who have left the business of education, either teaching and coaching. I think the pandemic, has really negatively impacted that? in a lot of ways, but I just also think that the day and age we're in here, everybody's under such a microscope, that it has become a lot harder to find good quality teachers and coaches. These.

Luke:

I do find a comical the pay piece we will say in one. Let's use head football as an example, because you brought the $3,500 for a season. So we're going to pay this individual $3,500 a season, but yet we're going to treat him as if he's Nick Saban and we could critique him. We could send emails. We expect to win every game. Every kid should get a scholarship and they'll fall back on. Well, that's part of the job. You have to be able to handle the criticism. You have to be able to handle the heat. Well, there's a difference, Nick. Saban's getting $10 billion. Right. So to expect someone to make $3,500 a year, it's a year round job, Your head coach, your head strength, coach, your recruiting coordinator, your academic advisor, your psychologist, your basically Dean of students, because all the teachers come to you, you take on all these different roles. Many times you're the second father may be the first father and the list goes on and on and on. And then we wonder why. People are bailing. So I apologize for getting on that. Maybe angry, tired, but it's just the reality of the profession. So what can we do? What can you do as a principal to help keep your quality staff?

Chris:

great question. I really am of the mindset and my philosophy since I was a head coach and I, I learned this from a guy he coached for me. He was a dad in a state. He was always very, very supportive. This was back in like 2002. So shoot night, 20 years ago, you know, feel old. But, he was a dad in the stands who would shake my hand after every game. His kid Ryan, played for us. And, pretty soon as I got to know him, I found out he played college football. Uh, and he never said that like the first two years, you know, He never let on. He had all this knowledge about the game, this experience playing the game collegiately. And he was also a, um, a vice president of a, I don't want to say that brand or nothing, but a worldwide brand, important guy in that business. Like he would fly to Paris just to let somebody go, you know, fire somebody, wild stuff. And as I got to know him, I actually brought him on board, had him coach in our program my third year at that school. and he became a very good friend of mine still is today. And we talked about the philosophy of hiring and. And building that team around you. And one thing he said, I'll never forget. He said, hire the best people you can. And then let them do their dang job and get out of the way. And I love that philosophy. And I think a lot of administrators, very honestly, I'm a pretty honest guy. Most of the time lobby, administrators, miss that, mark, they, they go out and try to hire the best they can, but then they will. Respond to a negative parent email call a coaching about an allegation. That's absolutely ridiculous. And, and then kind of put that coach on the spot or make that coach think, man, what am I even doing this for? You know, I go back to when I was fired, let go in 2011, one of the re one of the main reasons that happened to be honest with you. That superintendent, that brand new superintendent who came in his very first day on the job, July 1st, 2010, calls me in his office. So there's Chris, there's a coach. We got to let go. And he, he says, we need to let this girl's basketball coach go. And I'm like in the back of my head, I'm thinking, dude, you've been here. for about two hours and you're telling me we've got to fire a coach. And I said, sir, with all due respect, why do you think we need to fire? And he goes, well, you know, I heard some bad things and et cetera, et cetera. And I'm thinking, man, I've, I've that I've supervised this guy for four years. What are you? You've been here two hours. What are you talking about? You've heard bad things. Well, he pulls out one email. So this brand new superintendent, a parent had reached out to him at his former school. After we announced he was going to be the superintendent. Email him at his former workplace and went off on this coach and a bunch of just ridiculous stuff. Again, I supervise this man a great man for four years and I said to him, there's not a reason to fire him. And we had a conversation back and forth and he said, are you refusing my direct to the firearm? I said, yes, I am. What I want to do is get with this coach and. Let's have them in my office instead of just firing this guy, beat up the basis allegations. And it was all to do with playing time. you know how that can be, but there's a superintendent just got on the job, gets one email and wants to make a move. To keep himself liked to keep himself in favor with this one parent long story short is I get both parents and, head coach. And in my office, the superintendent gave me permission to do that. And after about an hour and a half, those to get up and hug, this mom ends up tearful, crying, thanking the coach. And I went back in and reported the superintendent. What happened? If I was a weak athletic director, if I was a yes, man, I would've just taken those marching orders and, and went and fired that coach, there was no reason to do it. And so unfortunately these days there's too many administrators who are very weak in that area of supporting their coach. and that's why they, they get mixed up and they do exactly opposite of what you said, but that's my philosophy hire the best you can stay out of the way, support them. that's how I like to do it.

Luke:

Well, yeah, step one to being a leader is having to make really tough decisions and I've had some great leadership throughout my career that I'm so thankful for their mentors. But I've also had some leaders tell me, Hey, your job is to make sure I don't get emails or keep this out of my office. Well, then, I mean, that's impossible, right? I mean, you think about what the profession entails. it's someone's child. It's, going to be emotional. people say take emotion out of it. That's ridiculous. You can't, you love your son or your daughter. So when you take on the role of principal or athletic director, Your job is to take the email. Your job is to have it come to your office. And as you said, do your due diligence, don't just be a yes man or yes, woman and all of a sudden, boom, this parent complaints that must be truthful. Or I don't want the school board upset with me and fire me you're you are taking it on. Right? So.

Chris:

Absolutely.

Luke:

I mean, and, and it's just, I think it's, it's fleeting in our business. And I think that too is contributing to great educators tapping out because they don't feel supported. I just read that 87% of adults don't feel appreciated in their jobs. And you think about like, that's a, that's a really big statistic. And when you don't feel appreciated and you don't feel supported. Well, you know, it's pretty hard to convince. Let's go back to the example of the head coach to stay in there for $3,500 a year. There has to be something larger and it's that support piece. So that's good to hear. And maybe if I ever make out to California, I'm going to come apply for a job at your school, because I would love to have that support.

Chris:

You're right. And, and a side note there, you know, it's like, I've been here at my current place for two years. Right. And just another example of how I think you, more administrators need to lead. I got this email the other day about, one of my best teachers. I got 70 teachers email about one of my best teachers. I've been watching this teacher for two years and I'm like, this is totally out of character. could. a teacher do or say something out of character, they get angry. It's the end of the year. Yeah, they might. But I knew right away. There's no way this teacher said this, And so what, what I did is I just called the parent. I listened. but the parent wanted a parent teacher administrator conference today. And, my job is to shield my teachers from that. So they can. And so I called the parent. I spent 25 minutes on the phone with the parent at the end of the day, it was like, has this teacher ever said something like this to your child? No. It caught me by surprise. your kid's been in there all year? Do you think the teacher really said this? You know what, Mr. Fore you've, you've made a lot of good points. You're right. Probably not. And so again, that's what I see my job as. Twenty-five minutes on the phone with this parent listening. Parents want that more than anything. A lot of administrators would have just held a parent teacher conference, brought the teacher in without even telling them why they're there. That's what takes me off is when I was a teacher. And then you put them on a spot, like you're saying, and then they sit there going, you don't want. Let's send even worth it. So that, that's a perfect example of what I think more administrators really need to do. sadly, there's a lot of pressure on the position and so they, they don't, but I think at the end of the day, I got to spend 25 minutes with a parent who is really fired up. Got to know that parent a little more, they got to know my leadership style, what I expect out of my teachers a little more. and then the teacher never had to come in and confront that parent, you know, at the end of the day. And the parent was very happy with the resolution.

Luke:

Since we're talking about leadership, what are those vital characteristics that are needed to be a successful leader?

Chris:

I think I, my philosophy of leadership is servant leadership. That's my philosophy. You know, I think that, the way that we lead people is by serving them. Uh, there's an old, there's old picture. I love where it shows. You know, two different leadership styles. One is a guy sitting up in a chariot and he's whipping the horses, you know what I mean? to drive and to pull him. And, and then there's another picture like, right. Where, where that person is out, bring the horses, leading those, leading those horses into battle. And I think that that's how we need to, we need to lead. We need to lead from the front. My teachers, my students here, my staff, they know what, like there's no surprises. when you're talking to Chris Fore in his office, you, kind of, you know, right where you stand. I think people. Love working for a leader when, who just pulls no punches. You know, when I get up in a staff meeting and I say, this is X, Y, Z. They know that next week, it's not going to be ABC. You know, it's, it's going to be XYZ. That's what four sets. So, and I think that, that, that type of, so I think I got off on a tangent a little bit, but two things, one servant leadership, and then two, the two most important qualities, servant leadership serve your people. And then to, I don't know how you would phrase that, but, people should know who you are and what you stand for. And so how would you phrase that? I don't know. Um,

Luke:

Yeah, no, I, I agree with you. I, when I have my parent meeting at the beginning of. I always make sure to explain who I am. So I'll talk about what music I listened to, what sports teams I like to follow. you know, I just kind of let them into who I am because I think that's important. And, and I make sure that my parents understand, please do not forget that I am a person for. Right. And a football coaches, like number four or five in my life. So I'm not minimizing how important this football season is to your son. But please realize that when you are judging me that I'm a person first. And I do think that is really important in leadership because if your parents. I think it's okay for your parents to like you. I think it's great if your players and students like you, I never have understood that philosophy of, we need to keep this wall between the teachers and coaches and parents. I think the wall needs to be broken down because if we're all rowing the same direction, cause we all do want the same thing, that individual child to succeed, not only in high school, but in life and the more that we break that wall down and we understand each other are coming from now, I think we're cooking.

Chris:

Yeah, no, absolutely. I think you're right. And that's where that servant leadership, really comes in. I mean, I was picking up trash the other day out here at lunch and these four little, you know, I'm at a school at six to 12th grade and these four junior high girls came up. They're like, Mr. Four, why are you always picking up trash? I said, because this is our campus, you know, we all should. and they said, but you're the principal. And I said, well, that's why I need to do it more than anybody. And they're like, but our shouldn't and they pointed over to some of our custodians, shouldn't they be the ones picking up the trash. I said they do, but so do I. And so should you guys, and then they're like, can we pick up trash now? I said, absolutely. You know, so that's my style. And that's the, that's the philosophy I have. And like, People will get to know you, you break down those barriers. And I think you're able to lead people even more effectively.

Luke:

Completely agree with your phrase of lead from the front. I just had a staff meeting last night. I told my staff be the person you want our kids to be. And great example you set with the trash trash. I literally just talked about that last night. my directive was don't order our players to pick the trash up. You go pick the trash up. Right. And what you did, your example, you had, you just taught those students a very valuable lesson, as opposed to being the guy in the chariot, whipping the horses, saying, Hey, pick that truck. 'cause I I've always found it humorous one you're in a teacher's lounge and your coworkers are saying, oh, you know, I told this kid to pick the trash up and he gave me lip back that it wasn't my trash. Why should I pick it up? And I'm thinking, why didn't you just pick it up? Like they didn't, you just like, you are essentially doing the same thing by ordering the kid to pick it up. I mean, you're saying, why should I pick it up as the adult? Is that my trash? So anyway, let's continue on as leadership. And one thing none of us were prepared for was the pandemic. And you become a principal in the middle of a pandemic. And I obviously don't want to go down the rabbit hole of how we feel about the pandemic, but I do want to talk about how it is challenged your leadership style and how you've kind of had to maybe evolve your philosophy or your approach as a leader, given the consequences of the.

Chris:

Dang. That's a great question. I haven't really thought about that very, very much right there. I think one of the things for me that was very difficult was, was this, like, I became a principal, like you said, July of 2020. That was what, four months after the shutdown and everything. And so for me, I'm a very people oriented person. Like I hate being in my office a lot. And so. That was really difficult coming in. Cause I'm the type of guy. If I started here on July 1st in a regular year, I'd be out and about, you know, me and all our teachers as they come in in their classrooms, helping them unload their cars to set up their classroom or whatever, you know what I mean? And so it was very difficult. It's like, Hey, come meet your principal. My first staff meeting every week. Right here on zoom. I think so. I guess one thing as I'm talking, it, it helped me become a better communicator in terms of my organizational skills on paper, because we had to live a lot more on documents. And so I, I think maybe that's one way where I had to really deliberately think about how to communicate with my staff. through Google classroom. And so I think it probably helped me become a better communicator with the written word that way and those expectations. And then just the, you know, we had, like I said, 70 teachers, six classes, each 420 Google classrooms who are going in and out of all the time. And so it was a real challenge though, man, I hated it. I hated coming in as a principal during that time. philosophically, I just thought we were doing. horrible thing and keeping kids at home on school. but I think that we had to really evaluate how we were delivering education. And so I, I think I grew a lot in, in terms of like I said, probably that written leadership piece because I have been more of an outward. Head coach turned administrator type of guy out, and about, and the. quad and, and hallways. And so I had to kind of be a little more reflective in how I lead through the written word. So I'd say that's The number one difference that I had to kind of learn to do that.

Luke:

The pandemic has somehow turned subjective and political. So I don't want to take either side. I don't want to turn any listeners off come. Sure. People feel passionate one way, right? But I do want to talk about a reality that in my opinion is not discussed enough. That is how it is impacted kids. We just shut down their lives. Don't come to school. Then we bring them back to school and they're wearing masks. And again, I'm stressing to our listeners. I'm not taking a stance either way. That's. The point is what are you seeing as a consequence of how this is negatively impacted kids and how do we bring their normal back? Because what I'm seeing in hallways and what I'm hearing from my peers is it's not normal in schools, right?

Chris:

Yup. No, that's correct. And that's sad. I think we still got kids who think they can just, we got kids just disappearing right? out of class, like walking out of class, hiding out in a bathroom or a hallway, or trying to get into another teacher's class or a substitute class. And literally the other day it kind of dawned on me. Yeah. You know, doing this all year, it's like, they still think they're just on, in a zoom class where they're Mike they're, they're Mike and their cameras turned off. no, we're really seeing you, you know, so, and again, I, I think what we did was just, we taught kids some really poor things about how they are accountable for their actions. I mean, because I know there's no doubt, you know, I remember being in a zoom class when it all started as here's the principal where I hung out in the classroom, like the last seven, eight minutes of class, and then class ended and I'm talking with the teacher and there's like five kids still on, you know, but they're not, they're not really there. It's just, they're black boxes. And then I said, why are these guys still on? And he's like, oh, there it happens. Every single class, Chris, they're not really there. And I was like, And I, and he's like, oh Yeah, watch this. Hey, if any of you respond, I'll give you an a for the class. You never have to come again. I'll give you an a right now. And I mean, crickets, right? So these kids just turn on their turn on their computer, logged in, and then went to play. Basketball, went to walk, their dog went wherever they went to do. And so they're coming back. They've come back to camp. In some ways, without any of that accountability, like, you know, I caught this kid the other day, I'm just walking through the hallways and this is watching this girl, graffitiing on a pole outside, you know? And I'm like, Hey, what are you doing? And, and if in 1992, if my principal, I wouldn't have done it. But if my principal caught me with a Sharpie, graffitiing on a pole, I would have been just like embarrassed. The shamed and she turns out like, oh, Hey, what's up Mr. Ford? I'm like, why are you writing on my property? You don't own that pole. And to her, it was like no big deal, And so again, it's, we're having to reteach kids how to be accountable for their actions. And it's been a head it's been a stress this year and it adds to the stress. You're already talking about that. It's hard for teachers and coaches these days to do our jobs. So we'll get through it. I want to encourage the listeners. I mean, that's what I've been encouraging. My teachers we'll get through it. I just, I really think it's going to be another year or two until schools are quote unquote, back to normal.

Luke:

Yeah, just my opinion. I think we need to go back to teaching behavioral norms in school. I'm going to, I'm going to use an analogy. I told you I was an English teacher and everyone would complain about the kids, lack of grammatical skills. And I taught juniors and seniors and I would just point up and people thought I was being a wise guy, but. How many of you teach grammar? No one raises their hand. Well, what do you think is what do you think is going to happen? Right? Of course, the grammatical skills you can't ex Dolbec. Well, they learned that in middle school. I'm like middle school was six years ago. How many of you remember you did six years ago? So I use that analogy because now kids have reentered the classroom and. I think we need to focus less on curriculum and more on just behavioral norms. We can't just suddenly assume that they understand kind of how we're going to operate within the classroom. Like one common thing I'm hearing through a lot of schools is as kids go through the hallways, like there's just really bad behaviors in the hallways and how kids are, blurting out. And a lot of us, because they're used to wearing a mask, a teacher now who was saying. I think we need to maybe put some of the curriculum on the back burner and just go back to teach in societal norms. And like, this is what we need out of you, but a lot of teachers and admin don't want to hear that, but I do think that's the reality and yes, I agree with you. We're going to get back to it, but we have to start creating that accountability piece. And I believe this wholeheartedly, it's why I entered the field. Whoever high we set the bar, they're going to get. We just need to stop setting the bar so low to lowest common denominator in this country. We need to go back to what we're about and set the high bar because they're going to get over it. We're just instead going well, let's make sure everybody gets over it. And hopefully we'll, get back to that. And, um, I'm sure that's what you're doing at your school. And many schools across this nation are, looking at that because that's our.

Chris:

Yeah. I, no doubt about, I think, you know, you said a lot of good stuff there. I think one, one way, if I were to redo this school year, that's exactly. We S we. We expected kids to come back like the same or, oh, they're going to be excited to be here. And if there's one change I'd make about the school year, we should have spent a lot more time at the front of the year. And we spent a little time at the front of the year. stabilizing those norms like you're talking about, we should have done a lot more. And I don't mean just us at this school. I think most schools should have done a lot more of that from the get-go. I think you're absolutely.

Luke:

Well, you know, in fairness to all of us, we didn't, know. Right.

Chris:

Yeah,

Luke:

Nothing prepared us for this moment. Just as much as it didn't prepare the kids, but maybe that's how we start next school year. I know that's one push I'm making in my school because we're talking about the same things. Everybody else is targeting. You know, just lack of just overall, caring, right? And well, maybe we need to spend time on teaching those things. It may be a little less of what we need to get through in the textbook, but now we're gonna transition to this consulting piece is what you, and I've just been basically doing anyway, trying to help teachers and coaches and educators out. Let's talk about how you help coaches, like what are some must dues that our listeners need to understand as they seek out and try to obtain their dreams?

Chris:

Yeah. So again, you know, when I started writing more a decade ago, I just started writing advice and writing these articles and I realized a lot of coaches, you know, there's and I still think even a decade later, there's no real good national business or company out there that helps specifically coaches with finding their dream job and, and a coaching resume. Is way different than a business resume, you know? And so that's one thing I hate laces consulting does is we help coaches create dynamite resumes, in the business world, the resume you list, your job titles and your job duties right in the coaching world. We have something called statistics and so some businesses do, if you're an insurance sales man, like I said, my family business is insurance. My stepdad can use numbers to show how he has been a great dynamite insurance salesman. Over 20 years. And you know, he's got a starting point of a customer base and how he built that each year. So there are some businesses that have that if you're in sales, you know, but how do you quantify and qualify your influence as a history teacher? That's hard to do, maybe test scores maybe, but in athletics we have the ability to use stat. I call it stats, facts, and figures. To really show the difference that we've made. For instance, as a special teams coordinator, I love special teams. In 2014, I went to a very good school here in my area. we won the schools first league champ, although they are a great program, they never beat their rivals Serrano for like, I think they were open for about six or seven years when I got. So in 2014, we beat Serrato for the first time in school history. It means we won the first league championship in school history. That's now a bullet point under my resume in that area that, played a critical role in beating, our league. rival for the first time in school history. that's an important piece. One of the other things we did there is, you know, in my first year we improved in 14 of 17 measurable, special teams, categories. again, that's a measurable, specific. Data that shows I had an impact there. We developed a number one punt return, the entire state of California. He led the entire state in yards per return. So being able to dive into your statistics. To show how you've made an impact, both on the field and off the field. That's kinda like, what we specialize in and helping coaches create resumes, but that's a way of, they don't want to invest any money with me. That's fine. Do it on your own, but that's number one thing coaches need to do on their resumes. As far as in the interview room, the number one thing they need to do in that interview room is I wrote a book called an insider's guide to scoring your next coaching. 14 chapters there, again, never seen anything like that on the market for coaching specifically. So I wrote that one of those chapters is called shock. The interview panel. You want to know more about that job then interview panel does. And, um, you'd be surprised that's not hard to do these days. Sometimes there are some schools who. Don't do a very good job interviewing That's evident just by how their panel is set up. Lack of football, specific questions on those interview panels. So one brief example, what do you mean shock the interview panel? I applied and went through a process as an athletic director in 2012. I share this story in that. And, uh, there's a question about hiring and retaining coaches. And I pointed out to that panel, there was five or six on the panel. I can't remember, but one of them was a board member and I shocked that board member in that interview, because I said your softball team at this school. and I usually use the word we and ours, even in that interview process, right? Our softball program has only one 30% of our games over the course of the last five years. One reason that has happened is because we've been through four different coaches in five years. There's a problem there in Aaron to that softball program, I would try to put my finger on right away to stop that turnover of COVID. 'cause with that turnover. Coaches comes a losing record. Where were we? We've we've lost 70% of our games over the last five years. I will change that very quickly. And the board member stopped me and said, Mr. For one second, looks to the principal and says, is he right? Have we been through four coaches in five years? And the principal said, I don't know if that's accurate or not. And so there, we, we, we had an interview panel for about five minutes. I'm sitting over there in the corner, twiddling my thumbs because they're talking to each other and almost arguing over the turnover and why that's happening that board member then sets down his folder and his pencil and paper set it on a table in front of. Later on. He said to me, after I got hired, he said Chris, and very smart guy, and I really liked getting to know him. And he said, did you notice I put down my pad and pencil after that discussion? I said, yes, I did. Why'd you do that? He said, as soon as you had that information, I said, this is the guy we got to hire. you shocked me and the panel. And that's where the idea of that title came in for that chapter. So. Guys, all I did for that coaches was I got a max preps and did a little homework. You know, they, they had fielded sports for 10 years. I went in and just looked at the last five years. I did a deep dive on to every single sport at that school. The last five years, I also called a, reporter in the area. I talked to that reporter about. The school. And so that's a piece of advice on that interview that we're really help you guys and help your listeners is shock the interview panel, Luke.

Luke:

Coach that's phenomenal stuff. Love the recommendation of the resume really loves shocking the panel. really phenomenal stuff for all of us to take away. I know we're. The time. Do you have time for one more question? I have to ask you.

Chris:

absolutely.

Luke:

What's the biggest mistake. You've been an athletic director. You're now principal. You're interviewing all the time, coaches and teachers. What's the biggest mistake that you're seeing to have our listeners just be aware of as they walk into.

Chris:

The biggest mistake, coaches making an interview. that's another chapter in the book, actually that where I interviewed my. Former superintendent, who was HR guy for 20 years. and we go through the top kind of top 10 mistakes guys make, I would say, outside of what his answers are. I would say for me, number one, it goes to that. What? I just talked about, candidates who don't know enough about the job. they come into that interview, ill prepared. and listen, if you study and really know a position. It will help all of your answers in that interview. And so, we interviewed four, Nevro's listening to these podcasts, so I gotta be careful, but I have interviewed a coach before for a position as an administrator. This is my eighth year as an administrator. I've interviewed a coach before where, two questions in, you could tell. He had no idea of the type of kid we had at our school. I mean, just no idea because he came in just guns blazing on how he's this world changing. It was for basketball job. He's just world changing, you know, the, the next, coach. Uh I never say his name right at duke. How do you say a coach.

Luke:

coach. Just say coach K. He's from Chicago. He's from our Homeland. We still just I'll say coach K.

Chris:

Coach K. He came in as the next coach. K. And I'm thinking, man, after two questions, we don't have the kids here to do what you're talking about doing so right away as an administrator, I'm like this guy is not a good fit because he's talking about doing things a certain way and playing with a certain type of kid we don't have at our school. Now, could he build that program and recruit those kids from the community after building his program after a few years, yeah. He might be able to, but he's not going to be able to come in and do what he's talking about doing right now. So I've seen a lot of not only coaches, but teachers. Making that mistake, where they just, they don't do any research about the school or the position, or, you know, what are the district initiatives. and so I'd say that, free piece of advice earlier, get to know a much as much about that position as you can. That's also, I think the number one mistake people make when they interview is, is just almost not knowing anything about the job. And I think that really hurts her.

Luke:

Well, I'll tell you a great sign of engagement, a great sign of a conversation or a lesson in the classroom, or a practice is a fact that just flies by. And here we are. 47 minutes later, our flag we've been talking for five. Hopefully listeners feel the same way. This has just been phenomenal. I really can't. Thank you enough. I would be remiss not to bring up the phenomenal outfit and I know this is not a video pod, but, uh, for those of you listening, he is decked out in the old school Padres brown. I have to tell you when I was a kid we'd play home, run Derby and my friends, I would pretend to be a certain player. So we'd pretend to be Cal Ripkin or Andre. I love being Tony, Gwen. I absolutely loved it. So,

Chris:

we go.

Luke:

oh, there you go. I said, I didn't even know that. Look at that. I set that. I split that up for her, for us, like it was planned, but, uh, no, but seriously coaches, this was awesome. I thank you so much. I was, I just came away a better teacher, a better coach from talking to you and our listeners did as well. And to our listeners again, that's coach for F O R e.org and also eightlaces.org I'll have both of those in the show notes for people to link to you as well. And you are a phenomenal Twitter follower. I love how candid you are as a principal, because many principals don't have the courage you do to just speak the truth. So share your Twitter handle with our listeners as well.

Chris:

Yeah, coach. Thanks for the opportunity. Again, I love getting on and talking about these things are my passion and I hope something I say could help. So please reach out to me coaches on Twitter. It's Chris C H R I S C four F R E at Chris C four. And if I can be of any help to you, any of you, please let up.

Luke:

Outstanding. And I just have one request when it's middle of February, can you stop tweeting out pictures of Southern California?

Chris:

Man. I

Luke:

kills me here, man. It kills me.

Chris:

I love California outside of some of the ridiculous, uh, policies and politics we have here, in California. And, uh, Outrageous cost of living. I, I just love this state, especially the coast, so I'm not going to stop tweeting those pictures out, coach. I'm sorry.

Luke:

Well, thank you again so much. have a great day. Best of luck. As you finish out the school year. I know may, sometimes is the most challenging month for any educator. So hopefully you finished strong. I know your kids will finish strong and look forward to fostering relationship and keeping in touch in the future.

Chris:

Hey, same to you. Good luck to you. Uh, finishing out this year and, and with, moving forward in the next season.

Chris Fore Profile Photo

Chris Fore

Consultant/Principal

https://coachfore.org/about/