PMP226: Year in Review and Power of Masterminds with Jeff Springer, Part 2

This past semester, Dr. Jeff Springer has helped me facilitate the weekly book study portion of our Principal Matters Mastermind.

In this week’s podcast episode, we share Part 2 of a conversation about the benefits of Masterminds for education leaders. Dr. Springer’s dissertation was on the power of play at the secondary level. As we planned for this show, Jeff asked me, “What if we took each tenet of ‘play’ and tied it into the benefits and results of participating in a Mastermind?’

The Power of Masterminds, Part 2

For a quick overview, Dr. Springer explains P.L.A.Y. and its connections to a Mastermind as follows:

People – A Mastermind community helps members establish and identify who your people are.

Love –  A Mastermind helps members verbalize how are you care and love for your team and others.

Acknowledge – A Mastermind helps participants acknowledge success, failures, and develop a plan for areas of improvement and investigation.

Yearn – A Mastermind helps members establish a platform to reconnect educators why they became educators in the first place, renewal with passion. It’s a reminder of what gets them out of bed in the morning and gives them purpose!

Listen in to this week’s podcast episode to enjoy these takeaways and more!

Principal Matters, 2020 Review

Some of you have been readers of the Principal Matters blog or have listened to the podcast for a long time. Others may be brand new members to the community. 

I began blogging in 2013 and podcasting in 2016. At the beginning of my blogging journey, I had just been named Oklahoma’s Assistant Principal of the Year. I continued sharing blogs and podcasts as a high school principal. In 2017, I began the fulltime work I do with my state principal association. Principal Matters, LLC, has always been and continues to be a passion project for me. I dedicate time in the evenings and weekends to writing and recording. If I’m invited to present or keynote, I take vacation time from my full-time work, which means my time is somewhat limited. To date, my blog posts have been downloaded 345,885 times and my podcast episodes 495,784. On average, between 2,000-2,500 education leaders are digesting my weekly posts. 

I like to think about how many students are being impacting by our collective learning. If each Principal Matters podcast listener, for instance, represents 300 to 500 students, it is possible we are influencing the lives of over 1 million students.  

Whether you are a long-time subscriber or first-time listener, I want to thank you for learning along with me. It seems odd to be celebrating at the end of such a crazy and difficult year, but as I look back on the past 12 months, I am amazed at the opportunities we had to grow together through a global pandemic, school shutdowns, and re-openings or hybrid settings. I have so many people to thank for the wins of 2020. These include my guests, partners, Mastermind members, and executive coaching clients. 


A special thanks to the 20 friends who shared on my podcast this past year, including: Juan David Campolargo, Tim Elmore, Anthony Fisher, Marlena Gross-Taylor, D.J. Klein, Jethro Jones, Jeremie Kubicek, Sonia Lopez Morales, Andrew McPeak, Patrick McLaughlin, Anthony Muhammad, Jena Nelson, Don Parker, Brad Ruttman, Carolyn Sattin-Bajaj, Jen Schwanke, Jeff Springer, Josh Stamper, William Stubbs, Justin Thomas.

Early 2020 Masterminds

I had the privilege of managing three separate Masterminds this year. Thank you to Cathy Blankenship, Anthony Fisher, Barbara Hawley, Eric Harrison, and Terrence Simmons – all principals who were a part of my first Mastermind offerings. 

Re-Opening Mastermind

Over the summer of 2020, I switched to a free Mastermind offering to help principals navigate school re-openings. What a privilege to connect with education leaders from coast to coast. A special shout out to Kim Doepker, Cythina Winchester, Brighid Gates, Joy Wright, Dennis Shug, Eddie Trygar, Jessica Johnson, Brayden Savage, Eric Hoops, Sonia Lopez-Moralez, Kimberly Miles, Andrew O’Farrel, Sam Fuller, and Angie Garrison for the incredible learning we accomplished together. We created an amazing shared Google Doc with school plans and practices.

Fall 2020 Mastermind

The fall semester began with a new Mastermind offering as schools pivoted to both virtual and in-person options. This included another power-packed group of leaders from across the U.S. Thank you to Samantha Bartrom, Yolonda Dawson, Andrew O’Farrell, Erin Igoe, Kimberly Miles and Jeff Springer for ending out 2020 with such amazing learning!


One of my most exciting moments of the year was the publishing of my third book, Pause. Breathe. Flourish.: Living Your Best Life as an Educator. My goal was to self-publish this book, but when my friend Jimmy Casas read the manuscript as a reviewer, he reached back with an offer to join him and Dr. Jeff Zoul in publishing the book through ConnectEdd Publishing. What an honor to collaborate with these two education leaders. I hope you’ve picked up your own copy and would love more reviews on Amazon if you have time to leave one! 

Guest Appearances

With the new book came invitations to present on other podcasts. I’m grateful to Justin Baeder or Principal Center Radio, Joshua Stamper at Aspire Leadership, and Jethro Jones at Transformative Principal for hosting me on their podcasts this fall.

Presentations and Keynotes

A global pandemic changes a lot of plans. Any in-person events I had planned were either cancelled or switched to virtual offerings. I am grateful to Sheila Vitale, Director of the Office of Ohio School Sponsorship for an invitation to train select school leaders in Ohio this past year through the Principal Matters Academy. These monthly half-day trainings allow us to dig deeply into each of the essential roles of school leaders based on the ‘8 Hats’ content I’ve shared with education leaders for the past 8 years. In addition, I am thankful for invitations I had to present virtual sessions for friends at Tulsa Technology Center and Southern Nazerene University’s Education Leadership Alumni Association. (Contact me if you are interested in discussing any of these offerings for yourself or your team members.)

Executive Coaching

In addition to Masterminds, I have had select opportunities to connect with some amazing leaders through one-on-one coaching.

What’s In Store?

As I look ahead to 2021, I’m excited to share a new Pause. Breathe. Flourish. Study Guide which will be a companion for anyone wanting to lead a book study. ConnectEdd will post the new resource after the New Year. Also, I already have a couple of invitations for virtual presentations in the months ahead. My monthly virtual Principal Matters Academy trainings will continue with my Ohio education leaders. My current Mastermind group will continue throughout the new semester, and applications open for anyone interested in additional offerings with my friend Dr. Jeff Springer facilitating as a Principal Matters Coach.

If you’re interested in any of the resources or trainings for your growth or for your own leadership teams, reach out by email at will@williamdparker.comor see links on my website at

2020 Episodes

For those who want to go back into the archives of this past year or share with others, here is a list of the Principal Matters episodes for 2020:

PMP225: 4 Wishes for Your Much-Deserved Break (Plus Will’s Bonus Christmas Hymns)

PMP224: The Power of a Mastermind with Jeff Springer

PMP223: A Fighter Pilot’s Lessons for Leaders, Part 2

PMP222: A Fighter Pilot’s Lessons for Leaders

PMP221: Designing Leadership Outcomes with Jethro Jones

PMP220: Aspire in Leadership with Joshua Stamper

PMP219: Pause. Breathe. Flourish. Part 2 with Jen Schwanke

PMP218: Reflections on Pause. Breathe. Flourish. with Jen Schwanke

PMP217: 57 Years Together, A Tribute to My Parents

PMP216: A Principal’s Toolbox with Justin Thomas

PMP215: Reflections from Pause. Breathe. Flourish. with Sonia Lopez-Morales

PMP214: Pause. Breathe. Flourish. Part 2, Review with Dr. Jeff Springer

PMP213: Pause. Breathe. Flourish. A Review with Dr. Jeff Springer

PMP212: Strategies for Helping Gen Z Students with Dr. Tim Elmore

PMP211: Reflections on Reopening Schools, Part 2, with Jen Schwanke

PMP210: Re-opening Reflections with Jen Schwanke

PMP209: Supporting Students from Immigrant Families in a Pandemic

PMP208: New School Year Celebrations and Challenges

PMP207: Equity in Education During a Pandemic

PMP206: Growing Through a Mastermind with Anthony Fisher

PMP205: Preparing the Start-of-School Year in a Pandemic

PMP204: We are all Pioneers and Tweeners this school year!

PMP203: Cultivating PLAY in Leadership with Jeff Springer

PMP202: Transforming School Cultures with Dr. Anthony Muhammad

PMP201: Rebooting for the Summer with Jen Schwanke

PMP200: Looking Back at Distance Learning with Jen Schwanke

PMP199: Panel Discussion on Equity & Racism, Part 2

PMP198: Panel Discussion on Equity and Racism, Part 1

PMP197: 10 Tips for New Assistant Principals

PMP196: Generation Optimism with Juan David Campolargo

PMP195: Instruction from a Distance with Jena Nelson

PMP194: Lessons from Leading in New York with Principal Patrick McLaughlin

PMP193: Taking a Music Break from COVID-19

PMP192: Leading from a Distance, Part 2 with Jen Schwanke

PMP191: Reflections on Leading from a Distance

PMP190: 5 Tips for Running the Uncertain Leadership Roads Ahead

PMP189: Building Bridges to Reach Students with Dr. Don Parker

PMP188: COVID-19 Update, Principal Reboot, Finding Balance Continued

PMP187: Reboot for Principals, Part 2

PMP186: Reboot for Principals with Jen Schwanke

PMP185: The Power of Sharing Your Own Story

PMPEncore151: Hiring High Quality Educators, Part 2

PMPEncore150: Hiring High Quality Educators, Part 1

PMP184: 5 Voices for Leading Teams with Jeremie Kubicek

PMP183: Gen Z Unfiltered, Part 2 with Andrew McPeak

PMP182: Generation Z Unfiltered with Andrew McPeak

Encore099: Collaborating for Results – Interview with Dr. Judi Barber

PMP181: Finding Your Swing – How Leadership & Teamwork Go Hand-in-Hand

PMP180: Tipping Points and Why Small Things Matter

PMP179: Special Edition – Principal Matters 2019 Year In Review

Now It’s Your Turn: Share and Rate on iTunes

The best way to grow a community of learners is by sharing with one another. If you have found value in our learning together this past year, would you take a moment to share the podcast with others? Also, please leave a review on iTunes or wherever you listen to podcasts. When you do, the show becomes more visible to others. Thank you for doing what matters!

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William D. Parker
William D. Parker