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12 Inch Frying Pan

How often do we settle for less thinking we can’t do more? That becomes a mindset and our mind won’t allow us to try bigger things. Here’s another great STORY for you. It can serve as a common talking point with people when they are focusing on their limitations rather than on their strengths. I’ve used it numerous times with my staff and it does get results. Continue reading

Trim Tabs


In my classes and speeches, I always discuss the power of telling great stories.  Stories move us to action.  I need a good story to get my emotions flowing.  Without emotions, we seldom have the energy to make great things happen.

Traveling across the country speaking and consulting, I see something out there that is frightening.  It gives me chills.  It’s a real danger zone.  It is the ocean of sameness.  Everybody’s doing what everybody else is doing.  You know, the “me too” leaders.  That won’t cut it in the future.  You better do something to separate yourself from the crowd or you will be just another face out there trying to improve by copying other people.

Have you ever heard of a “trim tab”?  Listen to this story.  In the early 1970’s, the great inventor Buckminster Fuller captivated minds when he created a great metaphor for leverage.

He explained that when the Captain of a huge ocean liner turns the wheel in the pilot cabin, it takes several miles in order for the ship to change direction.  Through an interesting combination of cables and mechanics, the wheel is connected to the huge rudder beneath the ship.

But, as Bucky observed, there’s this tiny thing at the edge of the rudder called a “trim tab”, a miniature rudder if you will, that requires very little effort to turn.  That is what actually causes the rudder to shift, which then moves the massive ocean liner to change its course.

It’s the little things we do that make the gigantic difference.  Look for the trim tabs and make yourself unique.

Last thing, here is some homework.  Really think about this.  List 3 reasons why other systems are superior to your own, and why they may out perform you over the next 3 years.

Be honest, and let your answers motivate you to find a trim tab.

Organizations Dr. David Lee has spoken for:

Here are just a few of the organizations that Dr. David Lee has spoke for.


WHO ARE OUR CLIENTS?  Here are some names you’ll know!





Chevron U.S.A.

Texas Association of Secondary School Principals

Virginia Association of Secondary School Principals

Alaska Association of Elementary and Secondary School Principals

Florida Panhandle Area Educational Cooperative

Florida Citrus Growers Association

Arkansas Economic Development Commission

Alabama Staff Development Association

Northside Victoria School Board, Victoria, Nova Scotia

Kentucky Association of School Superintendents

Mississippi Association of School Superintendents

Louisiana Superintendent’s Association

Louisiana Association of School Executives

Association of Compensatory Educators of Texas

Arkansas Association of Elementary School Principals

Regional In-Service Centers in Mobile, Birmingham, and Montgomery, Alabama

Broward County Schools, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

Kodiak, Alaska Schools

Ft. Worth Public Schools, Ft. Worth, Texas

University of Alabama Regional In-Service Center

Louisiana Reading Association

Mississippi Staff Development Association

Seminole County Support Services Group, Orlando, Florida

Kansas Association of Elementary School Principals

International Council for Innovations in Education, Panama City, Panama

International Conference on Learning, Chicago, Illinois

Missouri Association of Secondary School Principals

Florida Association of Secondary School Principals

Alabama Effective Schools Conference

Northeastern Montana Association of School Administrators

Banking Institute of the South

Calgary, Canada Teachers Association

American Technical Educators Association



Sheraton Hotels

International Paper Company

U.S. Sites and Development Conference, Orlando, Florida

Western Iowa Technical Community College

Illinois Eastern Community Colleges

Louisiana Community and Technical College System

Conference of Louisiana Colleges and Universities

Entergy Cooperation

Mississippi Business Educators Conference

Cuyahoga Community College System, Cleveland, Ohio

Houston Community College Leadership Institute, Houston, Texas

Florida Foundation for School Health


Spoken in all 50 states