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May 9
Dr. Bill Cala -- Marks of a Brain Based Leader

It just donned on me today that
Dr. Bill Cala’s story is really the story Cala2.jpgof a brain based leader. That's to say...Bill’s edge comes from the fact that he reflectsmoves… and jumps on questions ...in ways that few leaders do… all marks of a brain based leader…. Do you reflect on a daily basis….? When Bill reflected on life as it could be lived he chose an early retirement from leadership in the Rochester, NY area... in order to build and nurture schools in Kenya  … Bill also reflected on areas in his field that seemed ripe for change….” Three major purposes of education," he said, "are to make good people … to make good citizens… and to nurture the skills of individuals…. "

Would education systems in your state justify Bill's conclusion...  that, ”Any history lesson will tell you we have not done this well… We are in a place in history now where those three are being ignored…?” Reflection, for Dr. Cala led him beyond dissatisfaction with what currently exists…to a conviction that he could do more to make a difference ….
What would you do differently today if you stopped and considered... why do what you do and how you might do it differently…?  

I asked Dr. Cala, “Why are you going to Africa , when you are so needed here…?”  After all, he seemed to have it all, and while he did poverty in India.jpgnot always get all the changes he fought for… he brought about life-changing practices that sustained  entire education system near the top nationally … he also enjoyed respect from others to boot…. In response, Bill moved in on the fact that,   “Everything is relative. I think poverty_in_africa.jpgwhen we talk poverty in the … we are talking relatively…. Not that I mean to underestimate the struggles here at home – struggles like the recent Louisiana area disaster… You cannot help but be moved by the stories of human tragedy and human help…Yet…when we look at the unbelievable levels of poverty in places like Africa and … poverty here does not compare…. Over half the world is desperately poor…. “ Bill looked at poverty like Africa and India… as if it was his problem and he moved his position as a leader in a way that he could better respond …

Brain based leadership considers the complex angles that exist on several sides… When Bill looks at others he spots good that already exists as well as opportunities that wait in the wings for his leadership. “There are a large number people out there who really do care and who want to help… this African mission of mine has brought so many people I was unaware of…out of the woodwork…people  that I did not know existed…,”  he said.

The barriers that Bill named…. Stumbling blocks of “standardization and conformity” that drive current education systems…. Seemed to be the very stepping stones that helped him do more than “parrot his predecessors” 

Finally Bill often seems to ask, “Why?….”   Does that question help you to stand up and lead differently…as it helps brain based leaders “to invent…to solve problems …or to help cure diseases?” Does it lead you to ask, as brain based leaders do, “Why not?”  Bill moved past a rut of re-producing stuff others said would work…or mass-producing what he figured lands a nation “in serious danger….” As much as I will miss his influence in my own community I am inspired to see Dr. Cala move his leadership to to teach others what he believes “to be good citizens…” It’s our loss  and at the same time this move challenges us to ask ourselves why we are doing things … and to challenge why we do them the way we do….? Does that challenge change the way you ram into another new day…?

Brain based leaders like Bill move us past the false security of tradition… and help us to welcome change that affect our lives personally…. Maybe the reason he moves us is because he listens! In Bill’s words, “To be an outstanding leader you have to be one who listens… without listening to understand the audience that you are leading – you cannot lead them well…. “ Oh… and as brain based leaders often consider the opposite of a thing to help us see it better…. Bill spoke of the opposite to leaders who listen…”I also think if you seek power and control you will never have it… There are any number of leaders who seek power and control and are not there for the genuine interests of their constituents…If you listen carefully and totally focus on those who you serve… you will have all the power and control by de facto to enable you to do the job… you will find amazing support to lead….”

In spite of the punch behind brain based leading … Bill will likely continue to reflect, move past barriers and ask “Why?” He described desperate poverty in the small community of Maseno and spoke of Kenya as “difficult in that it is a young government…only 40 years old… when we think back to the US at 40 years old…and we see gun slingers and all that goes with that….” Bill's foundation Joining Hearts and Hands Foundation and his contact information can be found at
Brain Based Business and he’d likely enjoy your wisdom...your support and your blessing…. For my part...I’d love you hear more of your ideas about what marks a brain based leader you know….

2 Comments/Trackbacks

» Dr. Bill Cala -- Inspired to Lead in Kenya from BrainBasedBusiness
Dr. Bill Cala is really a leader’s leader… But for the past 9 years he’s been an Award Winning Superintendent of Schools here in Fairport ,   New York . Since he chose an early retirement from leadership here… in... [Read More]

» What's Happening With Brain Based Leader, and Friend, Dr. Bill Cala? from BrainBasedBusiness
Since many of you enjoyed inspiration from Dr. Bill Cala at this site, and at Leadernotes ... you’ll be interested in the latest from Kenya’s…  Joining Hearts and Hands. You have a ringside seat because this is Volume 1 …... [Read More]

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