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By Chanie Wilschanski, CEO of Schools of Excellence and Host of the Build to Last Workshop Series

I was chatting with an owner of five locations—let’s call her Amy. I said, “What capacity are each of your centers operating right now?” In less than 30 seconds she said:

  • Center 1 – 65%
  • Center 2 – 78%
  • Center 3 – 100% with waiting list 
  • Center 4 – 87% 
  • Center 5 – 40% its a new center

She looks at the data consistently. She’s checking in with each location because she wants to know what capacity they are at. This is a consistent habit. 

She doesn’t say, “Oh I checked the operating capacity number last week, don’t need to check again for another few weeks!”

She checks every week, assessing if things are progressing forward: 

  • Her school
  • Her team
  • Her parents
  • Her life depends on it 

She wants to stay open. So my question to you is, 

Have you ever checked in with your “surge capacity?” It’s a term that was coined by Ann Masten.

“Surge capacity is a collection of adaptive systems – mental and physical – that humans draw on for short-term survival in acutely stressful situations, such as natural disasters. Pandemics are different, the disaster itself stretches out indefinitely.” 

The emergency phase has become chronic, so the systems of:

  1. Physically working around the clock
  2. The mental system of worrying and living in fear of your team’s safety and security 
  3. The emotional system of listening to other people problems, worries, struggles, and baggage 

are LONG past capacity. 

Here’s something else: If you are still reading this post, you are a high achiever. You are accustomed to solving people’s problems and getting s%$%$ done! SO WHAT SHOULD I DO? I know you are reading this and thinking… 

Chanie, tell me what can I do about all this? 

Build your Resilience Bank Account.

What’s that? It’s a reserve that you build so you can draw on the resilience and mental toughness that you need for these long periods of time. How do you build this reserve? Here are two ways you can do this:

1. Call out and recognize where you are proud of yourself. 

I know when you go to bed at night, you think about everything, every way and every conversation that 

  • you could have 
  • should have
  • and would have done better 

When that happens, say STOP , I’m building my resilience bank account.

  • What am I proud of today?
  • What conversation am I proud of? 
  • What did I do for the team today that I’m proud of?

Look for it, it’s there and when you call it and voice it, it gets added to the bank account. It’s this slow build of reserves that will be there front and center when you need it. 

2. Build the fence 

Many people mistake boundaries as a brick wall that you won’t let anyone in and you can never break the wall. It’s simply not true and NOT how real life works. Boundaries are a fence, it has holes and areas you can sneak into because sometimes there is a time to break the boundary.

The KEY in building the fence is designing it in a way where you know where you will CHOOSE what creeps in. 

And when you allow it, you create the guidelines. For example, between 7 p.m. – 7 a.m. I don’t respond to text messages from staff. That is a boundary that you are creating.

What are the guidelines? 

  1. You let your staff know this boundary
  2. You tell them when you are available and THEN you can add

If something is truly an emergency, then in the title part of the text message please write SOS. Then I’ll know I need to read it and respond. What happens here is you’ve created a boundary to build your bank account and you’ve created guidelines for your staff. You are here for them, and this is the way you will break the boundary if needed. I have SO much more to share with you that will give you the skills you need to continue to ride this season as:

  1. The best version of you 
  2. Enjoy the quality of the experience

You need to show up – that you know. But, did you know that you can enjoy the experience? And when you do these 2 things, there is magic and creativity and innovation that you didn’t know existed. If you want something different, if you are tired of the same old attitude, and frameworks and want a surge of NEW energy and creativity, then join me for my FREE 4-day workshop – it’s called BUILD TO LAST.

Register here: chanie.me/buildtolast-kt

Each day I’ll be teaching you the reps, the practices, and the leadership drills that are in the 3 core pillars for sustainable school leadership:

1. Mindset

2. Time

3. Culture

And as a bonus, I’m also teaching on conflict. You will be in the company of hundreds of other leaders who want to learn how to:

  • manage the chaos
  • sit the ambiguity
  • and lean into the uncertainty

You will walk away with the practical strategies you need to take your school to the next level. 

You can sign up here.

Warmly, 

Chanie Wilschanski 

PS – Thanks for reading till the end. 

Thank you for being a leader of excellence who wants to challenge their mindset and their way of showing up and knows they are destined for excellence! 


Kangarootime is the leading all-in-one childcare management software for daycares and preschools. With billing and invoicing capabilities, parent communication and staff management tools and classroom automation, Kangarootime helps childcare centers grow and scale. To learn more about optimizing your center with Kangarootime, visit kangarootime.com.

Chanie Wilschanski

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