There is little argument against the need for change in public education. As an educational leader, I am guilty of asking for change, but not showing what is needed. It’s easy to say “we need to change,” but the real work is walking together on the change journey.
The fear, the discomfort of change is real. When we don’t know what’s required of us, when we haven’t developed the skills needed to move forward, resistance is natural. Leadership is modeling what’s needed; it’s creating opportunities for growth and improvement.
We can’t control the events in our lives. We can’t control the behavior and actions of others.
We can control how we respond; we can control our behavior. Through our response, we decide to be happy or to be negative.
When we make happiness a habit, when we make lifting up those around our practice, it directly impacts our success. Cultivate healthy habits for yourself; make daily decisions that spark happiness in you. Happiness is a choice – make it every day.
I often say and hear other people say, “prepare today’s students for the future.” In the Hilliard Schools, we live our mission to “prepare every student to be Ready for Tomorrow.” I was recently at a conference where one of my colleagues introduced the idea to “prepare students for the world we want it to be.”
Yes . . . Amen . . . That’s it! We live in a vitriolic, narcissistic, and broken world. Let’s prepare today’s students to be and do better. Let’s commit to teach, and model, empathy and honesty. As adults, let’s live as servant leaders committed to thinking about others first.
As educators, we have the opportunity, the responsibility, to shape the future. Let’s cultivate a better world for our children.
Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there. – Will Rogers
We live in a fast-paced, act now, culture. Everything from our iPhone to our television seems to update to the next version overnight automatically. Our car audio systems update in our garages; the way we share information changes all the time.
From education to medicine, you better embrace the mindset of continuous improvement. If you aren’t getting better, others are passing you by daily.
Take time to celebrate victories, learn from failures, and reflect on events. We learn through our experiences. While you discover, keep moving. Even on the right track, you need to embrace the commitment to growth.
Simply creating a vision is not enough: you must communicate it with passion and conviction. – Disney Institute
Decades ago, a motivations speaker made the statement, “your best thoughts go down the shower drain each morning.” His premise was that when we have time alone to think, we have breakthrough ideas. Too often, we don’t do anything with great ideas; the thoughts go down the drain.
Having a great idea isn’t enough. The great idea must spark action – an action that requires cultivation and development. The best ideas have teams working with refinement and development.
Don’t let your great potential ideas go down the drain. Communicate them – share your passion with the team. Not every thought leads to a vision that leads to action. Some ideas are only ideas, and that’s OK. Unrealized ideas often lead to future iterations. Keep dreaming!
If we’re growing, we’re always going to be out of our comfort zone. – John Maxwell
For most of us, there is a sense of comfort in sameness and consistency. We are at ease when our lives are in order; there is serenity in knowing what’s ahead.
We must embrace productive discomfort if we are going to improve – if we are going to have a growth mindset. Living with a passion for growth requires us to seek new opportunities and to push outside of our comfort zone.
Often what’s most uncomfortable is what’s most important – we must evaluate what should change and what should remain the same. There are traditions, tried and true models, and highly functioning processes that should stay constant. Growth demands consistent focus and response to the events in our lives.
When we have a solid core; when we know who we are and what we believe, making decisions becomes easy. When we live our values, we take the right path verse the easy way. We do what is required of us. It is who we are.
Author Brene Brown says many people look to what’s “fast, fun, and easy.” When we know our values we practice them, we don’t just profess them.
Many people in our lives say the right things but do the easy things. It’s easy to “look good” professing what’s right, but it’s more difficult to do the right thing – even when it’s difficult. Know your values, practice them every day, and do the work.