One of the secrets to staying young is to always do things you don’t know how to do, to keep learning. – Ruth Reichl
Do you ever feel like you are in a rut? Feel like you have done something so many times you don’t even need to think about it anymore?
Do you exercise? If you do, you know the importance of changing-up your workout. You know that you must continue to work muscle groups in different ways. Our muscles keep learning, growing, and strengthening. To stay young, we must keep doing things we don’t know how to do. We must keep doing different things.
Don’t be satisfied with your current skill-set. Don’t be satisfied with your current success. Keep learning . . . keep growing . . . find your edge.
The path to success is to take massive, determined action. – Anthony Robbins
We are on a path together . . . a path to ensure that every student is Ready for Tomorrow. We know that we must change the way public education operates. We know one size doesn’t fit all; we must personalize education for each student. We know much of what we do each day is successful; we know much of what we do isn’t working.
Our path to success requires action. We must be determined and we continue to learn and improve. We use our experiences to hypothesize on opportunities to adapt and adjust, we must be willing to implement intentional changes, and we must be willing learn from failure.
Our work is too important to defend the status quo; it is too important to be comfortable with good enough. Our path requires more from us. Are you up for the challenge?
To learn one must be humble. But life is the great teacher. – James Joyce
Overcoming our pride . . . overcoming a fear of failure . . . is a key component of improvement. We must be willing to accept that our present success isn’t adequate for future growth.
One must be humble to accept we can always improve. Having a true growth mindset – a true passion for growth – requires acceptance that our ability can always be improved. We learn though our experiences; many of which are failures. Humility . . . achieved through failures and experiences . . . teaches us to preserver and grow.
Be humble . . . learn from experiences . . . let life be your teacher.
It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop. – Confucius
As educators, we are committed to differentiation of instruction for our students. As leaders, we must also differentiate the speed of change for those within our organization. Change is often uncomfortable. The level of discomfort is different for each individual in the organization.
There are some people who always seem willing to be “Trail Blazers” – these people are always willing to try new methods without fear of failure. Others are more cautious – the “Joggers” in any organization are willing to change but want to see evidence that there is value in their efforts. Then we have our “Walkers” – these people are confident in their current strategies and more reluctant to change something that is seemingly working.
It is important for the organization to value – and tap into – the skills of all three groups. The Trail Blazers learn lessons from failures without loss of enthusiasm . . . these individuals overcome obstacles and keep on moving. The Joggers maintain balance – these individuals are the bridge from the current to the future. Our walkers provide stability during change; these people sometimes need a push, but we need to keep moving forward.
Differentiate your leadership style to maximize the skills, talent, and values of those within the organization. Leadership is up to you . . . value and empower those on the team.
Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence. – Abigail Adams
Learning, the acquisition of knowledge and skill, is essential in our journey. As we pursue excellence and strive to be elite, learning is a requirement. With a growth mindset, with an inner belief that we are going to be better today than yesterday, learning is simply what we do.
Through our experiences, we observe and reflect. We intentionally adapt and adjust; we pivot and improve. We seek to build our skills.
Today, be purposeful in creating opportunities for learning. Seek with diligence new knowledge and skills. Your journey requires growth and growth is dependent on learning.
By changing nothing, nothing changes. – Anthony Robbins
I often find myself in a paradoxical state of mind. I am thankful for the many blessings in my life and I want to cherish each day. At the same time, I have a deep passion to pursue excellence. I believe in my inner core, in my heart-of-hearts, that I am on a journey that requires intentional growth and improvement. How do I square these two competing goals? How do I enjoy the present and push myself to the edge in pursuit of excellence?
Life is about balance, it is about reflection, and it’s about living with purpose. Managing the paradox requires friends and family . . . it takes strong relationships and partnerships. No one can live in isolation; no one can do it alone. Sharing the success of today with others bring joy to the present. Building connections with colleagues and friends – being open minded and reflective – provides the foundation for thanks and the fuel to change.
Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn. – Benjamin Franklin
How do you collaborate with others? Do you consider yourself a strong communicator?
We all work with people who claim to to be collaborative – people who pride themselves in their communications skills. The key to successful collaboration isn’t one-way communication. Sharing information isn’t collaboration. Collaboration, true building of trust, must involve building relationships.
We build trust through repeated experiences over time. We trust those people who are consistent; we trust people when their behavior matches their words. People become involved when they are valued, when trust is at a premium, and then learning is at the center.
As leaders we must involve our constituents . . . our staff, our parents, and our community. Communications must go in multiple directions, using multiple means, and listening during the journey.
Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly. – Robert Kennedy
Are you a leader or a follower? Do you play it safe or dare to pursue excellence?
Leaders are willing to take intentional risks. Leaders aren’t reckless; leaders are purposeful and thoughtful. Leaders form a hypothesis, skillfully tests the hypothesis, gather data and observe behavior, and then learn from the process.
From the smallest tweak to a successful process to an entirely new approach, from improving a model to breaking the mold, leaders have a desire to achieve greatly.
Do you skillfully hypothesize about achieving greatly? Are you willing to dare to fail greatly on the journey to elite? Be a leader . . . find your edge . . . take the path.
A year from now you will wish you had started today. – Karen Lamb
Our day to day life gets a little crazy. We often find ourselves in “management mode” where we simply strive to get through the current day. When our “to do” list for current obligations exceeds our ability to move forward, we find ourselves pushing new initiatives to tomorrow. When our current reality is an obstacle to our future plans we fail to live our passion for excellence.
We know that we must continue to grow, to improve, and to learn. We know that today’s status quo isn’t what will make us elite in the future. Find time, make time, to pursue your journey. Don’t allow the day-to-day to impede the path to tomorrow. You know what must be done – cultivate your skills and have the discipline to do it.
Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm. – Winston Churchill
We learn through doing. From our earliest days learning to walk, we fell a lot. We learned to write by first scribbling, then drawing shapes, then letters . . . our learning required trying, experiencing, and improving. We give young students blocks to count . . . mistakes are made, we start again, and we learn.
With the gift of youth comes the safeguards for experiential learning – parents, teachers, and coaches are here to support and encourage children through the learning process. The enthusiasm of youth, with the guidance of loving adults, teaches students that failures are not the end but only a step in the learning journey.
As adults, we can’t safeguard our students from failure. Sure, we protect them from unsafe or unhealthy failures, but most failures in youth are learning opportunities. We must guide students on their path, but not do the work for them. Failures are natural and necessary for future conditioning and success.