Often the biggest barrier to innovation is our own way of thinking.

 

Often the biggest barrier to innovation is our own way of thinking.  – George Couros

 

I love our team; I love working with our team.  I thrive in environments of ongoing collaboration, idea sharing, and pushing each other to get better with skill.

 

George is right, we get stuck in our “own way of thinking.”  When we expand our circle and collaborate with other passionate, smart people, we expand our lens and look at things differently.

 

Don’t lead, or work, in isolation.  Expand your view by collaborating with others – add a different perspective and look at challenges through a new lens.  Live our “Power of the Team” and push yourself to new levels of innovation.

Good leaders know how to lead.  Great leaders know why they lead.  They are driven by purpose.

Good leaders know how to lead.  Great leaders know why they lead.  They are driven by purpose.  – Jon Gordon

 

Tim Kight reminds us all the time, “If it’s not happening in you, it can’t happen through you.”  With this in mind, “why do you do what you do?”

 

Each of us must believe, we must live, the work we do if we are going to be the most effective versions of us.  For me, my heart and soul must be in alignment for me to be effective and lead each and every day.  Our work is too difficult; there are too many energy vampires, for us to lead half-heartedly.

 

We must support each other, push each other, and call each other out when the “why” isn’t evident.  We don’t have time to only be good . . . we strive to be elite.  Find time each day to reflect, to intentionally feed your why!  Don’t go through the motions . . . be the leader you strive to be.

The most important rule of change is identifying what’s not going to change.

 

The most important rule of change is identifying what’s not going to change.  – Doug Reeves

 

Let’s start with the premise that we are not total failures.  Let’s begin with the mindset that we do an awful lot of things very, very well.

 

As public educators, in the Hilliard City Schools specifically, we are very skilled and successful in preparing students to be Ready for Tomorrow.  With that said, we live our “passion for growth” and look for areas to improve each and every day.

 

As we live this growth mindset – as you lead in your 20 square feet – don’t forget to celebrate what’s working and identify the foundational skills that don’t change.  Change creates productive discomfort, but it shouldn’t cause destruction of successful programs.  Identify what’s not changing and cultivate a trusting environment.

Sprinting is a fine strategy for a young genius, but becoming a master requires patience of experimentation to run a marathon.

Sprinting is a fine strategy for a young genius, but becoming a master requires patience of experimentation to run a marathon.  – Adam Grant

 

Real change . . . real improvement is a marathon.  Fast, immediate change is easy but rarely has staying power in established systems.  Real change takes hard work, it takes reflection, it takes improvement, and it takes continued adaptations and adjustments.

 

Creating the culture and path for real change takes expertise.  Change management is a skill that requires development.  The ability to cultivate a shared vision, inspire collaborative decision-making, synthesize events during the process, and adapt to what is required for success requires training.

 

Become a master leader . . . cultivate and develop your leadership abilities . . . train for what is required of you.

It is not the system, but the execution of the system, that counts.

It is not the system, but the execution of the system, that counts.  – Tex Winter

 

Systems themselves don’t lead to success . . . it is in the people in the systems that are important.  For me, leadership isn’t about creating successful systems.  For me, leadership is about building-up people.

 

Strong people, engaged teams make nearly every system successful.  Strong people execute systems with fidelity.  Strong teams improve systems on a continuous basis.

 

Build your team – not your system.

In education, how often does data driven mean we become “weakness focused?”

 

In education, how often does data driven mean we become “weakness focused?”  – George Couros

 

Too often we only look for the negative side of data . . . we only look for errors and failures.

 

Data driven should be part of a greater growth mindset.  Data driven must lead to reflection and collaboration.  Data driven is understanding that data is often a piece of a larger picture.

 

Yes, data is important, but it isn’t the only thing.  We are in the in people business . . . use data as markers on the journey.

A true leader doesn’t lead to gain power.  They lead to empower and give power away.

A true leader doesn’t lead to gain power.  They lead to empower and give power away.  – Jon Gordon

 

Leadership isn’t about title or authority.  Leadership is earned by our actions and about serving others.  We all know leaders who don’t have the title of authority; we all know those with titles who have no leadership ability.

 

We are all leaders in our space.  Don’t spend a lot of time worrying about your title; spend your time leading by example and inspiring others to greatness.