If we study what is merely average, we will remain merely average.

If we study what is merely average, we will remain merely average.  – Shawn Achor

There is a reason that we seek-out elite programs and organizations.  There is a reason we engage on a state and national level with school districts that have achieved at the highest levels.  We don’t want to emulate those who merely do it well; we want to learn from the best of the best.

It is essential that we all look outside the walls of our own organization; that we look beyond districts that are in our own geographic area.  No single district is elite in all areas; we must carefully select those we want to study. We build relationships, share data, and gather information.  We take what we learn and bring it back to our own district.  We must collaborate with the best to be the best.

Happiness is not the belief that we don’t need to change; it’s the realization that we can.

Happiness is not the belief that we don’t need to change; it’s the realization that we can.  – Shawn Achor

In our daily experiences we encounter people who are seemingly on a quest for happiness.  For some, the quest for happiness is a destination.  Be it the perfect job or retirement . . . that one big purchase or finding the right partner . . . for some life seems to be a never-ending quest for the finish line of work.

I strive to be happy with life, with dailies opportunity to live a purposeful life, and with a mindset that celebrates getting better. We live lives of imperfection, but we embrace the joy of collaboration and growth.  We can’t chase a moment without the happiness of the journey. Life is too short to let one-day pass without being happy.  Live, love, and learn each and every day!

Always do more than is required of you.

Always do more than is required of you.  – George S. Patton

We all know people who do the minimum.  Colleagues and coworkers who do exactly what is required of them but nothing more.  We all know people who work to the contract; people that believe it is “fair” to do only what is asked of them.

Don’t be that person. Always do more . . . give of yourself . . . serve others.  When you give more than the minimum others notice.  Don’t tell others you are doing more – just do it.  If each of us give a little more than what is required we will perform at higher level.  Our organizations, our families, will be better places for everyone.

God provides the wind, but man must raise the sails.

God provides the wind, but man must raise the sails.  – St. Augustine

You have been blessed with skills, knowledge, and opportunities.  You have vision and direction.  You have a support system.  You have the ability to learn through experiences; mistakes are natural and you learn from them.

You have the wind.  Will you raise your sails to reach your desired destination?  No one else is going to raise that sail for you.  You won’t make the journey alone.  There are times you are on the crew; no one is always the captain. Ultimately, your place and direction are up to you.  Use your talents to action.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.  – Lao Tuzla

 Do you have a lifelong dream or vision?  Is there something that you know is in your future?  It is never too early to take that first step to make your biggest dream come true.  Sure, you probably won’t earn success in a day, week, or even decade.  Taking that first step often begins a longer journey.

When you take the first step, when you take action, you commit to the process.  The path to the destination is often cluttered with obstacles.  It will take work, skill, and persistence to reach the destination.  Take action and start today!

The superior man is modest in his speech but exceeds in his actions.

The superior man is modest in his speech but exceeds in his actions.  – Confucius

Did you ever notice that the best leaders don’t need to tell you what they’ve done?  Superior leaders don’t need to tell you what they’ve accomplished because you see it.  Their actions are clear; they have succeeded without talking about.

Don’t tell others about your success; be humble and modest.  Let your success speak for itself and your action speak louder than your words.

Leadership is practiced not so much in words as in attitude and in actions.

Leadership is practiced not so much in words as in attitude and in actions.  – Harold S. Green

Great leaders are often skilled communicators.  The ability to listen, to build consensus, and to inspire is required in leadership.

What sets successful leaders apart is the ability to turn words into action.  Leadership isn’t about talking; it’s about doing.  True leaders lead the work – not the talk.