We are making lots of changes! It is fun and scary and stressful and fascinating and exciting all at the same time. For the past few weeks, I’ve found myself getting frustrated with some of my bosses who don’t quite seem to be understanding the direction we are going. I found myself saying, “They don’t understand because they’re not in it everyday. They need to be in our data teams and our classrooms and then they’ll feel the same way we do!”
Then I remembered this quote:
That’s right…if you’re not in the arena I don’t want you’re feedback. After thinking about this a little more I realized that there are many times that I give YOU feedback but I’m not actually in YOUR arena either. I shared these thoughts and the quote with Lisa and Amanda and they both agreed that if we are going to lead change, then we are going to need to get in the arena with you. So, we will each be taking a first grade reading group starting next week! We are going to try to implement the new things that our kindergarten, first grade and title teachers are working on in their classrooms.
Because if we’re not in the arena getting it handed to us, then you shouldn't be interested in our feedback! We're putting on our gloves on and jumping in!
II want to be a leader who pushes myself
I want to be a leader who is not afraid of the status quo.
I want to be a leader who is not satisfied.
Most importantly, I want to be a leader who is easy to follow but hard to please.
Read that again…
I want to be a leader who is easy to follow but hard to please.
That’s right-I strive to be hard to please because I want to be on a constant journey to ELITE. I first hear this quote that "leaders need to be easy to follow but hard to please" from none othe than Tim Kight. And from the moment he said it, I knew that THAT is who I wanted to (needed to) be if I was going to create an ELITE culture at our school. (Do you still think I'm crazy? That's okay, take a look at this post from Levi Nelson in which he explains what it means to be "easy to follow and hard to please.")
Remember, the journey to ELITE is a journey with no destination. If I allow myself to revel for too long in our success, then I stop growing. If I stop growing, we all stop growing. I’m not about to let that happen.
Right now—I’m extra hard to please. You may have noticed that I am in the process of unlearning and relearning everything I know about literacy. This journey has taught me a lot about myself and I am learning a lot about all of you. I am seeing how you react under pressure and how you respond to change. I am learning how I respond to push back and if I can do so in disciplined ways that keep us moving forward. I’m learning who BCDs in the face of change, who embraces it, who is a runner, who is a walker and who is ready to take their ball and go home. I love it. I love watching us all muddle in the uncomfortable.
This is place is UNIQUE! Our culture is UNIQUE. And, right now I’m celebrating it! We’re unique because we don’t wait to be told what to do. It’s not always easy to have a growth mindset but for those of you who are embracing the uncomfortable—I just have to say THANK YOU! Thank you for also being leaders who are hard to please. Thank you for not being comfortable with the status quo.
Remember—I won’t ask you to do anything that I’m not willing to do myself. Right now, I ask for you to continue to learn new things, continue to challenge the status quo and continue to be okay with not knowing! We are going to look back on this journey and be amazed by how far we’ve come.
We’re just in the muck right now so we aren’t able to see our own growth! Keep pushing through the muck and I’ll keep being hard to please!
This time of year it gets dark and cold and just kind of depressing. This time of year always gets me down.
I find myself wishing for summer and warm weather, for vacations and days at the swimming pool. Last week I wrote about my One Word, DISCIPLINE. I’m working on disciplining my self-talk and am making an intentional decision to recognize my below the line thinking! So, when I read this quote I couldn’t stop thinking about it:
“Learn to be happy right now. Otherwise, you will run out of time."
I have to make an intentional choice to stay positive, live in the moment and find the JOY in January! You might find yourself feeling like I do. It gets dark at 5:30 for crying out loud. But, we don't have time to waste. Let's make an intentional decisions to be happy right now! There's lots to be happy about, we just have to recognize it.
It's a new year and that means it's time for a new One Word. I've had so much fun talking to many of you this week about your new words. In past years, I have had to spend a long time finding my word. But, this year it popped into my head at the end of December and I tried to convince myself that this word was NOT the right word for me. But, no matter how hard I tried I just couldn't shake it!
My ONE WORD for 2020 is DISCIPLINE.
This word is hard! I wanted nothing more than to pick a word that would be a lot more fun, but no, DISCIPLINE is my word. So in 2020 I am focusing on:
-Disciplined thoughts and self-talk
-Disciplined responses to events
-Disciplined work ethic
-Disciplined eating habits
-Disciplined spending habits (farewell Amazon)
-Disciplined exercise habits
-and I'm sure I will uncover many more ares of my life in which I need to be more disciplined
My past words truly have changed my life. In the past, my words have been:
As I look back on my words I have distinct memories of how I have grown and changed because of each of them. What I know though is that my word alone isn't what help grow but instead the fact that I consciously focused on my word each day is what made my word come to life!
Jon Gordon says "What you focus on in life determines whether you will experience peace in your heart..." Joel Osteen reminds us that "If you want to be happy, you have to be happy on purpose. When you wake up, you can't just wait to see what kind of day you'll have. You have to decide what kind of day you'll have." When we choose a word, we make a choice to narrow our focus. We make a choice to search for the way our word will make our lives better. In doing so, our word comes to life and we are forever changed.
I hope that your word helps you focus on who you want to be this year!
Haven't chosen a word before and don't know how to get started? Click here for a quick video from Jon Gordon about choosing a One Word.