Monday, August 31, 2009

How have you touched a life today?

During our busy lives of work and play do we ever really contemplate the moments of a single person's life? It's hard to say because we usually are bustling about attempting to squeeze in every last item on our To Do List. I invite you to stop just for a minute and think about the "people" who you come in contact with each day. Ask yourself how often do you pull up a chair and listen.
Reading "People First" by Hindman, Seiders, & Grant has helped me recognize the importance of each person's contribution in our world be it school, work, or home. My task oriented mind is at ease knowing that creating relationships and valuing the time to build them has long term benefits. As our local communities expand to include global citizens it is my belief that we must invest the time to communicate effectively in cultivating a collaborative culture. As a school admninistrator this starts with the staff in our buildings and extends into our communities. To further an organizations cause a true leader begins by establishing relationships which help build trust. Being a family member, professional colleague, and leader involves trusting relationships that develop over time. How much time do you invest in building relationships?

Monday, August 3, 2009

"Make the Leap"

How many times have we all heard about great organizations and yet never truly understood what made them rise above all others? As I read Jim Colllins book Good to Great I learned that sustainable success comes to those who apply the Hedgehog Concept. Never before had I heard this term used in describing organizational leadership; yet it makes sense to know your passion, describe what drives you, and discover what it is you can be the best at. If educational institutions practice these principles they will load the bus with the right people;therefore, building a supportive school environment for all stakeholders. Some would say the drawback is that schools are slow to move forward or they lack the technology to progress. Jim's book contradicts this notion by stating "Great Organizations" ask questions, confront the facts, and often bring about change gradually. No great company, that sustained results, jumped on a bandwagon or made an empire over night. Through interviews with leaders of great companies, his researchers found the application of technology as a driving force in accelerating the flywheel.
I invite you to think about the flywheel you are on, is it gaining momentum or stalling? Are you an accelerator or extinguisher? Each of us has the responsibility in knowing our core values so that we board the right bus and become an asset to the organization we elect to dedicate our lives. "Do you have the discipline to do the right thing and, equally important, to stop doing the wrong things?" (2001, p.141).