The Assistant Principal Podcast turns 100 today! You can wish us a happy birthday by listening to this very special episode – a heartfelt conversation with my mentor Dr. Jan Osborn. Find links to your listening apps here !
MVP: Everyone is doing the best they can
There are days that I do not achieve what I should achieve.
I focus on work that isn’t important, I eat poorly, or go down an internet rabbit hole.
Other days, I meditate, do yoga, do my morning writing, and am super-productive all day.
So, like you, some days I struggle, some days I excel.
Some seasons I am down, other seasons I am up.
No matter what though, I am doing the best I can. Some days my best isn’t as good as others.
I never get up thinking:
• I’m going to be unproductive and unfocused today!
• I’m going to give myself writer’s block today!
• I think today I will feel lost and alone and feel sorry for myself!
I don’t try to have a bad day, or week, or month, but sometimes it happens.
Each day we do the best we can. Sometimes our best is better than others.
Today’s intention: Think about today, yesterday, and the past few weeks. Did you have any “bad” days? Why? Did you try to have a bad day? Did you try and dig yourself out? Can you give yourself grace, and accept that bad days happen?
Why do you lead?
MVP: If you are a leader, people are the purpose
“We all grow, that's for sure, but without people, we have no purpose.”
You can listen to these words spoken by Dr. Jan Osborn on Friday’s 100th episode of The Assistant Principal Podcast.
One of the new messages I am focusing on is people before purpose, but Jan takes this a step further in asking us to consider that people are the purpose!
We lead because we want to make this world a better place. We make this world a better place by helping people to grow and develop.
Today’s intention: Ask yourself and reflect: why do you choose to lead?
MVP: M=V/E (motivation = value divided by effort)
I enjoy a quality beer, especially after a long day of hiking. However, I do not carry beer on my backpacking trips. It is too heavy.
One of my backpacking buddies also likes a good beer after a long day of hiking. He does carry beer on his trips.
So, am I lazier than my friend? Of course not.
Am I less motivated to carry beer than my friend is? Absolutely.
Although I enjoy beer, I also enjoy hot chocolate, which I can carry as a powder that is much lighter. As a side note, bourbon is also lighter than beer. 🤔 Additionally, I don’t like to drink a lot of liquid before I go to sleep in a tent, because getting up in the middle of the night is a hassle. Finally, my knees are wearing out, and a heavy pack creates pain.
My buddy is a bit younger and has much better knees. Having a beer in the evening plugs him into relaxation mode, and he has many great memories of drinking beers with friends around the campfire. And he has a bigger bladder.
For me, the value of carrying the beer isn’t worth the effort. For my friend, the effort is less than the value.
Motivation = value/effort
It isn’t about being lazy, it is just an economic calculation.
Today's intention: Think about a change or new requirement coming into your workplace. Think about how both the value and the effort may be different for different people. Then think about the implications for how motivated different people might be for the changes.
The secret to mentoring others!
MVP: Mentoring is making an intentional choice to serve others
I know there are a wide variety of people reading The Strategic Leader each morning. Some of you are already remarkable mentors like my dear friends Jacque, Jan, and Robert. Some of you are entering the phase of your career where people naturally seek your wisdom and value your experience. And many of you are new to this whole leadership journey.
It is never too early – or too late – to be intentional about mentoring others.
How do we do that?
Today’s intention: Ask the second question (“how are you?” two times). Listen to what people are telling you about themselves and their work. Listen for the story they are telling and the story they aren’t telling you. Just listen.
You can hear more about mentoring on this week’s edition of The Assistant Principal Podcast!
You wanna piece of me?
MVP: Avoid judging people - everyone deserves respect
I used to be perfect, which allowed me to pass judgement on everyone else. I had all the answers and knew which directions people needed to grow in. Please don’t think I was mean. It was just that I had an… “overabundance” of confidence.
One day, my superintendent and mentor, Dr. Jan Osborn, called me out.
He said, “The problem with you is that you are arrogant and think you have all the answers.”
I left the office, sat in my car, and cried.
And that was a good thing ‑because he was correct. I was arrogant.
As I grew, I became less perfect. As a result, I began judging less.
Avoiding judgment allows me to respect people for who they are, and that respect is the basis for all that comes after.
Today’s intention: Monitor your thoughts. Try and catch yourself judging others and interrogate your thoughts – why are you judging?