MVP: Being a member of a professional community is important!
If you happen to be reading this message some time between 11-12:30 (EST), then I am in my Mastermind group.
A Mastermind consists of a small number of people who share a common interest. In my case, there are six of us who come together each week to discuss creating and running virtual communities.
We share expertise and help each other problem solve, and because we all come from different sectors, the variety of perspectives is extremely valuable.
More importantly, we are there to celebrate with each other and sometimes to console and lift each other up.
Community is about growing your skills, but it is also about being human.
There are lots of places to find professional communities and those communities take different forms. The critical thing is to have one.
Today’s intention: Identify your community and do one thing to be an active participant.
Shameless plug: If you are an assistant principal you can ask to join our free AP group here on LinkedIn or our paid private community here. Feel free to email me if you have questions!
MVP: Can you embrace a simple message that keeps you focused?
“Every building, every class, every day.”
Eleanor Macauley, Tuesday’s podcast guest, had a mantra that helped her remain laser focused on teacher support and development.
Sometimes simplicity is golden.
You can hear more from Eleanor here.
Today’s intention: Can you sum up the most essential work you do in one phrase?
If you come up with a phrase that excites you, consider sharing it with me by replying to this email!
Cute puppy photo attached!
MVP: Both leaders and organizations can get distracted, resulting in the loss of opportunity to learn important things.
My son Collin has a new puppy named Ruby.
Ruby is very bright, eager to please, and learns quickly.
That said, it can be very difficult to teacher her when there are distractions around.
New sounds, sights, and people capture her attention, and all hope of learning is lost!
None of this is surprising because Ruby is a puppy.
But in some ways, aren’t we all like puppies?
The essential lessons (or work) gets pushed aside by something new and exciting.
This happens at the individual level, but also at the organizational level.
The phenomena referred to as “flavor of the month” occurs when an organization roles out new initiative and then abandons it in favor of a new one. And the cycle repeats.
In a sense, the organization is behaving like a puppy by taking its attention off of what is important and chasing something shiny and new.
Today’s intention: Find a puppy and bring it home. Just kidding. 😬 Think about the changes that help focus you on supporting and growing others and the ones that distract you.
This task or that person?
MVP: Consider forgoing a task in favor of investing time with a person. You might find more joy.
Right before I “pre-Tired” from Clemson University, I remember saying to myself, “I love 90% of what I do but I am not having any fun.”
I invested some time reflecting on what was going on. In the end, I’m not sure I completely figured it out. Until recently.
This Tuesday’s podcast features Eleanor MaCauley, an incredible principal who has built a system and practices around helping teachers grow.
In our interview, Eleanor said, “Sometimes I think that we get so caught up in having to do all this work that we forget to take a deep breath and take that time to enjoy the adults around you and the kids around you.”
And it hit me: the reason I was missing joy was that I was focused on the tasks instead of the people!
Remember that this month is about mentoring, and part of what we mean by “enjoying” the people around you is appreciating the ability you have to help them grow. Just taking some time to sit and listen can make a world of difference – for both of you.
Today’s intention: Be mindful of the times you choose to complete a task instead of being present with a person.
Where did I put my...?
MVP: Making small changes can be enough to make situations better.
My backpack is always packed and ready to go! Having everything assembled in one place makes it easy to commit to an overnighter in the woods, even at the last minute.
Except, everything is not assembled in one place.
My pack is in a closet downstairs. My clothes are (mostly) in a closet in my den. My hat and gloves are in a drawer in the entryway. And I do not have any meals pre-packed.
In reality, there are many points of friction – small things that make achieving the big thing more difficult.
Decreasing friction is something that can be done incrementally. I don’t need to redo all my closets.
If I just put my clothes in the same closet as my pack, there would be less friction.
If I kept one day’s worth of meals bagged and ready, there would be less friction.
Either one of those changes might be enough to get me outside more.
Today’s intention: Be mindful of friction – of the small things that make it more difficult to do something you want or need to do. Instead of trying to fix everything, consider just tweaking one small thing.