Category: #motivation

Pop’in back, Getting to know you!

Relationship building is a priority for every organization during this time. Our world has experienced a great deal of stress, and we continue to have changes made to our daily lives. Bringing fun into the work environment and getting to know those we share time with are helpful in many ways.

Building relationships build trust, loyalty, and dedication. The stronger our relationships become, the more the work becomes not a what we do but a why we do! Bring fun, trust, validation, and dedication to each other. We need all of this!

I have a couple of games I have used to help with getting to know others. Both are fun ways to bring people back together after a long break like summer, spring, Christmas, or even short holidays and during a conference. These are also fun to do in social settings, in classrooms, or where you need to break the ice to start conversations.

I have provided some brief explanations and listed the materials you need to play the games. The questions to ask yourself are:

  • How many people will be in this group?
  • Which game fits this group setting?
  • How much time do I have with this group?
  • Is this something we can continue over several days?

Once you have answered these questions, you can determine how to set up the game and needed materials. Individuals will write and label their answers on three small pieces of paper. Then insert them into the balloon and blow the balloon up slightly. They place the balloon in the designated spot and when all are completed the game begins. (When I have done the Pop’in back game with balloons, I use a giant garbage bag to put balloons in, or you can utilize a designated area.) Then I can get one out to pop.

*If you are at a conference, make sure to announce only to do a balloon if they will be staying for all of the sessions. You don’t want to pop a balloon and never find out who dated Blake Shelton or is a secret millionaire.

Guidance for games

Questions to use for statements

  • What state are we in?
  • What company or school district do you work for?
  • Are you married?
  • Do you have children?
  • Do you have grandchildren?
  • What is your favorite color?
  • Do you have siblings?
  • What is your favorite season?
  • Have you been to Disney World?
  • Which would you rather have ice cream or cake?
  • Have traveled by plane?
  • Have traveled by train?
  • Have more than five friends?
  • Many questions can be asked but be aware of what you ask and how you ask? What is the purpose? This is to be uplifting, chances to connect and laugh. Stay away from topics that could cause trauma indirectly.

Please share if you have additional ideas or suggestions. Let us know if you try it out and how it went. I have done this activity with a large group (entire school district opening meeting, my hometown rural school). So much fun with everyone engaged, even those who never want to participate.

In the quiet

Since a young child, blank pages have called to me. Finding comfort in filling them with words whispered to me from the quiet. Echoes in the breeze carried messages of hope for the day, as sunlight brought warmth to fuel it. Shadows began to dance across the page. Soon darkness will be upon us with only a sliver of the moon and the stars to light the way. Rest is what we will need now as we wait for the sun to bring a new day and new pages to fill.

Find a quiet place, to have a quiet moment, and to enjoy the quiet time. How long can you stay? Is it very far? How will I know when I find it? Will anyone be there?

Many blessings to you on this quiet day……..

Kindness, Every Monday Matters

Every Monday Matters by Matthew Emerzian is a great way to kick off every Monday! Packed full of engaging ideas to take action at the level you select. The proceeds from the purchase of this book will be donated to Every Monday Matters to support its national YOU MATTER K-12 Education Program. The book and program help others know how much and why they matter.

As I write daily, it is always the focus to help be the solution for someone who pauses to read the words written. To provide hope, encouragement, ideas, wisdom, and ways to approach issues to find solutions.

Today, I hope to pass on the ripple of kindness as a way to be daily, not as a random act of kindness, but a daily dose. It does not cost a thing to spread this around. Instead of a frown, turn it around. Smiles are free!

So may I please ask for today if you read this blog, please give it a like, share it with others, pass on the challenge to see…..who can show the most kindness today! Take a count, a picture or two, let’s see just what you can do! Don’t be shy, share share and share! Don’t we need smiles in the news!

#Bethesolutiondaily @BrendaYoho

Turning Gears into Action

One of my first posts was about gears. I made this reference as it was part of the original writing in my book. I did not know everything I needed to know about publishing a book. So even though my gears were turning, I did not have all of the ones I needed to move forward successfully. A rewrite was done, and it will be coming out soon I hope.

The goal I have is to help other leaders in their journeys of success. I will share all of my information, ideas, practices, actions, and everything I have with those who want to continue to be the solution daily for those they serve. Today I want to revisit the thought of gears as you begin to develop an action plan to address your planned improvements.

I utilized my conversations with my husband to talk about the motors he worked on for companies and local farmers, as they compare to the work in education. The importance of these motors for the work being done is critical to the whole process. If one gear is not working, damage can happen, and work is stopped. A farmers’ work depends on the weather conditions; it is critical to get back to work when the weather is good. In education, we weather all of the storms that come our way.

In our educational system, we have gears as well that are critical to the work we do. I divided the gears into the following:

  • Leadership
  • Instruction
  • Curriculum
  • Assessments
  • Professional Learning/Collaboration
  • Culture/Climate
  • Communication
  • Community/Partnerships
  • Systems/Program Evaluation

Gears are connected to a shaft. This cylinder shaped piece of rotating machine element, is used to transmit power from one part to another, or from a machine which produces power to a machine which absorbs power. Compare this to your organization.

Gears are the identified areas of focus. Our focused areas are those in need of attention to produce the successful energy we need. Often my husband has spent time completing a rewind of motors because they have burnt up and need an overhaul. Sometimes they are beyond repair and are scrapped out. New motors are purchased if it is cheaper to do this than to fix the motor.

In education, it seems at times we have situations or things that are beyond repair. However, we cannot scrap them out and purchase new things. We have to make adjustments to try to make it work. I can think of textbooks, programs and curriculum. We spend a great deal of money, time, and energy in the selection of these materials. Our budgets do not allow us to throw things out. However, when new shiny things are the buzz, we through out and turn our attention to the new. Examples could be: Whole Language, Touch Math, Cursive Writing, Phonics, Sight Words and more.

We intend that we will produce enough energy our students will absorb the learning. However, it is not the energy from the materials and tools but those teaching our students producing the energy. It is when our students are engaged and have ownership in their learning the energy sparks.

The shaft is our mission as a foundation. It is what we are doing defined by our vision. Our vision is inspirational and connects emotionally with what we do. A well-oiled, lubricated, or greased machine keeps it turning. This is our values and beliefs. Working together and turning in the right direction is fueled by families, communities, and stakeholders. We have focused leaders, collaborating staff, engaged families, supportive community, and stakeholders, producing achieving students as outcomes are the results.

As you begin your work, identify your focus areas. Which gears do you have in your plan? What do you think at first glance needs your attention first? Be careful not to burn out all of your bags and destroy your shaft. Some things are not repairable, and we do not have enough time to repair them all. We cannot afford to throw anything out.

Counting on you to be the solution for those you serve today as they will serve tomorrow!

ABC’s to Leadership

LEADERSHIP

Writing each day is a blessing for me. I enjoy each day in finding ways to spark a fire of excitement, light a lesson of inspiration, shine enthusiasm on kindness, plant a seed of hope, and turn a problem into a solution one post at a time.

Leadership is daily, 365 days a year, and even 24 hours a day. We have thoughts, ideas, visions, dreams, and hopes throughout the day. No one sets out to be “the leader,” and many will tell you this if you ask. It just happens as they work, and a passion builds inside that can be explained by my ABCs.

  • Authentic learning, leading, and listening.
  • Building relationships daily.
  • Communicating and connecting first before correcting.
  • Daily inspiration for all, lifting spirits each day.
  • Encouraging others and engaging as we work.
  • Fueling others with energy for success. (maybe chocolate and lots of snacks! I find these to work best!)
  • Gardening throughout the day, planting seeds for growth, and maybe pulling a few weeds.
  • Heart full of kindness, celebrating birthdays and good deeds. (Always keep cards of all kinds and small gifts in case you need them.)
  • Inviting feedback and questions.
  • Joining in collaboration, diversity, and teams.
  • Keeping an open mind.
  • Leading by example. (Model for others what you expect to see.)
  • Motivating others. (It is the small things you do that count.)
  • Never giving up, especially on you! (Special dedication to one of my students who thanked me for not giving up on him. He was shot and killed at the age of 19.)
  • Open door policies!
  • Praise for jobs well done!
  • Quick to put others first, especially kids.
  • Recognizing problems, focusing on solutions.
  • Shared leadership, roles, and responsibilities. (Teach everyone how to do your job, you never know when you will not be there!) -Thanks Robin
  • Time to listen, learn and explain.
  • Understanding (Everything!)
  • Validation! Others, feelings, viewpoints- You do not have to agree but validate them.
  • Welcoming environment, friendly, safe, opinions can be shared.
  • Xceed expectations when limits are placed on you and expectations are low.
  • Your purpose-the why you do what you do!
  • Zest to be the best!

Transforming before us

Noise

Can you hear it?

The “white noise” of the world “darkens” the “brightness” of our thoughts, deafening our ears preventing us from hearing the wisdom of our father.

Vision

Can you see it?

Our vision is “clouded” by the distortion of the images presented as we question softly with muffled replies of lies. We are transforming; we are patterns in a world being changed unrecognized by our eyes. The sounds become louder, the sights become larger, and our world became smaller as we seek less from it.

Core

Do you know it?

Do not conform to a world, but renew your mind. Morals, values, beliefs, and united together as one are what needs to be done. We live where a click of a button identifies us as a follower in the social media world, limiting the idea of leadership. Where are the leaders?

Yesterday we lived, it is gone, but lessons remain. We cannot live backward, only forward with lessons to apply. The mirror reflects an image of the one who can choose for today to stand to prepare for tomorrow. Live for today, conquer fears no matter the fractures created, focus on the future, the unfailing love for faith, family, and the country as we prevail. The choice, of course, is always yours to make; the solution daily is the one we hope you make.

Roll out the red carpet!

It is time for some new headlines! What is the message you want to send? Roll out the red carpet and make your own stars! Put up pictures of your staff, students, or whatever you want to highlight.

Just ask me, and I can help you put some joy, laughter, motivation, feeling safe, and so much more. We are all here to help each other!

Things you can do Dad

“I write books and share tips and advice; the last thing I want people to think is that I sit on my high horse and have it all figured out. The truth is, my best advice and lessons come more from my mistakes and failures than success.”-Jon Gordon

I have always been a fan of Jon Gordon and the wisdom he shares. I started with his sentiments as they are so humble and genuine. Many leaders I respect and know feel this same way. This is why they have found the success they have earned because of their authenticity.

In his reflection of being a dad this past Father’s Day, he gathered his thoughts of his lessons learned to help other dads. They are captured in his list of a few things.

Here are a few things:

  • Focus on the moment instead of what’s next.
  • Support and listen to them instead of giving advice.
  • More trust and less fear.
  • Ask what they want to do instead of telling them what they should do.
  • Focus more on happiness than success.
  • Let them figure it out instead of figuring it out for them.
  • Bring calm energy instead of tense anxious energy.

It isn’t easy to find the balance between professional and personal. Many times mothers and fathers forget to take care of themselves individually. The most crucial factor is to take care of themselves as a couple. We face many challenges, but we have many places to turn for support.


Jon Gordon believes the best things you can give to your children are:

  • Love them
  • Believe in them
  • Guide them
  • Spend time with them
  • Listen to them
  • Pray for them

Thank you for being the solution daily. Positive Leadership is what Jon Gordon can help you achieve. Being a great dad is a plan we just gave you, but you already knew!

Thursday Thoughts

I enjoy reading, learning, and always stretching myself to find solutions to share with others. Leadership is essential in supporting growth in every aspect of life. We want to grow in our personal life, faith, family, work, and community. I am sharing information from Bill Dodd and his insights. The resource for his post is below.

One of the important lessons I have gained in my journey is that of coaching. We need coaching! As individuals being open to coaching or “coachable” is critical for your growth. When you are the coach, you are still receiving coaching as you learn by doing. Having an open mind and heart will provide essential pieces to the puzzle of growth.

Chicago White Sox scout Kevin Burrell said, “Look for FAT people. Faithful – Available – Teachable.” He also added, “How one manages their ‘Time & Calendar’ will reflect the condition and priority of their heart.”-Bill Dodd, June 9,2021

When looking for coaches, players, teammates, or new employees with heart, look for SCRAPPY individuals.

SCRAPPY – Skill, Calling, Rejection, Attitude, Perseverance, Purposeful, Yearn to Learn.

  • Skill – The ability to perform with excellence. Even people with heart need to have talent. There was a reason Rudy never started a game for Notre Dame.
  • Calling – This is the thing inside you which proclaims, “This ONE thing I must do!!!” Mike Linch said, “It’s the core of me.” He also noted, “David conquered the giant of a disconnected heart.”
  • Rejection – Remember that time when someone said you weren’t good enough, that you didn’t measure up? Of course you do. This challenged your calling but you moved forward anyway. Rejection provided clarity. It stripped away all non-essentials. You worked even harder. It limited your choices and spurred work hard and creativity to find solutions.
  • Attitude – Attitude determines your altitude. A great attitude separates evenly matched people and closes the gap on those more talented than you. You have a great attitude because you can’t believe you get to do what you do and couldn’t imagine doing anything else.
  • Perseverance – Because your calling is so clear, you learn perseverance through difficult and trying times. You are willing to pay the price needed for your dream to become reality. You become mentally-strong and resilient.
  • Purposeful – Perseverance and resilience births a focused approach. Your life has meaning and direction. Because you have paid the price for success, there is a single-mindedness to it. As Coach Stroupe said, “Don’t compartmentalize. (Don’t say) I’m coaching now but will put my Christian hat on when I get off the field.”
  • Yearn To Learn – Scrappy people are continual learners. They are humble and seek out all the coaching, people, resources and information needed for success. You can’t stop them. They will always find a way. Continual learning helps ensure future success.

We all want people with “heart.” Here are the 7 things to look for when finding them.

@briankdodd