Tag: @bethesolutiondaily

Educational Leadership with guidance, resources, and tools. Inspirational, motivational and thoughts to spark others to light a pathway for solutions.

Time to take out the Garbage!

If you are a parent, you may have given the chore of taking out the garbage to one of your children. Maybe it is your partner’s responsibility or yours alone. No matter who is responsible, I think we can all agree it stinks!

Have you ever considered we accumulate garbage in other places? I am not referring to the piles of stuff gathered in the garage, basement, attic, or closet! I am talking about your mind. We collect lots of mental garbage gradually over time, making the most optimistic individual question. Our messy mental collection begins to clutter our minds with negative thoughts, irrational thoughts, unreasonable ideas, and unhelpful solutions. Before we know it, our minds can be compared to the landfill our regular garbage collectively goes.

How can we sort this out? Anything worth recycling? What about renewing and reuse? Our minds need to be added to our chore list before our thinking turns from healthy to sloppy! It’s time to talk to someone you can trust to recycle your thoughts into positives! I always start with God.

“Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”

Philippians 4:8

My daughter is an excellent special education teacher. I am her mother, so you know I will say that, but many others do as well. The parents, students, and staff she works with share the same thoughts. She, as well as many other educators, are struggling. They are not the only professional groups struggling. The jobs they do are challenging as they pour their hearts into them, but when you add all of this “drama” and divisions, it becomes more difficult. She wonders where all of this hate, division, and power control comes from that is influencing confusion daily.

It is essential to follow the science but not the scientists. Science is a foundation constant with no biases. Opinions, prejudices, and funders influence scientists.

The foundation of values, beliefs, and laws are the truths that formed our country. Many have fought, lost their lives to continue to maintain its foundation and to improve the quality for all. The Constitution of the United States provides our guidance as our foundation.

Daily we have many thoughts provided to us. We can listen to all of the opinions, ideas, and talking points. It is in our control on the action steps we take with what is presented. We do not need to spend hours thinking about them or becoming angry. Just take out the trash! Recycle those negative thoughts into positive ones. This is a healthy choice! Take one step further. Do some positive actions to help react to negative effects. We need more positives! Can we provide those who are doing all the talking with more positives to talk about? I don’t know about you, but I am tired of taking out the trash!

Critical piece

"The miracle is not that we do the work, but that we are happy to do it.”-Mother Teresa

Leaders provide lots of information, data, strategies, and models for success. As a leader, you have attended workshops, webinars, read books, and researched all of the knowledge of “what works” to achieve success. Still, after all of this, you scratch your head when you see the data come in with results you think should reflect better outcomes.

Why? All of these efforts and the same results. How can we explain this? “Everyone wins when a leader gets better.”-Craig Groeschel. Training, strategies, looking at data, and utilizing models proven to be successful should help us see growth and positive outcomes.

“You cannot solve a problem at the same level it was created.”-Albert Einstein. It is finding solutions to problems or issues we face that are complex at times. It isn’t that all of the things I listed are not necessary, but what is missing that is critical to ensure positive results?

It is a culture with a clearly defined mission, vision, and values. Leaders can explain the purpose of the organization in one sentence. Meetings, conversations, and communications refer to the mission, vision, and values frequently. Decisions are based on these as well. However, is it talking points and papers in a binder?

Ask these questions to reveal the answers to help guide in the understanding of the culture you have, what you should have and cannot have to thrive.

Culture Questions

  • Does your team enjoy being together?
  • How do staff interact together?
  • Do you have a process for the continuous development of staff?
  • How do staff feel about their job?
  • Do leaders model and encourage self-awareness and intentional personal development?
  • Are you able to have open discussions about the work environment?
  • Do you handle conflict?
  • How do you monitor or know about the culture?
  • Do you trust one another?

“When we have to protect ourselves from each other, the whole organization suffers. But when trust and cooperation thrive internally, we pull together, and the organization grows stronger as a result.”

Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek pg. 16

If you have ever tried to work in a toxic culture, you know first hand it is exhausting, and nothing can be accomplished. When individuals feel safe, comfortable with their team, and valued by everyone, they are inspired. We want to have these kinds of cultures as individuals love what they do, where they do it, and most importantly, “why” they do it.

Do you have a Scary Words Box?

As a teacher, I had a word wall. It was always fun to add words to our wall. We enjoyed adding the words and randomly selecting a word to use for the day.

Entering into the administrative world, I did not want to leave the teaching fun behind. I added a word of the week in our main hallway. Kids could add sentences to include the word of the week, provide a definition of the word or use it in a joke. I would give prizes to those who participated.

While sitting in the doctor’s office, I heard for the second day in a row one of my scary words. That is when I thought everyone needs a scary words box.

Let’s think about all of the things we have all been through and how things can pop up by surprise, and boom, fear sets in. If we can allow individuals to pick a scary word or words and place it in a box, we can begin to help them deal with issues together. My first thoughts are of children. It is difficult to talk about scary stuff, but if we have a platform making it safe to do so, then the sharing can begin, along with solutions.

My name is Brenda, and my scary word is cancer. I can write this on a piece of paper. The teacher can give me a chance to share, place it in the box to share later, or put it in the box to be read out loud with no name. Then we can all talk about it together.

You can do this with adults as well. It provides a way to help others safely address issues. Sometimes the scary words need professionals to help, and we need to build up relationships to help everyone understand if the words shared could harm you or someone else, we need to ask for help.

Help your children and staff address issues they are facing. It begins with opportunities to share, trust, listen and find solutions together. Some of the issues we face will need professional help, but it is the comfort we find in being heard and supported.

Words have power. We should always be careful in how we use them. It is also a great reminder to remember; power is given. Give power to your belief in healing, positive thoughts, and in the support you have. As an educator, I worked to help children overcome and prevent bullying. If we pause to look honestly at things clearly, our children are facing bullying on a larger scale today.

Be the solution daily; we need you!

The story inside you


“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
Maya Angelou

As a young child, I spent hours writing. I would write poems, wrote a daily journal, loved to write Bible verses, and would write songs for the church. My minister Rev. Leon Korb would sometimes share my songs or poems at church. He was always making me feel special. He was a special person in my life as he rests now in his heavenly home.

In high school, one of my teachers, Mr. Bob McMurray, challenged his high school students to set goals. He did more than teach academic skills. It was the life messages in the lessons that guided us in planning a solid foundation for our futures. He stayed connected with my husband and me into our adult lives. This month he would have celebrated his 74th birthday. I remain associated with his with Glenda, but Mr. McMurray is always present in my mind when I work on my book.

I have achieved all of the goals I wrote in his classroom except for one. I said I would write a book. I have written a book, but I have yet to publish it. I thought you write a book and publish it. No, there is so much more to publishing a book. I am learning about the entire process and meeting many amazing people.

So, Mr. Bob Mc Murray, I have many stories inside me I want to tell them, and I have great people helping me learn the way. My turn is coming soon, and I thank you for planting the seed. As I know you are watching over all of us, I will do my best. It has been a long process, and we still have a way to go, but I never give up on things I say I will do no matter what!

I have been blessed by so many. The courage to share your stories with others is enormous! The regret of not trying is significant as well. So we are working to make sure I can find success when we say let’s go! Building a solid following is a priority, and I am trying hard to accomplish this goal.

There is a story inside all of us we need to share. Maybe you don’t want to write and share it with the world, but a story for your loved ones to remember a piece of family history. Documenting personal history as well as overall history helps all of us learn, appreciate and grow.

Helping others is always my priority. Living life for a cause, never applause, keeps you focused on doing what is right and best for others. The goal of the book is not to check a box that I wrote a book, to have financial gain(my author friends are laughing now), becoming famous, or so everyone knows my name. It is because one teacher, one classroom, one school, believed in one student by saying, “Great goals, and I know you will accomplish each one.” I sure will!

Be the solution daily, and you will be the one who makes the change in another today. Thank you for all you do. To all the teachers who do this daily, thank you! My Mrs. Teresa Arnold was the best teacher, and I always tell her, “thank you for helping to make things better for me every day!”

Inner Questions for Outer Actions

As you sit quietly flipping through emails, Twitter, Facebook, and other social media sources, you are searching for just the right one to answer a question, provide an idea, or spark your curiosity. We seek information to help us and not to harm us. We do not want or need information that will continue to push us down but lift us.

We need to stay informed and current with the news events, but negativity constantly equals negative results. A change in your surrounding and mindset will help to change this cycle.

I am a fan of the writing of Cleo Wade and in her latest book, Where to Begin is a great place to start! I want to share one of her poems titled only once. The poem reminds us that “everything is a habit” and to look at those we have. She lists out these habits for us to review like these:

  • Fear
  • Bravery
  • Loving good
  • Loving badly
  • Speaking up
  • Staying silent
  • Giving
  • Taking
  • Opening up
  • Shutting down
  • Gratitude
  • Ingratitude
  • Building
  • Destroying
  • Doing things kindly
  • Doing things unkindly

“Which of these habits are worthy? Of this life, you will most definitely get to live only once.”

If you are familiar with me, you know I believe every day is a gift we unwrap. It is full of opportunities! We can choose to be part of the problem or the solution; the choice is always ours to make. I have made these statements for decades as children crossed my path. We are blessed to live in a country where we have many free rights because of those in our past who choose to find solutions we benefit from today.

As you think about habits, choices, solutions, history, today, and the future, how do you see/feel/think about these things?

  • What is your responsibility to yourself? Do you stay silent, or do you speak up? Why?
  • What is your responsibility to others? Are you helping to build up in your community? Do you put others down?

Do you know what you stand for? What values do you have? Do you follow the leader or are you the leader?

There are more questions to ask, but this is a great place to begin. Understanding who you are, your values, and how you model for your community. It has never been easy to stand up for what you believe, but in the environment of today, it seems to be very difficult. We need to agree to disagree, have different viewpoints without feeling like an outcast, debate issues, not people, and learn to listen with open minds.

Make the first move! It is Monday!

Do you hold yourself back? Are you afraid to try something, ask a question, or make a big move? Maybe you are thinking of a career change, and you are making lists of the reasons to say yes and no. Well, what is it? Make the first move on whatever you are thinking that is holding you back from a positive impact on your life.

I was telling my granddaughter about the first time I tried out from the high school dance team. I had made up the routine and worked with the group of girls trying out with me. After all, I had been dancing for years.

The day came for tryouts, and I had a couple of girls not sure of themselves. Being the person I am, I looked at them a couple of times to reassure them during tryouts. You guessed it; everyone made it but me.

It was a tough time for me but a great lesson as well. It helped me gain more strength, determination, and courage. I tried out again and made it the next three years. Was making the squad going to help me for my career path? It did! I learned a great deal about leadership, teamwork, and compassion. The most critical skills for me were courage, determination, and confidence.

Find common ground with your team and yourself. List any barriers standing in the way of moving forward to gain positive results. Tackle just one today. Get one off the list. When you can get a win the rest will begin to come into place!

Today I am going to address the labels I have placed on myself. These are coming off today as I focus on the rewrite of my book. I do believe I have words, thoughts and ideas to help others make tomorrow better than today!

Let’s be the solution daily for ourselves and others today!

Slowing down

Sometimes the speed limits in life seem to have no limits. You speed up as fast as you can, but you can’t seem to catch up. Your mind becomes cluttered with many mixed-up messages, your energy level is depleted, and your emotions are set at frustration.

When you are at a high level of stress, your body will respond to provide you with warning signs to do something. It is essential to pay attention to those signs and practice good habits to help prevent them!

What are some things you do to slow down? I do several things now to help me slow down and reflect. It can be so tricky when you are facing deadlines, pressure to compete to achieve and to maintain relevance in keeping current. However, none of this matters when your health is damaged.

I am enjoying time on the lake fishing with my husband and the beautiful friends who join us. Turtles, geese, birds, deer, squirrels, and many others find their way down to the lakes shore.

List a few things you can do to give yourself a little time to free yourself to appreciate the world’s beauty around you.

I read daily devotions each morning to connect myself spiritually. It helps me start each day with the right mindset. In addition, I read more than I watch TV, and this also helps me.

Being creative is another outlet for me. I enjoy painting, writing and making projects with my grandchildren. During a difficult time in my life, I began writing a book. I completed writing the book but now I am rewriting it to support the needs of schools currently. I have written over a hundred blogs, active on Twitter and write monthly for the Lead Change Group.

We take walks to get exercise, and I enjoy doing work in our yard. There are many things you can do to help keep yourself from feeling overwhelmed and stressed. You need to maintain your health.

Start today with one item on your list to make a daily habit of reducing stress, maintaining health, and being the solution daily for a better you!

Do you have to agree with everything to like someone?

As I began to write, I reviewed what I have done to this point. What am I trying to accomplish? Is anyone reading, do people like what I am writing, and how do I know?

The purpose of my writing is to provide help, support, encouragement, and to gain interest in my writing to publish my book Two Rule School. I am not seeking to make lots of money but to be the solution for others as they seek out answers. We know we get into professional careers of service to serve others, not ourselves.

In my blog title, I ask an essential question that holds people back when looking for solutions. We limit ourselves when we eliminate others because of positions, religious beliefs, political parties they belong to , and biases we place on others.

Opening our minds and hearts provide us with opportunities to see different perspectives on issues to find solutions. It is the egos and wanting to gain power at times that get in the way of the greater good for all.

In order to find solutions, our ears must be used to hear others. Right now leadership is needed more than ever in our society. “In every community, there is work to be done. In every nation, there are wounds to heal. In every heart, there is the power to do it.”-Marianne Williamson

One of my favorite Presidents is Abraham Lincoln. It is not because of all the things that first come to mind. He was from the Republican party, and many other factors come to mind that contributes to why someone would select him as a favorite. Mine comes from studying him as a child. He failed many times, but he never gave up. He was not that attractive, but he did not care what people said about how he looked. He fought to make things fair for everyone. As a child, this inspired me. I was battling some of these same things. I wanted everyone to be treated fairly; it did not matter how you looked and failed to try again.

We need to look at communities. We have all decided to have a home in a place we call community. However, the community of today is not the same as the communities from many years ago. We do not know who lives next door in most cases.

To begin to pick up the pieces and start healing, we have to reconnect our communities. We need a collective we in our community to grow, start healing, stop violence and start working together to raise together.

Our country is better than anything we have seen since this Covid-19 hit our country. It has placed a tremendous amount of stress, fear, and unrest on us. We need to begin to make a shift to get back together to solve our issues together. We can work in a respectful, peaceful, and logical way.

Start today with understanding your community and its history. Volunteer, get involved with a group, or attend some events. Meet some of the people in your community. Start with your school if you have children, the library, grocery store, and the post office. Many ways to begin to connect!

Thank you for being the solution daily! Let’s connect!

The value of engagement to success

“Those who find true purpose in the workplace and who are committed to their work and those they work with, ”according to author Robertson Hunter Stewart, are engaged employees. In his book One to One: Managing Quality Time with individuals for engagement and success, he explains his ideas on implementing a framework to meet with successfully all employees one to one.

“Having scanned the majority of the information and statistics currently available on this subject (as of June 2020), recognition and appreciation are the two factors which appear to have the most impact on improving employee engagement.”-One to One, Robertson Hunter Stewart

Leaders and managers face many complex challenges as the global pandemic changed the “ how” we do things and even “where” we do it in some situations. Creativity, innovation, and lots of flexibility provided us with new ways that may stay.

An important factor we know to have success is building a solid foundation. I love the story of the Three Little Pigs! The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, written by A. Wolf, is a fun read with a different view. Let’s not forget The Fourth Little Pig either! Building their homes, they each had their ideas until the wolf showed up and blew their dream home away. I believe employees feel like this as well. They picture their work to be a second home. They want to feel safe, trust, comfortable, and eager to be part of the family. How can we help employees? What steps can we take to improve? Working to build strong relationships is a priority.

Invest time to build relationships. Also, we offer a clear communication plan involving a clear, concise, and consistent message. Listening is the best form of engagement communication. Active listening, where individuals know you hear what they are saying-provides a bridge to action steps to success. This validates individuals and recognizes them as an essential part of the team.

In the book One to One, you will find how to conduct a one-to-one meeting, and I am providing a link to his website that contains short video clips to assist you.

There are many tools and resources to help in your success. Every day is another opportunity to make a difference; you have to decide what kind of difference it will be. Thank you for being part of the solution daily.

RESOURCES

https://www.robertsonhunterstewart.com/videos-and-multimedia

I am known as the Hallmark, Pollyanna, and on my best days, Oprah! I love to give things away. So when you put all of this together, I believe it equals FUN! Fantastic, Unique, Needs! Employees have them and need these things. Like a packet of flower seeds to tell them, “Thank you for planting seeds to help us grow this week with your ideas!” Change the wording, but you get it. Here is a link for more ideas!

https://snacknation.com/blog/employee-engagement-ideas/