Tag: @Leadchangegroup

Solution Weekly January 16-22, 2022

January 16-22,2022

Celebrate

We can find something to celebrate every day! The solution to the problem of negative effects is positive actions! If you want to turn problem frowns into solution smiles, find things to celebrate! My husband, Zeke, celebrates his birthday this week. He thinks we should celebrate every day, so we will! Why not! To prepare for the week of celebrations, you will be glad to know that today January 16, 2022, is National Nothing Day! So celebrate today by doing absolutely nothing to rest up for the rest of the celebrations this week!

Animals teach us well

My daughter has always loved animals and rescued so many in need. She has carried this love into her adult life, passing it on to her children and probably to the children she teaches. At her home, you will find a variety of animals and, most importantly, love. One of my author friends highlighted lessons learned from dogs, and I have a few to share about other animals. Learning happens when we open our hearts, minds, and eyes to see through a different lens or way.

More need for two!

One of my amazing author friends, speaker, Thought Leader, Julie Winkle Giulioni, shares the importance of two words. The simplicity of two reaches out more than just in rules. When we look at our issues or problems in life, solutions at the surface level may be a quick fix, but an in-depth review and enhanced, detailed information provide systemic results. Learn more about how you can engage in conversations to spark curiosity, innovation, and….if you pause to ask, ‘say more.’

Plan, Plan and Put it on the shelf

For many decades I have been involved with implementing a strategic plan, creating a plan, asking if we have a plan, writing a plan, and then watching plans sit on a shelf. My author friend and leader, Dr. Bill Donahue, knows precisely what it means to conduct and implement the strategic plan. He shares in his recent post in Lead Change Carnival; Beyond Strategic Planning exactly what questions we should ask when planning.

Dream, Believe, Achieve, Dare-Do

There are many great men and women in our history we can celebrate, learn from, respect and model our actions. Also in our history are individuals or groups that made horrible mistakes, took steps, believed in things, and did things they achieved we do not find acceptable. We learned from those as well. It is important to talk about all of them and build from the learning we discover, not divide, hide or devalue anyone as we move forward. We can explore those leaders who have etched meaning, purpose, and value on our hearts as leaders.

Cultural Shock today

“Culture shock is the feeling of disorientation experienced by someone when they are suddenly subjected to an unfamiliar culture and way of life. It can be caused by a range of things, both big and small, such as unfamiliar greetings and hand gestures, strange food, and difficult language barriers.

This unfamiliarity can lead to symptoms such as confusion, anxiety, frustration, loneliness, and homesickness. It can even lead to physical symptoms such as insomnia as a result of time zone changes, or colds and stomach bugs due to unfamiliar foods and bacteria.” https://www.now-health.com/en/blog/culture-shock-stages/

Can we find connections of culture shock with students returning to school with the global pandemic continuing? Don’t forget our educators too! Culture counts! More than any other factor or influence, the culture of your school or organization is the essential piece for success. However, if the culture is toxic or holds adverse effects, the overall performance declines.

In every school-virtual setting-organization, how staff communicates, relate, interact, react, and problem solve reflects how much they trust each other. When we add in questions of how they talk to each other, talk at each other, or talk about each other. Understanding this as a signal for action to help improve this area as a priority before tackling “culture shock.” Everyone has to know how to communicate to problem-solve and trust.

Think about the changes that have happened. The past two years have placed all of us in positions of complete transformation. Our cultures have changed, and now we have to adjust to the changes until the culture is settled. Let’s look at what has changed.

  • Blowing out candles on Birthday cake-not now
  • Shaking hands- not now
  • Sharing a seat-not now
  • Seeing a smile-not now
  • Gathering in a big crowd to celebrate-not now
  • Giving a hug-not now
  • What else is on your list?

Nothing has slowed down for us as we have tried to return. We still face many challenges as we face “culture shock” and look for ways our voice is part of the culture reset. Culture changes, as we have seen over the years of history. People make the culture; culture does not make the people. My final questions will be today are: Are you Alive, or do you Live? That answer will help you with this question: Can you deliver ideas or give thoughts to guide our culture?

Staying Motivated

Some days we may find it hard to stay motivated. Life can bring us an opportunity, a challenge, and adventures at times. As you look at the quote from Mother Tersesa and her look at life what can you connect with at this moment in time?

Have you had opportunities in life? Are you amid a chance right now, and you are looking at how to make the most out of it? Do you have a dream? What is keeping you from it?

Did you know that most of the time, it is ourselves that keep us from realizing our dreams and reaching success? Get motivated to take action today!

October is a time to celebrate!

I believe you can always find something to celebrate! Many people will say holidays were created so people in the card business could sell more cards. Sounds like a great business plan. However, I don’t think that is a factual statement. A fact check opportunity for someone.

October marks the start of fall for me, harvest time for farmers, and the best one of all….National Principal Appreciation Month! I love celebrating Principals! It was the best job I ever had!

What do Principals do? What have you seen them do? Do you know a Principal? Can you remember your Principal?

“What time is it?”

“It is 4:30.”

“In the morning?”

“Yes, I need to get in early so I can get to the bus garage. I am going to ride a bus today because it has been having some issues.”

“Do you need some help in here serving lunch today?”

“You are the Principal you do not have time to help in here.”

“We are short in the kitchen, and kids need to eat, so I believe we are a team. So could you put me in coach?”

“I forgot my book bag at home.”

“Do you need things in it, or do I have stuff in my office you can use today?”

“I need my homework, uniform and my permission slip for the field trip.”

“Okay, let’s call to see if I can run you home to get it.”

“I do not want to live anymore without my brother.”

“I know how hard all of the last few weeks have been. My husband has lost both brothers, but he was not in middle school or a twin. I can not promise you it will be easy, but I can tell you how many supports will be here for you. Can we start with one day and then another? Can I help get supports in place?”

Principals make sure teachers are ready to teach, have what they need, check on the safety of the building. This is not a job but a calling of service. Every minute of the day is filled with meeting the needs of those they serve. It does not stop when the school bell rings to end the day; in fact, it continues in ways they are happy to share, and in other moments they feel the most profound heartbreak.

I celebrate this month the expectancy of a baby girl with two of my former students as they invite me to the celebration. Then I find myself joining in the mourning of the loss of a former student whose death is unresolved. Would you please pray for the family of Jelani Day and the help to resolve #JusticeforJelaniDay?

If you have an opportunity, thank a Principal serving today, as they are balancing more than ever. All educators are doing so much during this time to help the leaders for the future.

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!

Butterflies mean more

The beauty of nature is impressive to me, and I enjoy it all the time we can appreciate it all. We just had the opportunity to spend nine days with my sister-in-law and her husband in Gulf Shores, Alabama.

Each day from our balcony, we saw dolphins jumping, swimming, and diving. In addition, we saw groups of stingrays, pelicans, seagulls, and cranes. Then one evening, we found a baby bat. On our fishing trip, we saw a sea turtle, more dolphins and moon jellyfish, so many little lizards and crabs in the sand. The funniest thing was we had butterflies everywhere we went.

I captured this picture while we were enjoying an outside snack break at a beautiful little cafe’.

We went to dinner and asked a young lady to take our photo. She was so lovely and thoughtful. She shared with us she traveled here often for a vacation. She asked if we liked to read? Everyone looked at me. “Yes, I love it!”

She asked, “Do you know the author Andy Andrews? He is my favorite. He lives somewhere here in Orange Beach.”

I remember reading some of his work, and it hit me, The Butterfly Effect! I enjoyed this book. It is a quick read with a significant impact.

In 1963, Edward Lorenz made a presentation to the New York Academy of Sciences and was literally laughed out of the room. His theory, called the butterfly effect, stated that a butterfly could flap its wings and set air molecules in motion that, in turn, would move other air molecules—which would then move additional air molecules—even- tually becoming able to influence weather patterns on the other side of the planet. “Butterfly effect” theory says that one small change can influence a big change later. The theory leads you to believe we are all connected, and anything is possible.

As we ended the day, my brother-in-law said it was supposed to happen that we met this young lady to remind me about the book. To remember everything we do matters and makes a difference.

How true it is to know everything we do matters! Even if the “Butterfly Effect” can or cannot be scientifically proven, we do know by our choices and actions, change happens. We can choose to be part of the problem or part of the solution.

What can you do today, tomorrow, or the next to have an effect on the lives of others?

What is your Intention?

One of Merriam-Webster’s definitions for the word “intention” is “a determination to act in a certain way.” As we look at words and their meanings, we often find ourselves thinking of additional ones.

When you think of intention, what do you think of? I think of commitment. We take time to establish goals, make plans, and aim to accomplish. As we look at other words, how do they impact our intention?

We can start with good intentions, but without actions, we will fall short of our intention. Are you intentional with your actions to focus on what is essential?

Do we have the courage?

As we face our days ahead, do you think about protection? The protection for self, others, and organization. Do you think about risk? Are you willing to take risks, support risks, and encourage risk?

Leaders must be willing to ask questions, challenge assumptions, and share dissenting views, even at the risk of disrupting a collegial atmosphere or displaying their lack of knowledge on a complex topic. It is critical to creating a safe environment to avoid “groupthink” and give permission for disagreement and constructive dissent as part of a healthy risk culture.

Helping yourself, colleagues, and the organization grows, we need to ask questions, have honest discussions, and take risks. Do we have the courage to work this way?

The foundation of what we believe is who we are. Stand firmly on the foundation of your core values, beliefs, and standards. How will you help build courage in others and yourself?