Tag: #mission

I missed the bus! Can I jump on your bandwagon?

I missed the bus is a phrase referring to being too slow to take advantage of an opportunity. In education, it was an excuse for being late to school, like the video attached to the word bus from 1992. Have you ever used that phrase?

Jumping on the bandwagon is another phrase used to join a movement or cause because it is trendy. “Everyone is doing it.” The phrase itself began back in 1848 when a circus clown named Dan Rice would use his wagon to take politicians around to conduct speeches to local people. The music coming from the wagon always attracted a crowd. Have you ever used this phrase?

These phrases may not be utilized as much today as they did in the past, but the concepts are still practiced. Leaders miss opportunities and jump on shiny new things when everyone else gets the popular item. Why do they do this? They are stretched thin and need to find quick results in a fast pace world. Many pressures are placed on our leaders to perform, meet the standards, and be better than all competitors.

As the leader of your organization, you have a great deal of responsibility. There is no more significant responsibility than taking care of those you serve. All of your team members need to know your vision, but most importantly, they need to know they can trust you. A solid foundation builds a team that knows who they are, what they are doing, and where. Our vision is our dream. What we want to achieve in the work we do is the culture created.

The culture of your environment is critical. The vision you have can be incredible, but a toxic environment can destroy it before you begin to build. Culture is how we work each day to move us forward to our vision. In our culture, this is where the actual work is done to make the vision clear for all to see.

What can you do as a leader? Let’s ask hard questions, design plans, and develop habits, processes, and purpose together. Which is more important to have a vision or a positive culture?

Vision and Culture-Both are needed

VISION

A vision is a cornerstone of the organization. It is a statement of what an organization would like to achieve in the future but is more than a goal. A vision inspires and connects employees to purpose. As leaders, we need to work together to develop a vision statement with clarity in decision making, help guide others, and make it part of our daily work. Today’s vision statements need to reflect the changes as we lead out of crisis and into the building.

CULTURE

Our culture is designed by what inspires us daily. It is our interactions together in working to achieve the vision, mission, and purpose. The core beliefs, values, and behaviors of the individuals within the organization reflect the culture. For a continuous improvement cycle to be in place, culture and vision are connected to gain purpose.

Everyone in our organization has to be all in on the vision we have and be actively participating in a positive culture to achieve the momentum needed to grow. Just like putting a puzzle together, when one piece is missing, it can not be completed. When you have one individual bringing negativity to the group and fighting against the group’s beliefs, pieces begin to pull apart.

Start your Phrase……

Jon Gordon has the Energy Bus. What can be yours? Do you need one to begin to develop what you need to lead out of a crisis and into building back the foundation for the vision and culture required to succeed? Be the Solution Daily in a world that needs you! No need for catchy phrases, just a solid foundation with core beliefs, a vision , and a design of how to get there. It is fun to think of names, phrases, and crazy ways to remember things. However, the importance of the work is what the focus needs to be on. It cannot be like it was, and we must decide what works now.

With the transitions to Covid from Covid and now additional issues facing us, we need to outline the needs in all areas to focus on our realities.

Fitting the puzzle pieces together

  • Identify all areas in your organization or company
  • What are the needs in each of these?
  • Prioritize the needs in each area.
  • Do we see common threads of need?
  • What are the top common threads?
  • Can we develop a plan to address the common threads of need?
  • How can the needs of the organization impact the service we provide?
  • Looking at the needs, how does it change, enhance or reflect our vision?

Now that we are looking at our needs, it is time to complete a deeper dive into a needs assessment. This is the best place to start when beginning to look at building a foundation for continued growth.

Just a basic format to begin to gather data on needs. Deeper dives as you go into specific areas, skills, departments, policies and procedures.

Can we work together to ask hard questions? Can we listen to all voices? I would like to have honest conversations about what we are facing. This isn’t easy because we will not all agree. Doing what is right is not what is easy; jumping on the bandwagon or missng the bus. It is in having the integrity of doing what is best for all of those involved and those we serve. Ken Blanchard, one of my favorite leaders, found that integrity is what everyone seeks out in leadership. Jon Gordon, another famous leader, has a fantastic book just released called The Sale along with his co-author Alex Demczak which is a tremendous tribute to learning about integrity. Please get your copy today. If you think you deserve to have a free copy from me, tell me what you gain from reading these blogs and how you share it with others. Please send me an email after you like the post at yohobren@gmail.com. Thanks for sharing time and space with me daily.

Efficacy

Efficacy is a word we hear a great deal. Do we understand what it means in its various uses? Efficacy is the ability to perform a task to an expected degree or satisfaction; being successful in producing an intended result or effectiveness.

Providing ourselves with a basic understanding of the definition helps guide us when efficacy is used with other words like: Self-efficacy, Teacher-efficacy or Collective-efficacy. Each of these areas of use is important to the overall growth desired.

Self-efficacy is the most critical piece in my professional opinion to completing the puzzle for completion of success. Self-efficacy is the foundation for motivation, well-being, and overall accomplishment. It is a feeling of self-worth. As individuals develop efficacy, they are influenced by four areas, according to Professor Albert Bandura.

Professor Albert Bandura in this article https://positivepsychology.com/bandura-self-efficacy/ provides information to help with understanding his theory.

Four Areas

  • Mastering Experiences
  • Vicarious Experiences
  • Verbal Persuasion
  • Emotional and Physiological States

Action Steps

  • Make a list of experiences with direct impact mastered by overcoming an obstacle, controlling an environment, or from resilience. Great to do with staff.
  • Provide examples of people similar who have achieved. If they can, we can. Local individuals are great to use as examples.
  • Establish a system of support (SOS). Individuals who are able to influence others with words to strengthen others on the team. Parents, leaders, co-workers, coaches and others are great resources.
  • Mindsets are critical. This is an important piece to help prevent triggers that could interrupt you or take away your confidence. Make the king of mindsets part of your plan.

Root Causes

We can only achieve the outcomes we desire if the priorities we identify address the root of the problems preventing growth. This can only happen if the right priorities are addressed. Gather information, analyze and move past just identification.

In education, I know we often stop at just symptoms. In other organizations and companies, I believe this happens well. Recently, our government uses the words “root causes” to prolong action steps to address critical issues. When you can visibly see problems address solutions to solve immediately, and then continue to look at the root causes.

When we work on our improvement plans, strategic plans, and vision for the future, it is critical to address root problems. Root causes connect the foundation of the trunk to your vision. Then you can branch out into action steps as you grow to develop the leaves of success. Nurturing this growth with targeted action steps in your plan will help you spring forward as you bloom and not fall.

Tuesday tasks, to-do lists-Goals

During my career, I had many opportunities to learn from others and evaluate my daily efforts. It was the work with the Wallace Foundation that helped to point out to me how you can take control of the day or let the day control you.

It is great to have a to-do list of things you want to accomplish each day. However, if you are going through the day trying to check off the tasks on your list, what are you truly accomplishing?

As I entered the administrative world, I wanted feedback on my efforts. I designed an evaluation to give to staff to perform on me. This evaluation would guide me in my growth as a leader. I conducted the same review every year of my career to keep consistency. I found this to be helpful. When the Wallace Foundation came in to help, we began to track my daily calendar and how my time was utilized each day. This allowed me to identify areas to improve. Very eye-opening in how my days were spent.

In order to accomplish your tasks at the same time you are focused on overall growth for staff and students, you have to have a strong system built to support your goals. If you do not have a system in place, the checking off of a list may be accomplished with no depth to lead to growth.

Question everything!

One of the best tools to add to your system is reflection lined with questions! At the end of each day, take the time to reflect on what was accomplished. Ask these reflection questions so you can use this data to establish your goals for the next day:

  • What worked well today?
  • What is one thing we could focus on to improve?
  • How will I do things differently tomorrow?
  • What is one new thing tried today?
  • What was something I learned today?

These reflective questions will help guide you in preparing others in reflective practices, learning plans, and engaging conversations of enrichment. We will stay in place if we never stretch ourselves to reach the next level. Setting the bar to check off tasks, you will fail not to set goals, but in the system, you did not embrace. I know this is credible by the work of the Wallace Foundation and the SAM’s project. https://www.wallacefoundation.org/principal-story/pages/sam-project.aspx

Good intentions, inspiration, motivation, and to-do lists are great things to have as you move forward. I still do all of those things; it is just who I am. However, it is the focused foundation of a system to provide the gain of growth you need from staff and students to see the success you work so hard to achieve.

Reach out if you need help with this coming school year. There are plenty of resources you can utilize for free or you can purchase from others to help you continue to grow. Thank you for being the solution daily.

STOP ⛔ Leading….Start Building

Robyn R. Jackson is the author of this great new book from ASCD!

In this book, you’ll learn how to use her Buildership Model™ to escape the “school improvement hamster wheel”. Embark on creating the school your students and teachers deserve. It involves a few simple shifts in how your approach.

As leaders, we always start with a vision. Clarifying our purpose with an ambitious mission, a strong foundation of core values to secure a trusting staff built to believe in what we say and do. Then finalizing it with a system of accountability for achieving our goals.

One of the phrases Jackson has started is, you can have a will problem or a skill problem. Indicating your staff may not have the will to believe in the vision or the skill to implement it. As you “build” new ways to help staff grow, all areas will improve.

I add my philosophy with hers in taking the steps of being solution-focused. As we identify problems, we begin to plan our approach to the most significant issue first. We map out a concise plan building better training, utilizing data, enriching curriculum for all students, enhancing community and family partnerships, and a comprehensive approach to accountability.

Many things can distract us and cause roadblocks or detours. The global pandemic taught us to expect the unexpected! We learned to think outside the box and to change. Drastic changes are done; we did it! Let’s take lessons learned, what worked, things we wish we could do, and work out the details.

Building better begins with being able to break down the barriers that hold us back. Please grab a copy of Robyn Jackson’s book, follow her on Twitter, Facebook or check her website. She is a great one to gain guidance and support.

RESOURCES

https://www.facebook.com/RobynJacksonMindsteps/

https://mindstepsinc.com

@Robyn_Mindsteps

http://www.ascd.org/Publications/ascd-authors/robyn-jackson.aspx

Gears turning

#Bethesolutiondaily

Are your gears turning? What gears am I talking about? As a child, you may have heard; I can see those gears turning.

We know they were referring to our thinking ability. I may be showing my age! I am hoping someone has heard it!

In my husband’s business, it means those big motors you see in big industry plants or motors farmers use to help their crops. It can be busy at times.

In my world, gears connect to a shaft, which is the vision of the district. Vision is the solid foundation to maintain the focus of what we are doing as a group. It is who we are.

The gear is put into place, and the work begins. Gears are the mission that indicates the importance of what we do to accomplish the vision. The clarification of each gear ensures a focus on the action steps’ to achieve the vision. It is like the Cheshire Cat saying, “If you don’t know where you want to go, then it doesn’t matter which path you take.”

Core values and beliefs provided by the staff is the oil used for the gears to fit into place with support. When the fuel from family and community turn the gears in the right direction, it can all come together.

Vision, Mission, Core Values, Collaboration with family and community you will have students achieving. Building a system focused on this structure positive outcomes follow.

I had the opportunity to hear Robyn Jackson speak today and it was terrific. She has a great plan on how to look at Vision, Mission, and Core Values as a way to anchor your district or school to handle anything. You can get through this pandemic with those three Anchors and a focused approach! Please check out Robyn Jackson’s books and her website https://mindstepsinc.com/ @Robyn_Mindsteps

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