Tag: #vision

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!

Time for Vision

We planned a family vacation, and I prepared for it in advance. We just returned from the ten-day vacation. I worked to complete writing prior to the vacation so my daily blog post could continue in my absence. I wanted to be present for both, so I “managed time” by planning.

Our family decision was to drive in two vehicles, so I thought it would be perfect to take along books and my writing materials to continue to move forward “saving time.”

Reflecting and reviewing this vision as we began our journey to spend “family time,” I quickly realized my vision of saving was not the right choice.

Our visions of “practical” does not match “meaningful.” What are the choices we are making that will be sustainable and impactful? How do we want our world, education, families, communities and even ourselves look, act and be?

I spent my time having meaningful conversations, taking in the beautiful scenery, enjoying music, laughter continuously and endless stories. So many moments of memories made for our children!

We find ourselves trapped in a cycle of trying to work as fast as we can, gain as much as we can to achieve more, but the cost of this price tag is extreme. Our values, beliefs, and motivations influence the effectiveness of our leadership.

Just for a moment, I caught myself falling back into a “routine” of stealing time from segments of life to feed another part. The reality of this message is: Time can not be changed. You can not gain more in the day. Everyone receives the same amount each day. Spend the time wisely, but do not think you can gain time. I am thankful for my writing ahead and realizing the need to be present for the time with family.

Education is constantly changing. We see how quickly our world can change. There are many issues, ideas, problems, and suggestions for solutions. As you begin to think about what you would like to “see” in your vision, reflect on the impact the choices you make have on all of the elements involved.

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.

Solutions

As an individual, a leader, or organization seeking solutions to problems or gaining answers to questions is a daily task. Can you think of how many times daily you seek to find a solution? It is not always the big items, it is often the little things we deal with when we add them together equal big results.

If we fail to handle the little issues they begin to gather together into a major issue. We can look at current events to see this transition. Let’s take a few from the headlines to see the trend.

  • Fires, homelessness and a growing crisis– Los Angeles Times, May 12, 2021
  • The surge in border apprehension in 2021, visualized-Washington Post, June 10, 2021
  • The Heightened Crisis of Childhood Trauma-U.S. News, June 10, 2021

These are just a few of the headlines I pulled, but the media does not always cover all of the issues we are facing accurately. In our local communities, we may have issues we need to address to avoid becoming bigger problems. The importance of open and clear communication with all stakeholders will provide the trust needed moving forward.

I often refer to having a strategic plan, improvement plan and committees focused on areas of need. This is not something I just talk about, I have done this work. It is critical to the success of the individuals you serve to work to address the barriers preventing them from growing with purpose. If we continue to do what we have always done growing will not happen, solving problems will not occur and solutions seldom solved or issues improved.

There are many resources to help guide you through the process. I am here to help as well! I have nothing to sell only to provide solutions daily to you.

  • Step one review your data
  • Determine your three priorities
  • Who needs to be part of your team?
  • Who are your stakeholders?

Once you understand where you are, you then need to determine where you want to go. The work begins with discovering the tools, resources, strategies, and procedures to get you to your destination.

Seek out guidance as you begin the journey to solutions as you develop your plan. Please remember, no matter your position all members of the team are working for the same results. Collaboration, responsibility, sharing, generating ideas, failure, and success are all part of the learning process to reach the success desired.

Building Core Values

Organizations are made up of individuals. Individuals within every organization and workplace come with a set of values. However, as we join together to accomplish a mission, core values must become the foundation of the practices we use every day to perform our work and conduct ourselves.

We have lists of values and beliefs in our ever-changing world. There are a few core values that are constant and always remain. I believe this to be what keeps a democracy going and a society functioning. Looking around at the world in which we live, core values and beliefs have to remain.

Often when we think of core values for individuals, it is reflected in the character traits they display. We describe individuals using character trait descriptions like; loving, friendly, patient, and fair.

The importance of knowing what your core values are is essential. What is important to you? When an organization looks at its core values, it is critical to examine what core values describe your organization. As I began, you can list hundreds, but focusing on a few core values maintains a focus to ensure quality.

Creating core values for the organization should be unique, non-negotiable, and created together. One resource as an example is included in this link:

https://builtin.com/company-culture/company-core-values-examples

One issue I have seen in our community is a news station reporting on a traumatic event in the community. The news station reported in a biased way, according to the outcry in the community. Then advertisers with the news station responded with public statements and withdrawing their advertising. Understanding the role you play in your community is a crucial factor when making decisions that will directly impact them. I did not see the news segment or know much about the details of the incident, so I can only comment on reactions that have been shared. The news station has apologized for their actions, but I believe they continue to feel the pain of one decision.

Our society right now is in a fragile state. Knowing your core values and standing on them as a foundation is essential. If you have none, then you will fall for anything. We need strong advocates for the core values of the foundation built to stand on.

Make a list of the core values you have. Do they match what you are doing? How can you help improve the quality of value in what you do? Does your organization have a set of core values? Do you know them? Why/Why not?

Society works for all when we all work together with the core values we stand on Freedom, Integrity, Respect, Justice, Diversity, and Truth. There are depths to each of these words, and you could add more. As a nation, community, organization, and individuals, we need to look at core values. It is time to be the solution daily! Children depend on us to build a solid foundation to stand on, not one that can fall at any time.

Thoughts to ask, Think it Through

Today is a new day! A gift to unwrap full of opportunities! What will it bring today? It begins with the choices I make to start the journey today that leads the way.

As we set out each day in our life journey, our purposes drive us to achieve as we move toward our destination. We need to see results in our daily efforts that are helping us inch closer to the goal.

I ask, do you find yourself stopping to ask: Is it more important to have results or to enjoy the journey?

I ask this question because I have set my expectations to grow my foundation of followers. I have established this goal to demonstrate to publishers that I am ready to move forward with my book. I do not look at this as a task but a journey.

I need results to demonstrate growth as a writer and author. To show people are interested, inspired, and seek to learn more from me. However, the number of followers is not as significant to me as the journey itself.

It would be amazing to have thousands of followers, as I see on other author sites. I am an unknown individual who people get to know about one post at a time. It is exciting when we can connect, and I have had a few who we have had conversations together.

If my words can help one individual, they are worth sharing. My writing journey has provided me with joy. I am involved with so many different circles of authors, book marketers, editors, bloggers, and my list could go on. The enrichment of my learning and motivation is attributed to all of those in my current journey.

So going back to the question to “Think Thoughtfully on Thursday, ”: Is it more important to have results or enjoy the journey?

Can you have both? I think so! I hope so. If not, I choose to enjoy the journey. The journey provides many learning opportunities, focuses on skills you may not have had before, invites new people into your life, and highlights something bigger than you.

What do you think? Do you have a destination you are trying to reach? Is it the journey or the results that drive you?

What is the solution? If you know a better way to get my results to let me know, but in the meantime, I will enjoy this journey. Enjoy your journey as well! If you think I can help you, please let me know. There is nothing I am advertising for sale. Just trying to help other travelers on great journeys to destinations of success!

Why? This is a question I ask daily

I keep myself sheltered as much as possible from daily negativity. It is never good for anyone’s health to keep negative influences in your life daily. However, it would help if you kept yourself informed of current events to support others and yourself.

Statistics of the number of violent incidents, shootings, and crimes are on the rise. It is a regular news item that people become used to, I think; why?

“Deadliest weekend of the year in Chicago: 12 killed, 42 wounded in shootings”-Sun-Times, Chicago. May 24, 2021

“6-Year-Old Costa Mesa Boy Dies In Road Rage Shooting On 55 Freeway In City Of Orange” -CBSLN May 21,2021

“4-Year-Old Boy Found Dead on Dallas Street Was Sleeping When He Was Stolen Out of His Crib, Affidavit Says”-Inside Edition May 19,2021

I took just a few headlines from the news that stopped me. I froze when reported. No words could come to add anything to these incidents.

My solution for these continued acts of violence on our communities across our nation is this:

  • Start with the question, why? It is not because we have guns. Discuss why someone would want to cause harm or kill another person.
  • Why are people angry? In your discussions, ask this question. Think about how we got to the point of so much anger. It is not because of races, places, spaces or faces. It is about human relations! When we teach division, we get division. We have worked hard on bringing people together, and now we are pushing them apart.
  • Where do people belong in your community? Do you know the people in your neighborhood? What do they need to lift themselves up? We do not need to be enablers but teachers. “If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish, you feed himfor a lifetime.”
  • In the home is where we can help. Families today have a great deal on their plates. Find ways not to judge, not to be enabling but supportive. Discover what is needed a help them establish these needs.

Action Steps

  • Mental health services available in the community: make these part of your organization’s space, promote a partnership, place positive messages that it is okay!
  • Stop dividing people! No more talk about race, gender, or who you are as an individual to divide us. We will not keep making individuals feel like there is something wrong with them based on their skin color, gender, or who they are. It is the content of their character that defines them. The story written on their heart they portray to the world is “who they are.” I will not spend my life being a color but an individual focused on solutions for all human races.
  • “Won’t you be my neighbor” comes from a time when TV provided children with a daily dose of how to deal with society changes? Currently, there are not many opportunities for children to receive this messaging. As a community, establish a community group. Work as a group to determine needs. What can you do together to support each other?
  • As an organization, establish a community group. Invite businesses, community organizations, police departments, schools, and neighborhood groups together.
  • Generate a list of community needs.
  • Establish committees
  • Action plans/timelines
  • Necessary to keep this statement fresh in front of all members: Families love their children and are doing a great job with all they have to care for them. It is up to us to help lift them up to continue to serve with more. We are not enablers but providers of additional tools.

I am happy to help anyone with tackling this with your organization or school. We all have to make this a priority in order to move forward together in healing a nation from a pandemic with aftershocks. Be the solution daily for a brighter tomorrow.

Searching for solutions

Setting the tone of your day with the tune of your mind is not always easy. Turn the station to focus on solutions instead of focusing on problems will have you stepping to a new rhythm.

When I go back and review my daily devotions, I often find my way. Today has many opportunities no need to worry about tomorrow; let’s do all we can today to bring love, praise, hope, and peace.

Be the solution daily so others will follow, and tomorrow will be better than today! Thank you for all you do! Share the message, comment on more ways to be the solution, and together we can.

Shades of Color

Do you see color?

As we look at our world, we have the ability to see so many colors. I know a few people who cannot see but utilize other senses to “see” the world in the most beautiful way. Natalie is one of those individuals who showed me early in my life how the world’s beauty should never be taken for granted.

With all of these beautiful colors, do you have a favorite? I love the color green, but I like a particular shade. Some would call the color I like mint green.

Colors come in different hues, saturation, and lightness. Additionally, these combinations provide different shades and tones to select. When you have so many to choose from, it is so hard to decide.

Now there is the achromatic color gray. Achromatic is a color without color because it is composed of black and white. I can remember hearing, “It is right there in black and white; there is no gray area.” I interpret this message as it is decided, and you have no wiggle room.

As I started my blog post, I am sure the first thought that crossed the minds of many was not the color wheel, but the racial divide created daily. I am looking for gray, a neutral color. Knowledge and understanding of the differences of color help all of us appreciate the depth of the beauty they hold.

While some can see, others can’t see, and some may not see color the same as others. The fabric of the world we live in as we take the time to understand it all. Check your color blindness with the help of YouTube. My nephew is colorblind, so he does not see color as others do. When will we all learn to look at the beauty in all we “see” no matter the lens we use to see.

Thank you for being part of the solution daily as we color our world with the brightest colors of our smiles. Shine bright.

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