Tag: #vision

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

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.

Time matters..Wednesday Wisdom

Below is a great article to read as you think about solutions for your schools moving forward. Often in school improvement efforts, the time has been a talking point and added to programs with promises of improvements.

Time is a very fragile element we have limited control over. Additional time is not the solution alone. Please read the article and see if you come to the same conclusion. What solutions do you have for getting education back on track for students?

How You Use Time Matters More Than How Much You Have

How You Use Time Matters More Than How Much You Have

Clocks

Recent data on slowed learning growth and increased percentages of failures during the pandemic has schools across the country searching for ways to increase time. The theory of action is that if students have more time to receive instruction, they can make up learning growth and get back on track.

At first glance, this theory seems to make sense. After all, learning takes time, so more time must be the answer. However, an experiment tried by Washington D.C. schools presents a cautionary example of why such an approach may fall short.

A few years ago, D.C. Public Schools added twenty days to the school calendar on 13 of its lowest performing campuses. The increase meant that over the course of time these students spent in school up until eighth grade, they would add the equivalent of an additional year. The idea was simple. They expected that students in these struggling schools would benefit from having more time to learn. Test scores would improve, and the schools would become more successful. After three years the school district collected performance data for each school and discovered there was little evidence of any academic improvement. Attendance rates remained low, and reports of teacher burnout grew (Stein, 2019).

The fundamental flaw in the theory of action was assuming that just adding time would result in more learning. We cannot assume that doing more of what is not already working will somehow make it work better.

There was no evidence that the students involved were incapable of learning. Nor was there evidence that the teachers were incapable of or not committed to teaching. The problem was not the people.

This is not an argument that time doesn’t matter. However, adding time without changing instructional strategies and learner experiences offers little promise of improvement. As we think about efforts and initiatives to help students get back on track, we would do well to ask how the time that is available can be used to address the reasons for slippage in the pace of learning. We need to focus on how we might engage students in ways that lead to acceleration and recovery. Here are some ideas to consider.

We can start by reestablishing and reinforcing our relationships with students. This year has been one of isolation and loneliness for many students. Try as we might, we have not always been able to maintain strong, positive, influential relationships with many of our students, nor have they always been able to maintain relationships with each other. Now is a good time to refocus on relationships.

We can design learning experiences and opportunities that learners find attractive and engaging. Most educators and students are exhausted, especially with the often awkward and inefficient teaching and learning context we have experienced. What students find interesting and worth doing can be a good place to begin. Community-based experiences, gamification of content, and project and problem-based activities can offer the connections students find worthwhile, while also learning academic content.

In areas of learning where students need to fill skill and knowledge gaps, we can focus on essentials. We can design experiences that are focused and efficient while looking for hooks and pulls to engage students. Resorting to instructional strategies and structures that did not work the first time hold little promise of producing different outcomes now.

As much as practical, we can cluster students with classmates who are friends and acquaintances they may have missed if they spent the past year in remote instruction. Recreating familiar learning groups and clusters can reduce awkwardness and increase social support. We can also employ social learning strategies such as having students work in pairs, groups, and teams as they learn.

Of course, we need to begin learning and instructional activities in response to learner readiness. We do little to stimulate and build learning confidence and skills when we ask students to learn what they are not ready to learn or lack adequate background knowledge and skills in to be successful.

Stein, P. (2019, February 21) District eliminates extended school year, invests more in classroom technology. The Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/district-eliminates-extended-school-year-invests-more-in-classroom-technology/2019/02/21/e9478500-3484-11e9-a400-e481bf264fdc_story.html

SHINE

“It only takes a spark to get a fire going.” The first line in the song Pass It On. It was in our red hymnal books at the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. I wanted to sing it every Sunday. It was and still is a favorite song.

I can hear parts of these lyrics in many of the current Christian songs that I love as well like, Start a Fire by Unspoken. “ You only need a spark to start a whole blaze.”

My husband and I were driving through our hometown on our way to watch our grandson’s first baseball game of the season. We went through several familiar places on the way to his game in the neighboring state. We live right on the border, so crossing back and forth between States is standard practice.

We had time, due to a rain delay, to stop and eat before the game. We ordered a modest meal, and we’re finishing up when the waitress said, “Your bill is paid; the man who was at the table behind you paid it.” What? Who was he? We didn’t get to thank him.

Puzzled by this act of kindness, we asked the waitress again who this man was. She said, “I think that lady over there knew who he was. Do you want me to ask her?” Yes, please.

She comes back with a name and a story that he is disabled. He is getting ready to have surgery, and he took a meal home to his mother. Now we had our entire section talking with us about this man. We shared how just last week, we were at a different restaurant and saw a lady I use to babysit for as a teen. We paid for her meal.

We gave our waitress who was working so hard a big tip equal to the cost of our meals. It was a very nice moment of a person shining bright without anyone seeing at the time, but learning from his acts.

After the game, we were driving home and looking at this community. It was so well maintained, had a display box house on a post full of books with a sign to take one and return one. The playground was beautiful, with tennis courts, basketball courts, and a swimming pool. The light was shining brightly for this community. They are proud, respectful, and appreciate all they have. It is a modest community with hard-working individuals.

What is the secret? I do not think it is a secret. It is having a community that works, supports, and respects together. They hold each other accountable for all of those things. Everyone knows everyone! It’s not about “keeping up with the Jones’s,” it is maintaining respect for all.

Let your light shine as you are the solution daily. Making a difference every day adds up to solutions for better tomorrow’s.

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!

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.

Wednesday Wisdom

I believe every day is an opportunity. It is our choice what we do each day with the gift we receive. As the warmth of the day brushes against my cheek, it reminds me of the importance of waking the fire in the soul to work for all that is important.

My message today is to remind you of the light you have, the purpose stirring inside, and those in need of your support to reach their full potential. It takes each one of us to continue to lift up to be better than we are today.

Be the solution daily as we make our tomorrow brighter!

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!

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.

Let’s Debate

Do we see debates over issues? A debate is a discussion of opposing sides of a specific topic, subject, or issue. An example would be a discussion of the pros and cons of reopening schools after Covid-19. I think I have seen some…. At least they resemble debates.

We most likely would see debates in our legislative branches of government. Have you witnessed debates? I have listened carefully since engaging in researching this topic. We are looking for specific elements in each person pleading their reasoning for their point.

I believe one of the critical skills and elements needed to help children succeed in the future is being able to have essential conversations to debate their points successfully.

The emphasis on teaching children how to protest is misdirected, in my opinion. A focus on how to convince others of the position they have by making points grounded in evidence of value is where the teaching should be focused. Critical thinking skills, knowledge, and strong communication skills will serve all of us in the future with positive outcomes.

Hugo Mercier, in the following TED-Ed clip, explains how an argument can be more convincing when it contains these elements:

  • A good knowledge of your audience you are speaking to.
  • What are the beliefs of the audience?
  • Who and what the audience trusts?
  • What are the values of the audience?

These elements seem like a simple recipe for success. Understanding the audience’s beliefs, trusted sources, and values of others are not always easy for us. As we face an issue, problem or challenge, we do not go first to what we have learned about our audience; instead, we go to our own.

A recipe for success in facing a problem in need of solutions is always to listen first. We hear with more than our ears. To meet issues with debate, reasoning, and convincing rebuttals, we need to embrace all views. Our minds must be open to debate to appreciate and comprehend points different than our set of facts. We have to accept others’ points made convincingly as right and concede when our points are proven wrong.

Every voice has the right to be heard. Actions speak louder than words is often a statement made in high-tempered issues. These actions in no way have ever meant to cause suffering on others, violence, or prevent others from the freedoms granted in this country. Actions moved by the words of others should be in having positive outcomes in the efforts of change. An example would be:

“Today, the sun begins to rise for a new day. It is a chance for each of us to show a new way. To bring to the surface more issues to praise. The life we live changes with every season. Unexpected issues, diseases, challenges, and problems come with no reason. It is our actions, words, and true messages we send out that conveys-The point we try to make.”~Brenda Yoho

Please watch the TED link shared. It is an excellent segment to view. You can find more features to consider as you lead changes and growth in your field. Today is a great day to learn, reflect and lead. Thank you for being part of the solution daily!