Tag: #WednesdayWisdom

Fill in the blank-with wisdom

Wednesday offers time to think of wisdom we can share. What things do you think about?

To be a good leader, you need to____________________.

If there is one thing to remember, it is_________________.

Children need to______________.

Today is the best time to________________.

What fill-in-the-blank could you create to help generate thoughts and conversation? I know as teachers, we have asked students to complete fill-in-the-blank questions and consider them to be recall information on tests. What if we present them in different ways to spark conversations and discuss them in different ways?

I am a big fan of student-led conferencing, which I have stated before in other posts. I also believe in strong partnerships with families and communities. The more we can invest in the quality of services and support for our children, the more robust the foundation will be as they grow.

Are we asking families any fill-in-the-blank questions that could generate quality conversations to build on? We ask students- What do they want to be when they grow up? Why not ask parents- What would you want your child to be when they grow up? I know when I have asked this question of students, I will get responses of professional football or basketball player. I had a parent tell me the same thing about their child. (I have to say to you, I do not recruit for professional teams, but I did not see the talent.) You do not want to shatter dreams or discourage hope for others. After all, I wanted to be a Rockett when I was younger, taking dance lessons. My dream was shattered when I found out they had a height requirement; it had nothing to do with talent. This is my story so that I can tell it this way.

Dreams are wonderful to have! I have pointed out in other posts the need for children to have life experiences, have opportunities to explore outside their comfort zones, and learn about things they do not know on a day-to-day basis. The influences in a child’s life help them discover more about what they are interested in, passionate about, and areas of strength. If they only experience what is around them, they are limited to what they think, know, and understand. The same goes for their family. This is why it is essential to expand what we do to embrace school, home, and community working together.

Tell your story

Our school has a strong partnership with___________________? This helps all students _________________? We love __________________about our school. If we all_____________together_________________will happen.

Acceptance brings peace

Change is always happening! The pandemic ushered in several shifts in our lives and education! It is when we can accept things we cannot change we can continue to move forward. There are things we can change and with these we follow our core values.

Identify the ‘what”, the “how” will follow. We cannot make the “how” an excuse not to face and accept the “what.” “When” we accept the “what” and “how” as our own, the realization of “who” needs to do the work required to make change is found.

Acceptance brings peace and reminders of our “why,” “what” we do, “how” we react, and “when” we accept, positive change can happen.

Wednesday Wisdom-November 24,2021

It is incredible the many things, ideas, and possibilities you can discover when you begin to allow yourself to explore with no plan or purpose. Some days, I like to let my mind take a stroll through the beautiful world full of exciting amazement you can find.

One of my favorite things to do is to provide pictures with no words to allow others to describe what it means, is saying, the story it is telling or the feelings it is expressing.

Sometimes it is great to have a picture with words to begin a conversation. Today it seems like the colors of people seem to be talked about a great deal. I have fought for decades to battle against utilizing race, gender, or the way we look to determine who we are as an individual. Using the picture below helps to bring out other aspects of color. It no longer is just the surface but the depth it contains. A white peach, a chocolate chip, a strawberry, and the list can go on.

Giving our minds time to stretch is excellent for our muscles and overall well-being. You may have heard our brain is a muscle, but it is an organ weighing on average around 3 pounds by adulthood. It controls our muscles as well as many other aspects of our life. Physical activity, mental games, good sleep, and healthy eating habits all contribute to brain health.

Always take the time to learn more about taking care of your mind, body, and spirit to be the best you can be. There is only one of you! I am happy our paths crossed today.

We are inspired!

“Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.”~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Did someone inspire you to be where you are today in your career or life? I reflect over mine and can identify several points of time where individuals inspired me, encouraged me, and pushed me—so blessed by each one.

“Mark Cole began his career working for John Maxwell 21 years ago. It was an inauspicious start for the man who would go on to be Chief Executive Officer of The John Maxwell Company and his nine organizations.” Mark started in the mailroom.

Bill Dodd shared a great post that follows along with my philosophy of solution-focused leadership. You can read the post about Mark Cole by clicking on his picture below. I pulled from the article the Four Questions all leaders must ask and How to view Leadership Problems. I added my idea of How to be Solution-Focused.

4 Questions All Leaders Must Ask

  1. When is the last time I learned something for the first time?
  2. When is the last time I did something for the first time?
  3. When is the last time I found something better for the first time?
  4. When is the last time I saw something bigger for the first time?

How To View Leadership Problems

  • P – Predictors are a picture of what type of person you are.
  • R – Reminders that life is tough. Leadership is demonstrated under challenging times.
  • O – Opportunity will make you and other people better.
  • B – Blessings. Problems sometimes point you in a more beneficial direction.
  • L – Lesson. What did I learn from this problem?
  • E – Everywhere. Even before COVID, problems were everywhere.
  • M – Message. In every problem, there is a takeaway.
  • S – Solvable. Every problem has a solution.

How to be Solution-Focused

  • Seeking first to answer “why.”
  • Observations of what has been done before, what is happening now, and what is working
  • Listen to all possible solutions
  • Use the best solution selected by the team
  • Try the solution selected, track, assess, and evaluate
  • Implement a different solution if the first one did not have the desired outcome
  • Open-mindedness brings many ideas to the solution
  • Never believe a problem is without a solution

People who have a leadership mindset love solving problems. Every problem is an opportunity to learn and grow. Real leaders know there’s always an answer. Most of the time, there are multiple answers. When you focus first on solutions, we will get more solutions. After spending time on generating ideas for solutions, save them for your next brainstorming session?

COVID taught us to take problems and solve them. If we keep looking at problems, we will keep getting more. COVID does not seem to be going away and continues to be one of those topics that will generate a great deal of debate. Our debate should only be on ideas for solutions.

Wednesday Wisdom

Which comes first, wisdom or knowledge? Wisdom is built on knowledge. So does that mean you can be both wise and knowledgeable? Then you can’t be wise without being knowledgeable. What do you think? Is it the same as an egg before chicken or the chicken before an egg?

Knowledge is knowing about something. I have knowledge of the food in my garden and what grows on my trees. Wisdom is knowing how to apply the knowledge I have. In addition, how to use it in context. Like this old example: knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit, wisdom is knowing not to use it in a fruit salad. However, some people would say this is common sense.

I believe knowledge is gathered from learning and education. The more knowledge you gain about a subject area you can be identified as an expert in the area. Just because you have knowledge, it does not make you wise. When you have knowledge, you can make decisions with clarity of facts and truths.

In order for individuals to gain wisdom, it must be gathered from day-to-day experiences and is a state of being wise. Wisdom is the practical ability to make consistently good decisions in life from the individual’s knowledge and experience.

Wisdom is a virtue. Is that a true statement? Wisdom can only be acquired through experience. Anyone who is interested in trying new things, reflecting on the process, analyzing, testing your knowledge and having a growth mindset has the ability to gain wisdom. In this process one should have knowledge first in order to become wise.

How do you compare knowledge and wisdom? Do you know individuals who are wise?

Measuring Meaningfulness

I constantly measure the meaningfulness of the messages I send, the information I share, and how I impact those who choose to read my posts. I intend to always help with driving solution-focused thinking and increasing the positives we share in day-to-day interactions.

One thing missing is an opportunity for others to share what they would like me to focus on to help them in what they are doing. I want to pause and organize this blog to work for those who need it to work for them. My idea is to dedicate each day to a particular topic. Examples could be: Monday: Motivation, Inspiration, Meetings Tuesday: Teaching, Thoughts, Talking Points, Communication Wednesday: Wisdom, Wit, Things to Ponder Thursday: Takeaways, Things to Share, Activities for team building Friday: Facts, Factors, Leadership Saturday: Solutions, Strategies, Plans. Sunday: Spiritual, Social-Emotional, Mental Health

Maybe you don’t want to read something daily. What if you wanted something in one post? If this is your desire, what day would you choose to receive it, and what do you need the content to include?

Be the solution daily is for you. I want to thank all of my followers and those who have invested their time. Starting today, I will take a two-week break while I gather information on the direction of this blog.

Keep being the solution daily for all as we serve others in making the world better one day at a time.

Ambition

Ambition is the germ from which all growth of nobleness proceeds.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson, writer and philosopher

Cultivating Healthy Ambition

Ambition is an essential element to an organization and individual. Ambition begins with understanding the desires, aspirations, and goals you have for yourself and your team. What exactly are your desired outcomes for yourself and those of your team?

Knowing and understanding how far to reach is key to harnessing healthy ambition. Setting goals that require just the right level of difficulty push and struggle helps ensure to reach beyond your current abilities. Suppose the challenge is too great; a risk of giving up or becoming discouraged when target goals fall short happens. If the challenge isn’t significant enough, a risk of disconnecting, not being engaged, and never reaching the levels of total performance is accomplished.

I worked with a young ambitious leader who was very talented. His desire to accomplish was greater than the skill levels of himself and his team. They pushed full steam ahead, but lacked the ability to sustain all of the components of their plans. Piles of data was collected, but being able to utilize it wisely with a targeted purpose was missing. They could accomplish some small wins, but the frustration levels grew with trying to maintain the action plans. Creating the action plans was difficult to establish because the data seemed to become outdated by the time they reviewed it together. It became overwhelming with the stacks of data collected.

There is more to accomplish than performance with ambition. We need to think about growth, achievement, sustainable and solution-focused ambitions. Each of these requires more in-depth conversations we can continue in future blog posts. We need a balance for ambition to find the formula for success. In the meantime, ponder these questions with your purpose of performance:

Questions for Focus

  • What are our current performance goals?
  • What goals can you reach with your efforts?
  • What goals can you help guide your team in accomplishing?
  • How can the efforts of “all” work together to accomplish the goals?
  • Do the goals need to be prioritized?
  • Have you assigned timelines, responsibilities, tasks, or other ways to accomplish them?
  • What do I wish was different today?
  • What frustrates me the most?
  • Have I asked the team any of these questions?
  • Do I listen to the team, data and information?

When we work only on performance ambition, our teams may look to us in different ways. If our goals seem unattainable, they will look at us as being “unrealistic.” Maybe you have set too many or too high of goals. The team believes you are setting them up for failure.

What if you do not take any risks and have too few of goals? The team thinks you do not believe in them, you are not a risk-taker and you have low expectations.

We do not want to lose our sense of purpose. Our team must believe in the goals, values, and beliefs we establish. It is essential to keep a check on the level of ambition we have and to maintain high sustainable energy to develop the accomplishments we want to achieve.