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Happy Labor Day!

Today is Labor Day and it is coming at a time when many of us are reflecting on the last year and a half. Learner-Centered Leaders have been "laboring" nonstop for 18 months to make sure our kids get the best education possible. Keep doing the great work you have been doing and do not lose hope. The world is better because of the work you do...that's just a simple fact.

I found a great synopsis of the history of Labor Day on the History Channel web page. I learned a lot about the origins of the Holiday. You can find out more by following the button below.
Learn More About Labor Day

The Crisis Leadership Matrix

"Too often, leaders attempt to change how their teams and organizations act without changing how they think. As a result, they get compliance but not commitment, involvement but not investment, progress but not lasting, sustainable high performance. Every day is a chance to rethink how we lead while capturing the minds of who we lead. Proactive thinking while defining mindsets and success is vital to understanding our why." --George Raveling

How can you lead the thinking among your staff in your school? Start with the matrix below. If you are interested in creating lasting change, this matrix is a great place to start. Let's break it down real quick with questions that can help guide your learning.
Leadership: Lack of leadership leads to confusion in your organization. Ask yourself these two questions to prevent confusion:
1. What do I need to learn about leadership to create lasting change?
2. What does my staff need to learn about leadership to create lasting change in my organization?

Shared Vision: Lack of a shared vision leads to sabotage. Ask yourself these two questions to prevent sabotage in your organization.
1. In what meaningful ways did your staff have input into the vision?
2. Have you connected a staff member's own personal goals with the goals of the shared vision?

Skills: If your staff (or you) don't have the skills to implement your changes then they will experience anxiety.  Ask yourself this question to help alleviate anxiety.
1. What are the essential skills needed to implement the changes you are trying to make? Once you answer those (with the help of your staff), create learning opportunities for your staff to gain those skills.

Resources: Without proper resources to implement the change, frustration will crop up. Similar to skills, as yourself and your staff, what resources are needed to effectively implement the changes you want to make in your organization.

Motivation: If there is not proper motivation, you will have many false starts with no prolonged, sustained, change. Ask yourself these two questions about motivation.
1. Have you taken care of the lower ends of Maslow's hierarchy of needs for your staff?
2. Does your staff see the benefit for their learners and themselves in the changes you are creating?

Strategy: This is simple...without a strategy, there will be no change. here are three things to think about concerning strategy.
1. What is the impact you want to achieve with your changes?
2. What outcomes will lead to the impact?
3. What inputs will read to the outcomes?

The Crisis Leadership Matrix will help you lead change in your school.
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3 Essential Ingredients for Motivation

In this blog post, the author discusses 3 essential ingredients for motivation.

From the blog viewpoint in parentheses
  1. A Clear and compelling future: “Your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have. Without having a goal it’s difficult to score.” — Paul Arden (You must always be future-focused, not past-obsessed. learn from the past, but do not live in the past. Create a hopeful, positive future in your mind first, then do the necessary things to make it happen.)
  2. One very specific outcome you are seeking: “What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for a worthwhile goal, a freely chosen task.” — Viktor Frankl (Getting excited and motivated over a project, a task, or career starts with one small goal. With your desired future in your mind, you can create many small outcomes and goals to lead to larger outcomes and goals. Create your own future!)
  3. Happily making “trade-offs” of “lesser” goals (even highly exciting opportunities): “Essentialism is doing the right thing at the right time in the right way.” — Greg McKeown. (I will admit this is the hardest "ingredient" for me. I will want to go in many different directions, chasing different dreams. This is not good. We must stay focused on what is "essential" to achieve what we want to achieve. Opportunities may come up that look good, sound good, and even taste good, but if they are not going to help deliver you to your stated achieved goal, then you must carefully reflect on whether you should spend time on them.)
Read The Blog Post
Food For Thought
"As a leader, you’ve got to live in three time zones simultaneously, the past, the present, and the future. Everything you do has got to honor the past, deliver in the present, set the table for a more prosperous future. And as you think that way, that’s why trust building becomes mission-critical."
--Doug Conant
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