Relentlessly Obsess About Your Story #exploitingchaos #leadwild

Relentlessly.  Obsess.  About.  Your.  Story.

So says Jeremy Gutsche in Exploiting Chaos.  One of my top 10 edu-reads.  Get it.  Now.

Currently, this paragraph speaks to me:

A Culture of Revolution breaks down structure and liberates your organization’s ability to adapt.  Within your organization, intentionally destroy in order to create, encourage failure, obsess about your customer, and understand specifically what it is that you are trying to do.

This paragraph shouts at me.  And challenges me.  And makes me wonder about changing education and if it’s even possible.

School doesn’t feel very adaptable right now.  We have financial, institutional and cultural barriers.  We don’t do ourselves any favors either.  Our own worst enemies, as it were.  Many barriers.

Intentional destruction just hurts my heart when I think of current students, their needs, their growth and well-being.  But with a future-oriented mindset, we must break down the structures of traditional education to ever arrive at what students will need for THEIR futures.  Change for more than change sake.  What do we know about our students’ futures?  What can we reasonably project?  What do we know about their present situations, needs, ways of learning?

Encouraging failure works.  By nurturing risk-taking, outside-of-the-box approaches, and processing/reflecting on outcomes, I encourage failure.  It’s not a negative.  It’s a growth opportunity.  For students and adults.  If you’re an educator uninterested in your own learning, you don’t belong here.

My customer is students and their families.  I love that part of my work.  Just today, our kindergarten team remarked at how often I’m in kinder.  They appreciate my connectedness to students and what they’re doing in class.  Our cafeteria manager remarked recently, “You check in often.  I feel like a real part of the staff.”  The staff is my customer as well.  Relationships are everything.

Specifically what we’re trying to do… harder to define.  Or at least hard to define in fewer than a novel length text.  It’s academic, it’s social, it’s about learning to move through the world, it’s about problem solving, and so much more.  How do students nurture the world around them, how do they lead others, how do they think critically?  When should I speak up for a peer, share my scientific thinking, give 100% on the mile run, ask my teacher for help?  School is amazingly complex and, for me, shockingly simple: build & nurture relationships.

Mentally, I’m deep in a Culture of Revolution.  I feel it.  But the realities of school drop it down a notch.  Ok, honestly, my Revolution is gets squashed.   It’s a big ship to steer.

So what now?

Exploiting Chaos (via a JP Morgan story) has an answer:

  1. Every morning, write a list of the things that need to be done that day.
  2. Do them.

… the time to act is always now. Thanks @jeremygutsche Ready to continue my Revolution.  My list of things needs to focus on Relentlessly Obsessing About Our Story.  #leadwild

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