It was one of those moments when the universe aligned.
When a random grab from the bookshelf turned into something big.
When a few minutes to myself, with a book, created a blast of connections and inspiration.
Thank you Seth Godin and Poke the Box.
I’ve read this sweet little book before. A few times, actually. But this week was pretty special. Heading to the hairdresser, I grabbed a book from my office. Chit chat with my hairdresser and a few page flips of People Magazine and then I usually wish I had a book with me. Enter Poke the Box.
This was Tuesday. On Wednesday, our staff meeting was a work session around our new garden/outdoor learning initiative. The plan was clear, the commitment was shared and the time was set aside. Our ability to tackle the objectives was not a question.
But the wise words of Seth Godin absolutely sealed the deal for this leader.
“Starting a project… taking what feels like a risk. Not just, ‘I’m starting to think about it,’… No, starting. Leaping. Committing. Making something happen.”
That was our Wednesday is a nutshell. Just start. Make something happen.
But I kept reading, “When can you start? Soon is not as good as now.” Yes! And we were done talking, deciding and thinking about it. Our NOW had arrived.
Godin goes through a list of capital: financial, network, intellectual, physical, prestige and instigation. We’ve got the connections, smarts, access, people, stuff and will to do what’s best for our school. And above all else, “the desire to move forward.”
He goes on to talk about failure. “Most things break. Most ideas fail.” But the kind of failure we might encounter is, “not the failure of disrespect… of the shortcut that shouldn’t have been taken… No, we’re talking about the failure of people with good intent, people seeking connections and joy and the ability to make a difference.”
That’s us. As a collective, we have great intention to bring joy and change to our school for our students. And yes, some goals will fail, but what about the ones that don’t? What about the wins? The BIG wins and the SMALL wins? That’s what matters.
Imagine me in the hairdresser chair, hair dye on, glasses off (so eyes a bit squinty), flipping through this book, smiling, snapping pics of the pages to save (see quotes above) and looking forward to sharing with the teachers on Wednesday. It was magical. And my hair turned out pretty awesome too!
When Wednesday arrived, my plan was to share as we prepared to get to the work at hand. It wasn’t meant to be. The flow of the meeting leant itself to work time, not inspiration. I couldn’t hold us back. We were ready. So rather, I closed with Seth Godin’s words. After we shared our work from the afternoon, celebrated what we’d accomplished and considered next steps, I opened this sweet, short book and read a bit. Because this is the real work we do every day at school. We start something. We risk. We leap. And even though many ideas will fail, many, many others will soar.
Sometimes the universe aligns. A hair appointment, a book, a school project. And when you get to the end of the day, wow. Just wow. So proud. So honored to be a part of this work. All for kids.