Monday, February 16, 2015

Lencioni is Right

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Lencioni is right. That whole pyramid is pure genius. If you want to achieve a goal, then you have to start from the bottom and work your way up, especially if you are new to an organization. Even if your position is that of a leader, no one who works under, above, or alongside you has to put their absolute trust and faith in you on day one. 

So I’ve been in a new building for a little over four months now, and I know exactly what it feels like to be on the bottom of that pyramid. However, I’ve also had some experience in climbing it. Since I can be sort of a klutz, I’ve learned slow and steady is the best way to do it. I’ve been working hard these past few months to establish relationships with my colleagues and build trust. Building that trust is a two-way street. While people are figuring me out, I’m figuring them out as well. It makes me wonder if I should consider a different model of pyramid to refer to.

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Perhaps, I should take the route of the individualized pyramid approach. Not unlie an IEP, everyone, or at least every department gets its own pyramid. It’s a pretty fair assumption that I am further up the pyramids pertaining to those I work closest to. My other thought involves the use of a “skewed” pyramid of sorts like the one the left. 

With people entering and exiting an organization, and new initiatives coming and going, I'm not sure there are many who have the opportunity to climb such a pristine pyramid like the one above. At least, in my world, the one on the left is a little more realistic.

Regardless of what your pyramid looks like, one cannot deny that a pyramid exists within every organization. Make sure you are well equipped to scale the one that exists in yours! 

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Remember the Past, But Always Be Present

I absolutely LOVE working with kids because it gives me a legitimate reason to keep up with pop culture. If it wasn't for children, I may very well have succumbed to a life of "90s music stations and watching NCIS years ago. Not that there is anything wrong with either...

Today was one of those days that I was happy to be living in Virginia...71 and sunny at it's the beginning of February. I paid homage to the Beetle convertible sitting in the garage by washing her off, shining her up, and driving her around town with the top down in this GLORIOUS weather. At one point, Wil Smith's "Summertime" came on the radio, and it almost felt like summer (if you could forget about the fact that all the trees were bare). I have to admit that I probably did turn up the volume to a slightly obnoxious level at one point today. 

I bring this up because while I enjoy a '90's moment like that from time to time, I also work very hard to live in the present. Why? Because it is what the kids I work with on a daily basis are living in ALL THE TIME.  

It makes me cringe sometimes when teachers and staff members I work with reminisce on old materials they worked with, and wonder why they can't work with them anymore. Living in the now is a very important concept when working with children. It's all they know. The past is "old school" to them, and they treat it as history as opposed to nostalgia. While it is OK to be nostalgic about Cole Porter, Frank Sintra, The Beatles, Aerosmith, NKOTB, or Britney Spears...yes, Britney Spears; as educators, it is so important to have the ability to acknowledge the past, but live in the present. Your students live in the present. You need to be able to relate to them. There are actually organizations in corporate America that encourage it's staff members to to read People magazine. 

Take time this week to truly relate to your kids and the world they live in. You may actually enjoy it!