January 2, 2013 by Brad Currie
Throughout my life I have chosen to put myself around successful people and situations that allowed me to grow as a leader. For starters, growing up and working in my father’s lumberyard showed me first hand on how to treat people right and put customers needs first. Secondly, being a three sport athlete in high school and participating in service based clubs taught me the importance of teamwork and helping those in need. Looking at the past twelve years as a teacher, coach and now administrator it is quite obvious that I learned a great deal from the great educators I surrounded myself with. Each and every one that has influenced me lives by the motto of “doing what’s best for kids.” Fast forward to the present and I am truly fortunate to be once again around great people and this time it comes in the form of my extended family on Twitter or what some people like to call their PLN. Each and every day I am exposed to best practice techniques related to promoting the success of all students. Below is an excerpt from Harry Wong’s book titled The First Days of School. In the excerpt he talks about the importance of successful people choosing to be leaders…..
Now that you know the difference between a teacher-worker and a teacher-leader, which will you be? Will you DECIDE to be a WORKER? Or will you CHOOSE to be a LEADER?
Look at the two parts of the word decide. The prefix, de-, means “off” or “away,” as in defeat, destroy, denigrate, and deemphasize. It is a negative prefix. The stem, cide, means “cut” or “kill,” as in suicide, pesticide, insecticide, and herbicide. To decide is thus to “cut away” or “kill off” ~ not a very happy activity.
Many people make decisions by deciding. Have you ever dined with someone at a restaurant who cannot select what to order from a menu? While everyone at the table waits for this person to place an order, someone impatiently barks out, “How long does it take you to decide? When will you decide? Can’t you decide?”
And does the person order? No. Instead the person asks the others at the table what they plan to order and then decides to do the same. “Oh. you’re going to have the turkey sandwich?” I’ll have the same. No mayonnaise? Oh, OK, make mine the same way. I’ll have the same thing.”
The meal becomes an act of cloning.
And what happens to people who decide in this way? Deciders become victims because they allow other people to make decisions for them.
Leaders do not decide. Leaders CHOOSE!
Leaders have control over their own lives. They know that the good things in life come from what they learn within themselves. They generate their own happiness, and much of that comes from serving and sharing with others. Leaders enjoy tackling problems, obstacles, and challenges.
Leaders are achievement oriented. They have a vision that helps them see beyond their task or job. They know what the word choose means and how to use it.
- Choose means that I am responsible for my choices.
- Choose means that I am accountable for my choices.
- Choose means that I have control over what I do.
- Choose means that I accept the consequences that accompany my choices. If something fails, I deserve the blame. But if it succeeds, I have earned the reward.
Worker-decider teachers do not strive for success, happiness, money, or respect. This is why the do not receive the rewards they long for.
Leader-professional educators are rewarded with whatever they are striving for~be it happiness, success, money, achievement, popularity, or professional respect. Leaders are people who strive for results and have a passionate pursuit for achievement.
Life’s rewards come from what others get for me. Life’s rewards come from what I earn. I expect others to bring me happiness. I will generate my own happiness. Life will be better when I get a new X or more Y. Life is better when I share or help others. Life would be easier if I didn’t have to do all these things. Life is fine because I want and choose to do these things. All I want is some peace and quiet. I enjoy challenges; they are the elixirs of life. I can’t do this. I’ve got to go home and feed the dog. I’ll do this. Then I’ll go home and have a wonderful evening with my family. I can’t wait for the weekend! I can’t wait for the math conference.
In closing, we all choose where we want to be in life. Each and every one of us has the control to put ourselves around positive people and in successful situations. Choose to be that successful person so that you can have a profound impact on others. Choose to be the difference in a student’s life and in your school. It will make the world a better place!