Monday, March 19, 2018

Tackling

I learned early on as a young football coach that there was not just ONE magical offensive or defensive scheme.  If there was, of course, then everyone would deploy them.

The analogy of football coaching informs us as to the challenging elements of complex problems:

  • Constantly shifting circumstances
  • Talented, often VERY talented, competitors
  • Uncontrollable contexts
  • Competing objectives within one's own team/organization
  • Limited resources (of all kinds)
  • Opponents who are extremely smart
So, whether in football coaching or in organizational leadership or in personal life, what tenets should drive our solution crafting?  How best do we tackle (pun intended) complex problems?

Solution crafting strategiery:
  • Be crystal clear about our objectives - know exactly what we're trying to achieve.
  • Focus on the things we CAN control, not on the ones we can't.
  • Adopt principles that drive desired behavior, not rules that manage undesired behavior.
  • Work on the "fundamentals" (i.e., the habits) that reinforce those principles every day, regardless of current standings or skill level.
  • Build adaptability into our systems - conditions, people, weather, markets are constantly changing.
  • Communicate, COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE!
And know, without doubt, that tomorrow will bring more complex problems to tackle.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

P20

What?  P20?  Huh?

My service to public schools has taken me this year to Throckmorton ISD in Throckmorton, Texas.  I have been blessed to serve as their interim superintendent this year.
Over the last few years Roscoe Collegiate ISD has been spearheading a very bold vision of education for rural children.  That P20 Model has been gaining traction in the minds, the planning, and the actions of some visionary school leaders in Texas and West Virginia.  Throckmorton ISD school and community leaders have adopted a similar aspiration for their own children (and invited me along for the ride).  

So, what gives?  The intended learning outcomes of the P20 Model for ALL students (not just some of them) is that they exit high school with a high school diploma, with a college-level associates degree (60 hours of college credit, completely funded by the school), and/or industry-approved certification(s).  In education-speak, the goal is for our children to be College- AND Career-Ready by the time they leave the hallowed halls of Throckmorton High School.  In non-education-speak, it means that we intend to purposefully and optimally prepare our children to lead happy, productive, and successful lives.  

This is a VERY bold vision for crafting a World Class learning environment and experience.  Ambitious?  You bet!  Easy to accomplish?  Uh, no!  Worthy endeavor?  Absolutely.    

I can't think of a reason any parent might want otherwise for their own children...    

Monday, March 5, 2018

Psycho-Path

The best leaders I know are students of psychology.  Whether parents, teachers, coaches, managers, or presidents, the most effective leaders have (either intuitively or by training or both) an understanding of how best to move people (themselves included).

These insightful influencers understand that the path to high performance is initiated, grounded, and habituated in the mind (in the psychology behind the behavior).

Common traits of these effective leaders?

  • Persistent and pervasive respectfulness
  • Intense awareness of right behavior/actions
  • Consistent and authentic praise for right behavior/actions
  • Intentional incentivization of right behavior/actions
  • Relentless focus on development
And what about the worst kind of leaders?  Psychopathic - pretty much the opposite of that list above.