Thursday, July 30, 2009

Creating Mistakes

I came across this advice from John Wooden today in an e-zine article from Early to Rise. Wooden said, "If you're not making mistakes, then you're not doing anything."

I found that quite interesting as I think many people, myself included at times, hesitate to step outside their comfort zone for fear of making a mistake. But it is precisely the possibility of erring when we do step outside that zone that helps us grow in whatever it is we're doing.

One of the reasons mistakes are looked upon so unfavorably is the reaction of others. The author of article, Matt Furey, wrote "So many people do everything they can to avoid making mistakes - yet mistakes are the corrective feedback we need to help us reach our goals. Better to take action and correct mistakes while you're in motion than to sit idle trying to figure out how not to make a wrong move."

I once read of someone who said there are no mistakes, only learning experiences. If we choose to learn from the experience, it can be a powerful way to grow. If we lament the fact we made a mistake, we will find ways to "stay close to the vest" instead of venturing into the unknown.

Teddy Roosevelt once said,

"It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat."

Thursday, July 16, 2009

What is success?

As we finished up our Assessment, Accountability, and Student Learning class last week, we were asked to mention one or two things that we would take away from the class. The one thing that struck me the most was during the data analysis section of the class. Dr. Stock talked about asking the question, "What is success?" and after determining the answer to that, keeping the answer in front of everyone in the organization. 

Sometimes the simplest statements/questions can be the most profound. While this may be an easy question to ask, it can, depending on the audience, be most difficult to answer as a consensus. And getting as close to consensus as possible is important to produce the laser-like focus needed to be truly successful.  Often forgotten in organizations is the second part of the equation above - keeping the answer visible to all. Developing a systematic approach to communicating this answer to everyone will help drive the organization toward success.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Accountability and Assessment class

As I return from the long absence from posting, I thought I would put a short post on about accountability. However, since I'm trying to multi-task (listen and write) at the same time and don't do either one exceptionally well, I better get back to listening. I will make a commitment to post information much more regularly.

On another thought, the district is looking to update the website. Any thoughts, changes, or ideas you might have, please let me know. We're looking to make it more interactive and update much more often.