Thursday, June 07, 2012

From Frustration to Advocacy

At times when one looks out into the world, he or she may feel frustration or even anger and think, Why aren't things different, or Why hasn't change occurred? When that happens it is important to define what is not working, and turn the strong emotions and energy of frustration and anger into actions of advocacy and change.

My dad says, "Don't complain; do something about it." I am also reminded about the famous Gandhi quote, "Be the change you want to see in the world." Tuesday's #leadfromwithin NOW leadership chat reminded me that we are living in the now,  and while the "then" can inform our journey, "then" should not serve as an anchor to our current action and growth.

This week, a parent Olympian came and spoke to students and staff. He reminded all of us that achievement happens with one small step after another. Bill Belichick, the New England Patriots Coach, looks at the game in "chunks," breaking it down into plays rather than tackling the whole game at once.

We can help our colleagues and students when they become frustrated by asking these questions:
  • What is making you frustrated? 
  • What would be your ideal?
  • How would you help a student/teacher like you?
  • What can I do to help you create change? 
 Then you can support a plan for change.

When frustration and anger grow, those emotions disable individuals, and they become mired in a sense of hopelessness or despair. However, turning those emotions into a forward movement towards change, one step after another (and sometimes one leap after another), will move individuals, families, organizations and communities toward better effect and greater happiness.