Almost every morning, Seth Godin gives me something worthwhile to think about. Today he asks a number of good questions, but the one that I am interested in answering is What are five lessons learned from leaders you've worked with previously?
This is a great question and each lesson for me was posed as a challenge.
Meeting a Challenge
Once many years ago, a leader challenged a specific element of my practice. I responded jokingly, "Yes, that's me."
She then responded, "No, that's not you anymore. You can make that change." I heard the words and made a significant change in that area of my practice which enhanced the work I do.
Another time, which I've written about before, a leader asked, "Don't you read?" That prompted me to read more, and that too has significantly improved my practice.
A performance evaluation questioned my contribution to the greater school community. Again, I was posed to think and improve my practice in that area.
Don't Give Up
When troubled with a specific issue, a leader relayed her own struggle with a similar issue. She gave me the title of a good book and some very good advice with regard to perseverance and not giving up in that regard. I didn't give up and developed better ability in that area thanks to the leader's willingness to share her own struggle, learning, growth (and some regret too).
Write Every Day
A high school teacher and leader prompted us to write every day. She responded to our writing with openness, encouragement, and positivity. Since that time, I've written almost every day--a practice that has taught me a lot and led to better thinking, reflection, and practice.
All of these lessons are question and practice driven. The lessons were relayed in a simple fashion yet resulted in deep, important learning and effort. Thanks to Godin for prompting our reflection and growth each day.