Friday, May 27, 2016

Holding Me B.A.C.

A simple challenge. A reflection at the end of the year. An honest moment from your building director that makes you think. We've celebrated success at the ILC over the first years. We are embarking on our largest enrollment year ahead. Students join us everyday to do education differently. Our culture is one of trust, play, failure acceptance out of risk, collaboration, and BFK (Best For Kids). We GET to impact lives daily...not HAVE to go to work. Yet... there exists a sense of complacency. We are not there YET. We have more to give and bigger SPLASHES to make. How do we get B.A.C. on track? How do we Battle Against Complacency? You see complacency sets in when you experience some success. I admit it. I personally settled in this year allowing things to fall in place. I wasn't pushing new boundaries or necessarily chasing greatness. Why not? I got comfortable. I allowed my comfort zone to be embraced and not challenged. A few years back I used #UNCOMFORTABLE as my one word and it truly challenged me. Maybe I need to go back to it. 

As a staff we made SPLASH goals that we got all excited about in the fall. We went after them like crazy but then slowly the excitement faded. We needed a few reminders to continue to make waves. We decided to host the first ever Great Shake event. Where seniors from each Academy were encouraged to compete in an interview competition. They weren't necessarily judged on their skills as much as they were on being able to tell their story, making eye contact, shaking hands, and making a SPLASH. These students interviewed better than most adults and surprisingly all 16 competitors scored within 5 pts of each other with the winner winning by less than a point.  We decided to do more as a building instead of individual Academies. We hosted our first Student ILC Olympics. Not your normal field day. What made these moments special....the students. Watching them interact and making an impact. Watching them take a chance and having a smile on their face as they did it. Another win was team collaboration on behalf of the teachers and staff. It was never a solo act but more importantly a compilation of ideas that just came together. As a matter of fact the first thought was let's wait until next year to do this. Why? So we can perfect it. Boring. We went all in and made it happen now. Reflecting along the way on how to make it better next year.

Where is the complacency in this? It sometimes becomes very personal and we have to really look a ourselves to find that answer. Is it possible that as a building our culture is amazing? YES! Is it possible that were are doing amazing work? YES! Is it possible that education is happening in a dramatically different way then in other buildings? YES! Is it possible that we are far away from the ultimate goal of offering revolutionary experiences? YES! It's possible we have a ways to go and need to make sure we are not settling. ABSOLUTELY. These tend to be individual battles that we need to be made aware of. After all if your Vibe attracts your Tribe then you will start to rub off on others. Good or bad.

Battling Against Complacency looks like this:

  1. Be FLEXIBLE! Quit being stuck in the mud. At least try. Yes, Yoda told us there is no try. But take a risk and fail rather than just sitting back and doing nothing. A decision to do nothing is still a decision. 
  2. CARPE DIEM. Quit waiting for the perfect moment and the right time. Make each time the right time. Create your own vision and share it with others. Keep each other accountable. 
  3. Find the ONE THING. Complacency does not involve the whole. Find out where you are complacent and work on that. Find out where you are succeeding and build on that. "Do ONE THING everyday that scares you" E. Roosevelt That is one of my favorite quotes and I think one that stretches us out of our comfort zone. 
  4. THE SKY IS NOT THE LIMIT. IT'S JUST THE BEGINNING. Love this line from a spoken word artist at Harvard (See video clip). Set your bar higher. If you are not feeling stretched then get after it. Make yourself uncomfortable and keep pushing boundaries. Create your crater and leave your mark.
What will next year hold? It will not hold me. I'm battling B.A.C.