Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Good, Better, Best. Never Let It Rest.

     Before I was a principal, I was a teacher. Before I was a teacher, I was a mechanic. Before I was a mechanic, I was something else. But I've always worked to be the best at whatever I was doing. Seventeen years ago, I entered a classroom for the first time as a teacher. To acknowledge the occasion, my mother gave me a small quilt to hang in my classroom which had a Tim Duncan quote stitched into it. Each class that came and went over the years religiously recited it with me immediately following the pledge of allegiance each morning. Today, it hangs in my office and I still read it every day.

"Good, better, best. Never let it rest. Until your good is better and your better is best."

   If asked, almost everyone would say they would like to be the best at whatever they do. Most would even say they strive to be the best everyday. Best mechanic, carpenter, electrician, teacher, principal. If indeed you happen to be one of the best at whatever you do, there is probably a good reason for it. It doesn't happen by accident, or randomly. People who are the best at what they do have common characteristics and many researchers have spent a lot of time identifying them.

   But, when asked what it would take to become the best, how easily do we come up with the specific verb statements that would actually move us closer to becoming the best mechanic, carpenter, electrician, teacher, principal?  Verbs are known as action words for a reason. Not adjectives. Adjectives don't get things done.

    Watch. Watch the people around you who have a reputation of being one of the best. Connect. Connect yourself to the best. They have been where you are and are usually willing to mentor others.  Do. Do what they do. It's proven to work.  Be. Become the best... bolt, one nail, one wire, one student, or even one school at a time.

"Saying is easy, doing is real." - Dad