Effortless English Archives

Automatic English For The People

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Word Substitution

by AJ

This from an interview on Tom Peters.com... Ive subsituted the words "school" for "company" and "teachers" for "employees" and "tests" for "pie chart":

*What we found is that teachers might want to do the right thing, but they are restricted by procedures and programs that are absolutely ridiculous.

*Sincerity is the true asset of your school, not what you measure in your tests. Can you measure courage? Can you measure leadership? Can you measure risk taking? No, you cannot. Or innovation? And yet, these are the true essence of the school. You can't order your teachers (or students) to have those characteristics; you need to nurture it. You need to create a culture that will bring that out of them, because they want to.

Early in my career, I was working in a non-profit organization, and most of my employees were working for very little money, or no money at all. Yet, they still found a connection to the mission, to what we do, to the difference that we make in the world. That brought the best out of them. Too many schools are killing that; they don't know how to nurture their true assets. Because again, they treat it as a soft, touchy-feely type of a thing, as opposed to understanding that the true differentiation comes from that humanity.


Yeah baby! To this I would only add... if you want to do courageous, innovative, risk-taking things... dont wait for the "boss" to change the policy. Just do it. Never (for godssake) ask for permission. Thats the BIG lesson I learned as Clinical Coordinator at Stephens House. In the beginning, I tried to ask my boss for permission prior to instituting changes. I tried to keep her "informed"... to "pass ideas by her". After she shot down the third or fourth one, I decided, "screw this, Im just going to do what needs to be done". And it worked.. right up until the time I was fired!

Some will take that as a cautionary tale... "see, if you break the rules you'll get fired". So what. At least I facilitated something great at that job. At least I made a big impact in some people's lives. At least I transformed the program.

Would shuffling along, "covering my ass", collecting the paycheck, and squashing my clients have been a better outcome? I dont think so.

Never ask for permission. Just do it.

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