Going Far

February 8, 2016 at 5:11 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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“If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” – African Proverb

Inspired! Last week we facilitated our first L.E.A.D. with Courage™: Stage 3 Leaders Program days for the new 2016 school year. They were definitely five amazing groups to work with. Four of the days were existing clients but on Thursday we got to support a new group of schools who come together each year to empower their school leaders through a camp experience. As I entered the camp’s dining room on that morning I encountered 150 excited Year 6 leaders, 18 High School aged Junior Counsellors and a group of teachers and principals from the collection of schools. As the day progressed, working closely with all three of the groups that I’d encountered that morning, the African Proverb that I use at the start of this post kept jumping around my head. As I said first up, inspired!

“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” – Henry Ford

Schools have so many competing priorities, pressures and demands on their time and energy. So to set aside 3 days (let alone the planning and preparation time an experience like this takes) to make this happen each year is a big deal. It’s why I use the word inspired! The passion, dedication and belief in the potential difference these leaders will make keeps these teachers and principals coming back, year, after year, after year. The Year 6 leaders engage in public speaking workshops, problem solving challenges, plan out projects they will take back and implement at their schools (all delivered by the teachers and principals in attendance), just to name a few of the things that make their way onto the camp schedule. What an incredible investment in these participants, setting these students up for success as they begin their Year 6 learning and leadership journeys.

“Collaboration allows teachers to capture each other’s fund of collective intelligence.” – Mike Schmoker

Collaboration is a great word and an even better idea. But to model, unpack, practice and celebrate it is so much more powerful that just expecting someone will understand how to do it within their own spheres of influence. I love this quote that I’ve used above. Mainly because that ‘fund of collective intelligence’ referred to (and not just IQ, rather the full spectrum of multiple intelligences) is vast, awe-inspiring and enlivening. Creating time and space for it to be ‘captured’ becomes challenging within one busy school environment, let alone amongst a network of some 40 schools. Again I refer back to the original African Proverb, when you decide that going far is important, then true collaboration like this ripples from the empowering thoughts, words and actions of those involved.

“It takes two flints to make a fire.” – Louisa May Alcott

It is a privilege to be able to facilitate our leadership program for all our client schools. We get to act as the second ‘flint’ in the quote above, engaging, challenging and inspiring the participants and teachers we work with through our program days and ongoing communication. Journeying with our clients towards the vision of ‘informed, connected and empowered individuals who believe deeply in their own and others potential’ sees us and them wanting to go far, together! At the end of the program day last Thursday I had the participants reflect on two questions individually. One boy came up to me afterwards and said that he wanted me to have his responses. Upon reading them, inspired again!

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” – John Quincy Adams

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