I don't want to get into a political debate or to discuss last week's debate, but the idea of change is something that is one every ones mind almost every day. While we are big talkers most of us want the change to just to happen. We often hope that when we wake up in the morning things would have changed on their own. This is true because in reality we don't like change, and we dont want to change and when it comes down to it we are afraid of change.
Change is scary! There are said it. At the same time we need to embrace change!
We wouldn't go to a doctor that hasn't changed and updated his practice and isn't aware of the latest in medical science. Imagine walking into a school that was using text books form 1950's ( OK maybe a bad example) But I think you get my point. Change is around us and we need to embrace it.
Both on a professional level and on a personal level I consider myself to be a change agent and one that embraces change .
On a personal level, five years ago i started blogging, and started becoming active on twitter and I embraced the uses of social media and technology. I also became much more of an avid reader and life long learner. These changes and ideas changed the type of educator I was and had a positive effect on my professional career.
Then the biggest change to both my personal and professional life. I resigned as a Head of School to start my own consulting business. Now that's scary and it still is. I am not regretting or complaining but starting your own business is not easy. So while I am still working on spreading the word about educational change and inclusion, I made another change. I joined The Joel Paul Group as a Senior Consultant. So your thinking now whats he doing taking on another type of job and another change. In reality I don't think so. My work with The Joel Paul Group is focused on helping organizations grow and change and as Jim Collins says, " have the right people on the bus in the right seats" , and help those individual change and grow so that they can be the right people in the right seats. My work with education is very similar.
Bottom Line I see myself as one that can help others embrace the change that is needed to grow and reach their personal potential, their organizations potential or seeing students reach their potential.
How can we or even better yet How did I embrace change? So after doing some reading ( you can see some of these articles posted on my Facebook page and LinkedIN) It boils down to the following ( in my honest opinion) :
As with anything in life and with any type of collaboration or working with people there needs to be trust. Really trust is a basic requirement in almost everything we do
Listening and Asking Questions- Honestly this is a bit harder. most people especially consultants, I will admit, think they have all the answers and they know what is best. WRONG! No one can no the unique culture of your organization. Therefore listening and learning about the organization and the individual is important. Listening to someone also shows you care about them and you truly want to help. what better way to show that you want to learn and that you care than by asking questions. we need to ask questions like How and Why and not come in with all the answers but be willing to ask what do you need?, how can I help you? and then listen for the answers.
Finally empathy. Change is scary and we need to understand that and embrace that emotion as we embrace change. Its people that are the ones that effect the change and people have feelings and we need as change agents and leaders understand that.
So while a lot on the surface has changed in my life in life in reality very little has. I am still a life long learner always learning and I am a people person wanting and hoping to help people embrace the change that is necessary for organizational and personal growth.
I look forward for the opportunity and the chance to EMBRACE CHANGE WITH YOU.