How do you get better? It’s a simple question, but one we rarely think about. We all want to get better. We want to be the best at what we’re passionate about. While we want to get better and be the best, are we maximizing our resources to make this happen? Are we doing everything we can to make it happen? I’m not sure we do.
But we can. We can actually do it very easily. Try ending your days (or doing them at any point during the day) with the steps below to change leadership:
Utilize Social Media As a Resource
Create social media accounts and search for posts, sites, videos and articles that pertain to what you do. Read and watch videos to learn. Share with others what we learn. Modeling the practices of lifelong learners not only helps us get better, it helps others get better as well. Build your personal learning network each day. Create a group of people you can feed off of to share experiences and learn from them to help you get better. Eric Sheninger shares a fantastic post on how to use social media to build a PLN (and the post is seven years old!) and grow our profession.
Take Time to Thank Others
Take time to appreciate what you have. Thank others for what they have given you. Let them know you appreciate what they do and how they help you. Not only will you let others know you appreciate them, you will feel better about yourself in the process. To be the best you, you need the people you work with to be at their best. Letting them know how much they mean to you is the main component to helping them (and you) be their best. Jimmy Casas discusses the importance interactions with others and thanking those close to him have helped him become a better leader.
This is the biggest way to make a difference. We don’t truly reflect each day. We don’t take enough time to reflect on what we accomplished during the day. I often tell teachers we should look at our lessons and periods in 5 minute segments. Look at each 5 minutes of time and really break down what we said, how we taught, what the feedback looked like and how productive it was. How can you take each of those 5 minute segments and improve? What worked? What didn’t work? How are you going to address your opportunities for growth? We need to walk through these questions each day to get better at what we do. Reflection is the key to getting better at whatever we do. Kevin Daum writes a great article on Inc.Com about the meaning of self-reflection and where it can take you.
Ideas Into Actions: Small Steps
While you’re reflecting, take ideas that you and others have developed during your day you organize them. Create a plan on how you will organize ideas, thoughts and creativity. If you are looking for ideas on organizing your creativity, try reading Scott Belsky’s Making Ideas Happen: Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality. The Action Book designed by Behance is based on the Action Method discussed in the book and the four zones (Capture Action Steps, the Backburner, Dot Matrix for notes/sketches, Preparation for Focus Items) of organizing your ideas and making them a reality. Whatever you use, make sure you record your ideas and organize them by priority. The best way to make a lot of your ideas come to fruition is to share them with others and get their input. Create a culture of teamwork to make the dreams work. George Couros says it best when he says, “Innovation is a process, not a product.”
If you end each day with the steps mentioned above, you will be a more well-rounded leader, educator and person. Take advantage of the abundance of resources our society has available and use them to get better. Create a schedule and make these a priority each day. You will improve in more ways than one.