Summer Rewind: From fighting fires
to fire prevention
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You're listening to School Leadership Reimagined episode number 116
Welcome to the school leadership re-imagined podcast where we rethink what's possible to transform your school if you're tired of settling for small wins and incremental improvement, then stay tuned to discover powerful and practical strategies for getting every teacher in your school moving towards excellence. Now here's your host, Robyn Jackson.
Welcome to another episode of the school leadership reimagined podcast. I'm your host, Robyn Jackson. And we are continuing our summer rewind series, we only have a couple of weeks left before we launch next season. But I'm having so much fun revisiting some of my favorite episodes from past seasons, and rediscovering some hidden gems. Last time we did an episode all about five traps that that threatened to derail the success of your change efforts and your school improvement efforts this year. And following up on the heels of that is Episode 16, which originally aired way back in the beginning of the podcast. And as I was really listening to this episode, I thought, oh my goodness, I am seeing this so much. This year this summer, as I'm working with many of my clients, and trying to help them think about systems. In fact, we have an accelerator that's going on right now. It's called the builder ship foundations accelerator.
It's all about putting systems in place.
When I really listened to this episode, it reminded me of how important systems are. And I know systems aren't sexy, but systems save you a lot of time and they save you a lot of rework. They keep you from doing the same thing over and over and over again. Instead, you can put systems in place. And if you get those established now, when the school year starts, you're going to have a much smoother start to the school year, you're going to get more accomplished. People always ask me Hey, Robin, you seem to get so much stuff done. And how do you do it. And I wish I had a better secret for but the better my systems are, the more productive I am. And the more opportunities I have to take time off, which is a big thing for me. So I don't know if you if you remember in past episodes, I told you how I eventually got to the point where I could leave my office at the end of the day early. I didn't stay in the building until 789 o'clock at night working instead, I was able to put systems in place that allowed me to walk out while the sun was still up that allowed me to walk out of the building and still be able to have time and energy to enjoy the rest of my life. I can't do that without systems and neither can you. And so, this week, we're going to revisit Episode 16. And it's all about putting systems in place. And I want to challenge you after hearing this episode. If you realize that you need to put systems in place and do it now's the time to do it this summer is the time to do it. We are having so much fun at the builder ship foundations accelerated we're we're putting systems in place to set people up for the year to be able to truly practice builder ship, we have systems around feedback, we have systems around supporting teachers, we have systems around making decisions. And by putting those systems in place. Now, these builders are going to be ready for the school year no matter what happens. And so if you're interested in that accelerator and you want to join a future cohort, we're probably going to do the accelerator again at some point in the next six months.
So keep an eye out for that. Or you can go to mind steps inc.com and sign up for the waitlist so you'll be ready when the next accelerator opens up. Okay, so now let's go ahead and re listen to Episode 16 where we learn all about systems. Hey, builders, welcome to Episode 16 of the school leadership reimagined podcast. I'm your host Robin Jackson. And today, we're talking about systems. Now I know systems don't sound really sexy, but by the time you are done listening to this episode, you're gonna find them pretty sexy indeed. At least that's my hope. So I want to start out by asking you a question. As a school leader. Do you ever feel like you have very little control over your day? I mean, you get up in the morning, you plan exactly how you want to spend your day and what you want to accomplish. But then as soon as you get to work while you're walking in, your secretary greets you at the door and she warns you Jessica Because parents are here to see you, or as soon as you settled down and try to get some work done, somebody pops their head in your office and they say, got a minute. Or you might be finally heading out to do a few classroom observations. And your secretary stops you and says, Wait a minute, you've got another referral, and on and on, and on and on. And by the end of the day, you've been very, very busy. But you haven't actually accomplished anything that you wanted to accomplish.
Have you ever felt that way?
Well, there's a reason why you currently have very little control over your day. And I'm sorry to say, but you're not going to like it. You see the reason that your days end up being so chaotic, it all has to do with your systems. Yes, your systems. I mean, not all discipline issues, not all the crazy parents, not all the needy teachers, not all the silly central office directives, it's your systems. Well, that's the bad news. But the good news is that if the reason that you're not getting everything done that you want to get done in a day, is your systems, then the solution is also your systems. Because you really can have control over your day and get more done, even though you have a ton of discipline problems. And even though you have a ton of interruptions, and a ton of crazy parents or a ton of useless busy work from central office, you can still have control over your day. And the secret is systems. I know, I know. We we all know we need systems. But beyond that, well, they're kind of boring. But today, I want to make the case that systems are the solution to every crazy and chaotic day that we've ever had, or we're currently experiencing. In fact, today, I'm going to show you just how sexy systems can be. So if you spend a lot of time putting out fires and not doing meaningful work, here's a quote that should give you hope. It's my Sam carpenter. And he's the author of the book work the system, which was one of the books that I reviewed. And I think it was Episode 13, where I was talking about the summer reading list, and I'll link to it in the show notes. He says, Your task is to optimize one system after another, not careened through the day randomly taken care of whatever problems are up. Your job is not to be a fire killer. Your job is to prevent fires. love that.
I love the idea of going from fighting fires to preventing fires. And I think that all of us can embrace that. Because if you do, you're gonna have a lot more control over your day. And not only that, you're going to feel like you're accomplishing more every day because you actually are. So today we're going to talk about how to use systems to prevent buyers. And how sexy is that? Okay, now let's dive in and talk about systems. Now, first off, I want to be clear, you already have a system for everything that you do in school, whether you realize it or not, it may be a broken system or a dysfunctional system. But it is a system and all that firefighting that you're doing currently, that's your system, it may not feel like a system, but it is it's just a broken one. So everything, everything that you're doing is a system. And if you have little control over your day, or you feel like your school is a little chaotic, or you feel like your issue isn't that you don't have systems, it's not that you do have systems, what it means is that your systems aren't working. In fact, anytime that you have a recurring problem, then it means that you have a broken system. But it gets worse. And this is the sneaky thing about broken systems, a lot of us have gotten really good at compensating for broken systems. In other words, we get stuff done in spite of the system, not because of the system. Let me give you an example. There are a lot of people who are moving their schools forward, maybe slowly, but you're still moving your schools forward, in spite of the fact that every teacher is not doing everything that that teacher needs to be doing in the classroom to move your school forward. So what it means is that we're not getting as far as we like, but at least we're making incremental progress. And we do stuff to raise student achievement, in spite of the system where there's a pervasive lack of rigor in every classroom. And what we do is we get around it by offering longer school days or an extended school year, or we offer all kinds of supplemental academic programs for students on Saturdays or after school. Rather than dealing with the instructional program. What we do is we get really good at supplementing a broken instructional system, instead of actually fixing the system or or even better developing a better system.
Now here's the truth.
You can continue to compensate for a broken system, but unless you repair the system, the problems that you're Spirits sing right now, they're going to keep happening. I mean, is there any wonder why we are constantly so worn out when you're too busy trying to work around broken systems instead of just fixing them? Because if you fix the system, you fix the problem for good. And It baffles me that we expect people to succeed in spite of the system, rather than creating a system that makes everybody successful. I mean, isn't that backwards? Think about it. If you have an underperforming teacher, for instance, well, what we do is we always focus on the teacher exclusively, we don't ever take a look at what's going on in the system that could be contributing to the fact that they're underperforming. Or let me give you another, for instance, just the other day, I was doing some coaching in a particular school, and they were having a huge problem with a particular teacher. She didn't understand the curriculum, she wasn't teaching to the standards, and our students were falling further and further behind. But instead of dealing with the teacher directly, what they did is he tried to pair her with another teacher on the same grade level to Copeland. Well, you know how that turned out, don't you, the other teacher planned all the lessons and this teacher just took him and taught him the other teacher created all the assessments, and this teacher just took them and gave them to her students. Well, it gets worse. Right before I came to the school, the other teacher had finally gotten fed up. And so she told her principal that she was tired of asking the teacher to pull her own weight, and she wasn't going to share her resources anymore. And you know, what the principal did he guilt chapter, he said, if you don't do that, then the students are going to suffer, if you don't give her your test. If you don't plan lessons for you and her, the kids are going to suffer.
I mean, think about that. I mean that that's almost ridiculous when I say it aloud, and yet we do this all the time. So what's happening is this teacher is expected to do her job, and her colleagues job all because this school, this principal refuses to fix the system that allows the teacher to sit there and do nothing. Now, before you start telling me about your unions, and how hard it is to get rid of an underperforming teacher, hear me out? I mean, after all, is the only answer to get rid of that teacher is, is there something else you could do instead to help that teacher do her part? Because that's exactly what I asked the principal, I mean, what systems you have in place to help this teacher be accountable for pulling her own weight? Well, you know, he said, the only system he had was to write her up, maybe build a file, and then maybe accumulate enough paperwork, that he could dismiss her in two to three years down the road. I mean, really, is that the best we can do? And before you start telling me how you would go in and make that teacher work, that's not a system that is you strong arming a teacher, I'm talking about a system so that you don't have to go in and make a teacher do the work.
The system does that for you.
So I started thinking and asking this principle, what if we had a system that made accountability, the natural response. So that's what we started working on. So first, we formally divided the work and made each teacher responsible for an individual contribution to what the group was doing. And then next, we redesigned team meetings for accountability, a gave him a different agenda that the teachers could use in their team meeting, that not only helped everybody be more accountable, but when this teacher didn't do her part, it was going to be a lot more glaring and a lot more obvious. And then we found ways to reward the behaviors that we wanted, rather than just punishing the behaviors that we didn't want. And that way, the teacher who was doing the lion's share of the work anyway, got rewarded and get recognized for that work rather than guilted into continuing to do the work while nobody was dealing with this other teacher. And then finally, we used the fail safe feedback framework. It's a framework that I teach, I didn't invent it, Annie Pratt invented it, but she lets me teach it. But we use that framework to have a really, you know, I call it a come to Jesus, talk with the teacher, so that the principal could sit down with that teacher and hold that teacher accountable for what that teacher was not doing. Not only that, the framework helps the teacher make some very specific commitments to the principal, to her team to our kids. And those commitments can now add another layer of accountability, because you can hold her accountable to specific commitments, and if she doesn't meet those, the paperwork process becomes a lot easier, and the follow up process becomes a lot easier. And then here's the other thing we did, we invited her union rep to be a part of these conversations. So the rep ended up supporting the principal in the process, rather than defending the teacher. And guess what, after we did all of that the teacher started producing. And so that's just one example of what happens when you spend time compensating for a broken system. Rather than building a better system, so for years, this teacher had been allowed to get away with not pulling their own weight. Because what they would do is they tried to, they didn't have a system for holding her accountable.
So they just tried to work around the system or compensate the system. And as long as you focus on compensating for bad systems, you're going to continually wear yourself out, you're going to face a lot of drama and chaos in your work. And you're not going to get as far as you want to get with your school. So that's the bad news. Are you ready for some good news? Because the good news is that your day can be under your control. With the right kind of systems, you can not only regained command over your day, but you're also going to have the time and the bandwidth to focus on the things that are really important. The things that really matter the work that only you can do, all you need to do is put the right systems in place. Hell, isn't that exciting? I mean, aren't you just leaping for joy right now? Well, if you're not you should be because I'm telling you, the right systems can save you a lot of headaches, a lot of wasted time, the right systems can keep you from putting out fires all the time and move you to preventing fires in the first place. But here's the thing, you need to put the right systems in place. So how do you do that? Well, I'll start with how you shouldn't do that you shouldn't go out and just build a whole bunch of random systems. We've all done that. I remember when I first learned about systems, that's exactly what I did. I had a system for everything, but then I became a prisoner of my system. So don't do that. Instead, you got to be strategic. And what you want to do is you want to tackle the most dysfunctional system you have first. And here's what I mean by that. Think about your day right now, and figure out what drives you the craziest, what keeps you from getting your work done? Is it the buses, then you need a better system around buses? Is it referrals? Well, you need a better system around referrals? Is it teacher or parent interruptions? Okay, you need a system to address those needs, get the idea, whatever is driving you the craziest and is most affecting your productivity. That's your dysfunctional system. And that's what you're going to work on first. Now, if you need a little bit more hint, or a better framework for figuring out what systems you really need to work on.
First, I want to give you five signs that you need a better system.
I think these signs are going to help you figure out what systems you need to work on first. And then as you create systems, your work is going to get a lot easier, you're going to take back larger portions of your day, you're going to be a lot more productive, and you're going to be a lot happier, just trust me. So here are the five signs that you need a better system. So sign number one, if the process feels really complicated, then you need a better system. You see, a lot of times, we know we need systems. So what we'll do is we'll create a system to deal with a recurring issue. And that system becomes so complicated over time that it's hard to follow. So let me give you for instance, one school I've worked with had a really complicated system for teachers to call out and get subs, it was a high school. And it started out simply enough, you know, if a teacher needed to call out, the teacher would call the assistant principal in charge of subs and the assistant principal usually find a sub from the sub list and call and make all the arrangements but then war more teachers started calling out. So then the assistant principal made teachers submit a leave slip if they wanted to be out and get it approved. And then teachers had to find their own sub from the approved list and demonstrate on the lease slip that they had a sub in order to get approved. And if a teacher had an emergency and needs to call out, the teacher would call the the assistant principal, and then put it in writing in an email, then submit a leaf slip on the return. And they also had to have a support folder in place for emergencies for activities for the kids. And I mean, okay, so so far, it sounds pretty normal in most schools have some version of that system. But then it got worse, because over time, there was a shortage of subs. So in addition to all the steps that teachers had to go through to call out, more teachers started calling out and they started running out of subs willing to work in the building.
So when a teacher called out and they were short of subs, then this is where the system gets a lot more complicated. They would divide the teachers class into groups of five and disperse those students into other classes on the same hall or in the same department. And then those students would sit there in the back of the classroom until the end of the period. Now, are you still following me because it gets even worse because then the AP in charge of subs started spending a large portion of her day dividing students up between classrooms, figuring out a way to keep track of students throughout the school, trying to figure out how to keep attendance and you know, I mean, it just it got worse and worse and worse. And although this sounds like an extreme case, I bet that you probably have at least one system right now, that although it's not as catastrophic, it is just as complicated. So I want you to ask yourself, do you currently have a system that's gotten more and more complicated over time? Or are you doing something because that's the way it's always been done, even though that way is pretty complicated. And there is an easier way. Because systems are supposed to streamline things for you, they're supposed to make your work easier, not more complicated. So if you're devoting a lot of time tending your system, and that's keeping you from doing the work that really matters, well, if that's the case, it's time to get a new system. So that's sign number one. sign number two is that if you have to work around your process, in order to get anything done, you need a better system. So I've already talked about this.
Let me give you another example, to show you what I mean.
This time, let's take a look at the master scheduling process. Because a lot of schools that I know, the master schedule is really clunky, and it's complicated. And it's so much so that people end up having to work around the master schedule by hand scheduling a large proportion of their students because the master schedule just doesn't work for them. And people accept that as normal. But if you're doing that, if you're doing a lot of hand scheduling of kids, your master scheduling system is not working and you need a better system. Another thing that people do is that they'll have a master schedule from last year, and they'll just use that as a template. But then they have to work around that template in order to make school work for kids. And that's pretty backwards. So if your master schedule is become so complicated, that you end up having to work around your master schedule, in order to make your school work, you need a better system. So if you're spending as much time working around the system, as you do implementing the system, that's a good sign that you need a new system. So that's number two. Number three, if it's creating a huge headache for you, and keeping you from doing the work that you really want to do, then you need a better system. For instance, I was recently consulting with a group of principals and one of the principals said to me that he never had time to get into classrooms, because he was always dealing with these interruptions. So I asked him, what's your biggest interruption, and he said, buses.
When I asked him what he meant, he explained it every single day, the buses would arrive to school. And there are already several parent complaints or issues that he had to deal with that were just on the bus. And sometimes it could be fights on the buses on the way to school. So right away first thing in the morning, he's got to deal with referrals. Or sometimes the buses didn't pick up all the students on the route. So we had to deal with that. And it was the same thing in the evening. And sometimes it would take them up to an hour after the students left the building to deal with the bus issues before he could settle in and get some work done. I asked about his current system for addressing bus complaints. And he said that he really didn't have one, the issues were too complex for system is what he thought. So he just kind of took care of things as they came in. But nothing is too complex for a system, they may be too complex for your current system. But there might not be too complex for a better system. So we took a look at how the bus issues were happening. And we looked at that for a while until we started detecting a pattern. For the most part, the issues on the bus were things like buses, not picking up students who are on the route, or students missing the bus or student incidents on the bus. And then once any of these three things happen, the parents would start calling the school and they would start demanding answers. So first, we spoke with the bus supervisor and cleaned up a lot of the issues around the buses arriving consistently. And that alone cut down a number of the calls. But then we went further and developed a system for fielding parent phone calls, we set up a bus hotline for parents to call and leave a voicemail message with their complaints. And then the principal would check the voicemail box once per day and carve out 45 minutes or so to address their issues and call parents back. And if there was some sort of student incident on the bus, then we set up a system for processing those incidents pretty quickly so that we get get students to class very quickly.
By the time we were done, the principal had redeemed such a huge portion of his day.
Now he could use that time to be in classrooms. So here's the idea. If your system your current system is creating such a headache for you, and it's keeping you from doing work that you really want to do, then you don't just accept the system as well. That's the way things are start looking to see what you need to do what you need to change in order to make that a better system. Alright, so that was sign number three. sign number four is this. If your system was designed to control bad behavior, instead of promoting and supporting good behavior, you need a better system. I see this one a lot. People create systems to curb the bad behavior of a few Teachers rather than honor and support the good work of those members of your staff who are actually doing their jobs. And it's maddening. So let me give you an example. And I'm going to probably end up stepping on a few people's toes. But I'm asking already for forgiveness, because I think this needs to be set. If you're asking teachers to submit lesson plans each week, because otherwise, you have no guarantee that they're actually planning, you have a bad system. In fact, I was just saying this to a principal that I'm coaching the other day, and he was insisting that is teachers turn in daily lesson plans every Friday, and they need spent every weekend reading through those lesson plans or chasing teachers down who didn't turn in their lesson plans. It was a headache for him, it was a headache for the teachers. And so I asked him, Why are you doing this? And he said, Well, it's a way to ensure that the teachers will actually planning. I said, Not exactly, I mean, it's a way to ensure that teachers were actually turning their lesson plans in but let's be honest, the teachers who were planning regularly would do it anyway. And most of the teachers who weren't planning, they're just making up lesson plans to fulfill the requirements and doing something entirely different when they actually get into their classrooms.
So it's not ensuring that teachers are planning well beneath it. Well, it helps me to know what's going on in the classroom. And that's true, if you actually sit down and you read the lesson plans, and if teachers actually stick to those lesson plans during the week. But here's the bigger problem that his current system wasn't addressing. Just because you see daily lesson plans doesn't mean that you have the information that really matters as to how the lesson is situated than the larger instructional framework or scope and sequence. I mean, a daily lesson plan doesn't tell you what happened yesterday, or what students are working towards next week or next month. So even if everybody turned in their lesson plans every single week, that system of collecting lesson plans, it creates a lot of work for both the teachers and for you. And it has very little payoff. I mean, in most cases, it becomes a matter of compliance on both sides, you and the teacher. So what I suggested was a better system. And that's this, instead of requiring teachers to submit daily lesson plans each week, have teachers submit unit plans for the the marking period are throughout the marking period. And that way, you can tell if the teachers have a plan to help students meet or exceed the standards. And you can intervene very early if they don't, I mean, with a unit plan, you can expect to walk into a teacher's classroom at any time and very quickly figure out where they are their unit and how the instruction is moving students towards the standards.
It's way less busy work for the teacher and less work for you as well.
I mean, do you see what I mean here, all too often we create a policy or system as a means of controlling bad behavior, instead of creating a system that encourages good behavior. And I'd far rather for teacher to have a bigger sense of how the entire unit is going to play out and demonstrate an understanding of the standards than to fill out a lesson planning template and submitted every Friday where they just fill in the blanks about what they're going to do. I would far rather for teachers to be able to show me how they are moving students towards mastery then for teachers to show me that they can fill in the blanks on a form. If the point of having teachers submit daily lesson plans is for teachers to plan, then submitting daily lesson plans on a schedule every Friday actually discourages teachers from doing the deep thinking work of planning because they're trying to meet your deadline. Instead, if you ask teachers for unit plans, now you are you have a system that encourages teachers to do the exact work you really hope they do, which is to think about the broader lesson to think about the broader learning sequence. And when you do that, that system actually encourages the kind of behavior I want from teachers who are professionals who are thinking through their units. That's what I want to see. And it also gives me an opportunity to intervene early, rather than having teachers comply by submitting this form every single Friday, which basically amounts to a fill in the blank exercise.
So again, I went on a rant for a little bit. So I'm back now down off my soapbox, but you get the idea. When we design systems, we default often to designing systems that are really about preventing bad behavior instead of promoting and supporting good behavior. So I want you to take a look at some of the systems that currently exist in your school. Are those systems doing more to curtail bad behavior than they are promoting good behavior, while it may be a sign that you need a better system? Now, number five is if you have to make a bunch of exceptions to your Your system, you need a better system. So a mentor of mine told me about an experience he had when he was raising his son. He said that his son had a really strict bedtime of 10 o'clock pm, because he wanted to make sure he got enough sleep, and he was ready for school the next day. But then his son joined a hockey league at school and they had hockey games. And those hockey games may not get him home until 10. And so on Sunday nights, they had to make an exception for their son about his bedtime, because he didn't get home until 945 10 o'clock. So then the son got involved in student government, and they were working on the service project. And so every Monday, they would stay late, they would do the service project, and he might not get home until almost 10 o'clock on Mondays. So the new rule was a 10pm bedtime on every night, except for weekends, game nights, and Mondays. And it went on and on and on. And soon, there were so many exceptions to that bedtime, that the bedtime only really applied like every other Tuesday of the month. And so after a while, then rule no longer made sense. And when he thought about it, he says, Why am I giving my son a bedtime. And the reason I'm giving him a bedtime is because I want him to have enough sleep. So instead of giving him a bedtime, maybe I should just check in with him and make sure that he's getting enough rest, and he got rid of the bedtime. So let's put that in the school context.
Do you have a system that requires a lot of exceptions?
If you do, you may want to reconsider it. So let me give you as more school base, for instance, so that you can see it in the same principle play out in the school context. So earlier this year, I was doing a training for school administrators, and the principals were working in groups on something and I went over to one group and a principal pulled me over and she asked me a question. She said, Is there ever a time when you should make an exception to a rule for one of your good teachers? And I asked her, for instance. And she said, Well, I have a rule that all the teachers have to use a particular curriculum for their Student Advisory period. But I have a few teachers who really know how to connect with students. And I would be okay with letting them do their own thing. So I asked her, Well, then why do you ever prescribe curriculum? And she said, it was so that they can ensure that their advisory period was meaningful for students. So I asked her, Well, if the curriculum is so good, shouldn't every student engage in it? And then she said, Yeah, but and then she stopped, because she realized that she had chosen the curriculum, because some of the teachers weren't using the advisory period correctly. But once you start to consider all of the exceptions she wanted to make, she realized that the only reason that she was doing this, the only reason she really cared was because of a handful of non compliant teachers, and they weren't doing anything during that advisory period. So I challenged her, why not make the policy and the system for the teachers who are doing the advisory period, rht. Rather than making a policy for the ones who are doing it wrong. I mean, we do that all the time, we create a system that meets a lot of exceptions for it to work because we are shooting the system, or directing the system towards the lowest common denominator, the lowest level of performance, rather than creating a system around the highest level of performance.
So what I want you to do is, I want you to look for systems in your school, that are more designed for the people who are doing things wrong instead of for the people who are doing things right. Or I want you to think about the systems that you have, where you're trying to make exceptions or where you feel like you need to make a lot of exceptions in order to make that system work for everybody. Because a good system should work for everybody. And if you feel like you have to make a lot of exceptions, that's a sign that the system is broken, and you need a better system. So those are the five signs that you need a better system. And before we close the day, I just want to recap everything that we've learned, we've learned first that you already have a system for everything you do in your school, whether you realize it or not. Now, it may be a broken system, or dysfunctional system, but it is a system and all that firefighting that you're currently doing that your system so it may not feel like it but that is your system. And anytime that you have a recurring problem, anytime that you are putting out the same fire over and over and over again, it means that you have a broken system. But the good news is that if you fix the system, you can fix the problem for good. And when you do that your day really can be under your control and under your command. Because with the right systems, you can regain control over your day and have time and have the bandwidth to focus on the things that are really important to you. So instead of fighting fires all day, you actually put systems in that prevent fires and when you do that you preserve them. Rome in your day to do the things that are important to you. So there are five signs that you need a better system. And these signs are going to help you figure out what systems you need to work on first. And then as you create systems, your work is going to get easier, and you're going to take back larger and larger portions of your day.
So let's just run through those five signs.
One more time. sign number one, if the process feels really complicated, you need a better system. Number two, if you have to work around your process, in order to get anything done, you need a better system. Number three, if it's creating a huge headache for you, and keeping you from doing the work that you really want to do, you need a better system. Number four, if your system was designed to control bad behavior, instead of promoting and supporting good behavior, you need a better system. And number five, if you have to make a bunch of exceptions to your system, you need a better system. Okay, so hopefully by now, I've convinced you to make a greater investment in systems. But I want to say one more thing, because I find that a lot of people will give intellectual assent to the idea that they need systems, but they really resist putting and following systems into their practice. And here's why. I call it Superman syndrome. Some of us have gotten really addicted to fighting fires, we are stressed out we're overworked and overwhelmed. But we really like being the hero we really like swooping in and solving problems that makes us feel like we're doing our job that makes us feel really good. And so if you put systems in place, you won't be doing that anymore. And so a lot of people resist that. Because on some level, they really like being the hero. But let me tell you something, instead of you being the hero and wearing yourself out and fighting fires all the time, and you may feel accomplished, but you're not getting a lot accomplished for your school. So instead of you being the hero, make your systems, the heroes make your systems the hero because when you do, you can carve out time and space to be truly heroic to do work, that's going to matter. that's going to mean something. fighting fires is usually work that is urgent, but it's not important. Once you put systems in place, and you get rid of a lot of urgency around the unimportant.
Now you can make the important urgent, now you can have the real impact. So do some self reflection here. If you don't have systems in place, or you are living with dysfunctional systems, could it be that you are addicted to firefighting? Could it be that you think that that's your job, I'm here to tell you, that's not your job. That's not what builders do. Builders make the system's the hero, not themselves. And when they do that, that's how they get their school moving forward. So if you do that, if you put systems in place, you can go from having really unpredictable Days full of interruptions, and all of this putting out fires, to really orderly days that give you time to do the work that you really want to do and that you really need to be doing. So once you have systems in place, no more waking up with this, this vague sense of dread as you wonder what fire you're gonna have to put out today. No more spending nights and weekends, which shouldn't be your own time. But instead, you're completing work that you didn't get a chance to complete at work, because you were too busy putting out fires, and no more stress and anxiety about what's not happening in your school. Because you are so busy cleaning up messes that you can't ever seem to get the work done.
That's really important. That ends right now.
Now you see the value of putting systems in place. And because now you've made a commitment to put systems in place in your school. So I challenge you to ask yourself each day as you're doing work, is this work putting out fires? Or is this work preventing fires, because once you get out of firefighting mode and get into fire prevention mode, then you can take control of your day, and then you can do work that really matters. And that's not sexy. I'm not sure what is. Hey, if you're ready to get started being a builder right away, then I want to invite you to join us at builder ship University. It's our exclusive online community for builders just like you where you'll be able to get the exact training that you need to turn your school into a success story right now with the people and resources you already have. inside. You'll find our best online courses, live trainings with me tons of resources, templates and exemplars and monthly live office hours with me where you can ask me anything and get my help on whatever challenge you're facing right now. If You're tired of hitting obstacle after obstacle and you're sick of tiny little incremental gains each year. If you're ready to make a dramatic difference in your school right now, then you need to join bill to ship University. Just go to build your ship university.com and get started writing your school success story today.
Hey, if you're ready to get started being a builder right away, then I want to invite you to join us at Buildership University. It's our exclusive online community for builders just like you where you'll be able to get the exact training that you need to turn your school into a success story right now with the people and resources you already have. You'll find our best online courses, live trainings with me tons of resources, templates and exemplars and monthly live office hours with me where you can ask me anything and get my help on whatever challenge you're facing right now. If you're tired of hitting obstacle after obstacle and you're sick of tiny little incremental gains each year, if you're ready to make a dramatic difference in your school right now, then you need to join Buildership University. Just go to Buildershipuniversity.com and get started writing your school success story today.
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