Success Secret #3: Choose your hard


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You're listening to School Leadership Reimagined, episode number 216

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How do builders like us make a dramatic difference in the lives of our students? In spite of all the obstacles we face? How do you keep your vision for your school from being held hostage by resistant teachers, uncooperative parents, ridiculous district policies or lack of time, money or resources. If you're facing those challenges right now, here's where you'll find the answers strategies, and actionable tips you need to overcome any obstacle you face. You don't have to wait to make a difference in the lives of the people you serve. You can turn your school into a success story right now with the people and resources you already have. Let's get started.

Hey, builders, welcome to another episode of the school leadership reimagined podcast. I'm your host, Robyn Jackson.

And today we are continuing our summer of success series with a new success secret. And this week's success secret is choose your heart. And I'll tell you a little bit more about that in a minute. But before I do, I want you to know that I've been working on something really incredible for you. I've been asking questions inside of the school leadership reimagined Facebook group, I've been talking to people that I've met on the road this summer, as I've been attending in and keynoting at various conferences, I've got something really cool for you. And I'm going to be making an announcement about it next Monday, July 17.

And so if you are not a member of the school, leadership reimagined, if you're not if you're not on in the Facebook group, or you're not on our email list, you need to do that. So all you need to do is go to school leadership and sign up for our email list so that you can get the details about this big announcement and this thing that I have for you. And I'm trying to stop myself from sharing it.

So I'm going to shut up about it now. 

But just now I've got a big announcement coming next week, next Monday, and it's going to be good. That's what I'll say. Alright, so let's talk about this idea of choose your heart. Because everybody works hard. If you are a boss, you are working hard, you're working hard at the wrong things. But you're working hard as a boss, you're working hard at trying to control everything. As a boss, you're working hard at trying to make sure that everybody does what you say, as a boss, you're trying to work you're working really hard at at at chasing and checking and correcting people all the time. You're working hard, you're running yourself ragged, and at the end of the day, you don't really have anything to show for it except for exhaustion and a growing sense of resentment. Because everybody feels lazy. Everybody's not doing their job. Everybody, you know has to have constant supervision or to get stuff done. That's how you feel. And so at the end of the day, you're working really hard, and you gain frustration from it.

Now, as a leader, you're also working really hard as a leader, you're working, hard, cajoling and convincing people to move forward as a leader, you're working hard and listening to people and trying to get to to persuade them to take the extra step. as a, as a leader, you're working really hard trying to find solutions and solving every problem that comes your way. And so you never have time to do the work you really want to do. Because you're constantly being interrupted in your office, you're constantly looking for best practices, you're constantly trying some new initiatives and hoping and praying that maybe this time it's actually going to work. You work really hard and you're frustrated, because while you may see some results, they're not as big as the effort it took to get there you you might be seeing some results. But you are always feeling just slightly disappointed because you're not able to move as quickly as you want. There's always somebody dragging their feet. You're working really hard. And you feel like you could go further but because you have to wait for everybody else to get on board. You feel stalled. So you've got another kind of hard.

Now a lot of times when I talk about builder ship, I talk about how much easier it is, but doesn't mean that you're not working hard as a builder. The difference is as a builder You're working hard on the right things, it is not easy to sit down and craft a teacher dashboard, and to sit down every single week and go through your Teacher Dashboard, and look for ways to help every teacher grow every single week, if you're you're going to get distracted, you're not going to want to do it, sometimes you're you, you, you will put it off. And it's really hard to stay focused. But when you do that, every single week, you see growth, every single week you see progress every single week you see momentum, it's, it's hard to sit down and do an accountability architecture where you take a good hard look at all of the systems in your school, and you find ways to make those systems work better. That's hard work up front, but you reap the benefits and the back end, because the better your systems are, the less time and energy you're spending working on that. So you can spend more time and energy working on pursuing your vision, working on doing the work that only you can do, it's hard to let go of some of the control that you've enjoyed in the past. Well, I said enjoyed. But I don't know that you really enjoy the control. Because when control keeps you trapped, it's hard to let that go. And to get your team members doing more of the heavy lifting. It's hard up front. But the moment you do that, you free yourself up to do the work only you can do. But to also create a sustainable organization that is going to continue to grow long after you leave, you leave a legacy. And it's not all on you. Everybody is working together, it's hard to to get your staff aligned, the work that goes into getting your staff aligned is hard. But once you do that, once you do that work, you you reap the benefits, because now everybody's on board, everybody is moving in the same direction. And you can get farther faster, because you're not dragging people or convincing people, people are moving ahead. Even when you're not there, people are pursuing the right work and doing the right work the right way, even when you're not looking. So what builders have learned to do, is they don't come to build or ship because it's it's easier.

They come to buildership because they've chosen the right hard. 

Yeah, you could do this stuff and be a boss and work hard. And and and stay late nights and weekends. Or you could be a leader staying nights and weekends finishing stuff up. Because you didn't have time to door during the day because you felt like you had to be visible. And you could do all of that. And that is hard. But you don't get anything from it. When you're a builder, you're working hard at the right things. Because you know that when you invest in the right things right now, you reap the benefits later on. And yes, it will feel hard at first, it's so hard to come up with your 100% vision because you got to unlearn everything you've been taught about what a vision should be in order to give yourself the freedom to do it. But the moment you get that vision, you feel such a relief, you feel the weight, drop off your shoulders, because that aligns with what you've always believed, anyway. And now you have permission to believe it, and you have the tools to pursue it. And it doesn't feel like it's impossible anymore. It feels so possible you have a pathway forward now. So choosing the heart of 100% vision results in in this new passion, this new sense of purpose, that this this greater feeling of impact, versus choosing another 5% gain. You have to work just as hard to gain 5% As you do to pursue a larger percent, same amount of heart, but totally different kinds of heart. You ever heard somebody say something recently, that I've been thinking about? Right? And I don't know yet how I feel about I'm not even I mean, I probably shouldn't be sharing it with you until I have it figured out except for, you know, maybe you can help me start thinking this through a little bit and share some of your comments in the school leadership reimagine Facebook group, but it's this idea that there is there's working hard, and there's hard work and they're different.

Here's what I think it means right now. There are a lot of people working hard and stuff that isn't hard, right. So putting a room schedule isn't hard work is just tedious. It takes a lot of time trying to find a way to juggle 25 different new initiatives next year. It's not hard work, I mean, doesn't require a lot of energy and effort, it just takes time. And it's tedious. There are a lot of people who are working hard, but because they're working hard at the wrong things, they're not doing the hard work that it takes to achieve 100%. So I want you to ask yourself the question, Am I working hard? At stuff? That doesn't matter? And if the answer is yes, then I'm gonna invite you to shift from working hard to doing the hard work that does matter. You see, every time you do the hard stuff, as a builder, yes, it's hard. But when you finish, the reward is great. And that's the difference. Working hard doesn't always give you a great reward, you're done, you've accomplished something, well, what have you really accomplished. But when you choose to do the hard work, the right hard work, then, at the end of that, you have something you didn't have before you've, you've gone further than you would have gone otherwise, you've accomplished something. And I think that's a difference. Working hard, you just finish doing the hard work, you actually accomplish something. You know, I work with a lot of builders inside of builder, ship University.

And when people first come in to be you, and you know, we're just getting to know each other, a lot of people are really, really stressed. You know, like when we we have office hours, and they're live. And I'm talking to people every single week and working with people directly and personally. And you can just see the stress because they're like, I have to do this, I have to do that. And they want to kind of that, yes, they believe in builder ship. And yes, they want to be builders, but they're still trying to also satisfy the leadership requirements of their district. And so they're kind of straddling being a leader and a builder. And that just, you could see it in their faces, they're just passed. And we have to go through with a lot of people at the beginning of their builders ship journey, we have to help them shed the idea that you have to work hard, that if you're not working hard, you're not doing your job. And the more that they let that go. And the more that they they embrace the difference between working hard and doing the hard right work. The more you can just see the stress melt off of them have thought about this a lot. Because I've seen it enough now that it is a pattern and I love it. It's my like, it was one of my favorite things right? When when you see people start to show up and instead of the furrowed brow, they're smiling. All right, still working. They're still working, right? They're not on vacation. And and some of the work they're doing is really hard.

But the stress that comes from working hard, isn't there when you're doing the right hard work. 

Instead, you feel excited, you feel energized. You feel like oh my goodness, this is why I became an educator, this, this is what matters. So if you are feeling stressed right now, like summer, you know, maybe took some time off. Maybe now you know you're back at it. And you still feel like you have this pile of to dues. I want you to ask yourself, yeah. Am I working hard? Or am I doing the right hard work. And here's how you can tell the difference. If you're working hard, it feels tedious. If you're working hard, it's you look at the working like it's not difficult. It's not making me think it's not stretching my brain is just a lot of it. And I just don't have time to get through it. If you're if you're if you're working hard. You will be you know, you can't wait to get done. And you're like, I just need to knock this out and just get this out the way so that I can get on with my life. If you feel that way about your work right now you're working hard. But if you're doing work, and the more you do it, the more excited you get. If you're doing work, and you start getting more energy as you get into the work, if your brain feels tired when you're done, but at the same time you feel excited about getting back to it because you're excited about the possibilities that are there. If if you're looking at the challenges, but they don't threaten you, they just they just feel solvable with the right kind of approach. If if as you're doing the work, you can see the results. You can you can picture what those results are going to be like and those results get you excited. Then you're doing the right hard work. And what builders do is we choose art.

Hey, it's Robin here real quick. I just want to interrupt this episode for Joe Just a second because if you are enjoying what you're hearing, then would you mind sharing this episode with somebody else. So all you need to do is just go to your phone, if you're listening to it on your phone or your podcast player, and then click the three dots next to this episode. And I'll give you the option to share the episode that if you do that, three things are going to happen first, the person that you shared with is going to think you're a hero, especially if they're struggling with what we're talking about right now. They're going to love you. Secondly, you're going to feel good, because you're going to get the word out about builder ship, and start building this builder ship nation. And third, you will get my eternal gratitude because I really want to get this out to the world. And you'd be helping me out, you'd be doing me a huge favor. So please share this episode with someone right now who's who's dealing with this same issue, someone you think would really benefit. And now back to the show. I'm going to tell you something, and I debated about whether or not I was going to say this because you know it, it can turn some people off. But people who don't have that builder ship mindset, they're going to this is going to trigger them.

So I'm just gonna take a risk, because it's just us, right? We're, it's just two builders talking to each other right now let's forget about everybody else's crowd everybody else out. And let's just you and I talk for a second about from the perspective of builders, I see a lot of people working hard. And it's not going to make a bit of difference. And there's just ethos out there that oh, you know, people brag, oh, I never leave. You know, I'm always the first one. They're the last person to leave, and they do all of this stuff. And when you're a builder, you actually spend less time at work. I've told you before how, you know, as an assistant principal, I started figuring some things out. And then I started leaving early and I start getting sad. I'm not leaving early, I just stopped staying, working 12 hour days, right? Because I actually went home. But my work was done. It wasn't like going home and leaving a whole bunch of undone work, I would finish work and then just be sitting there waiting for my principal and the other APS to leave. Before I felt like I have permission to leave. And finally I just started leaving. And the first time I left my principal looked at me gave me a little side eye. And then second time, it's like, oh, you're leaving early. And I was like, I'm not really I mean, the buses are back, the kids are done. My work is done when I go home. And then finally call me and he said, You know, I've noticed you've been leaving early late. I said, Well, what do you mean early because I stay until the buses get back. And he said what I mean, you know, you're leaving her I said, but my works done. And it wasn't just done. It was good. Because I had put systems in place to help me get through the work. So I could focus on the things that were really hard.

My master schedule was the first one in and it was, it was pristine. My teacher evaluations were were the I was the first one to have all of my teacher evaluations completed. And they were good. They were valuable evaluations. Because instead of just doing what everybody else was doing, I put systems in place and chose my heart. Right, you could stay up late and work on evaluations. Or you can think about what's really important with the evaluation, put systems in place to help you handle everything else. So that you could spend time giving people a meaningful feedback that actually grows their practice. Sure, you could spend, you know, months trying to make the master schedule work. Or you could put systems in place that design a master schedule that's rooted in your vision, mission and core values, and makes the master schedule actually serve your kids and your teachers, you sure could you know spend weeks agonizing over all of your disciplinary referrals. Or you could put a system in place that reduces the number of referrals that come to your office and make sure that when students do come to your office for referrals, your interactions with those students, prevent those students from ever coming up and showing up in your office again, you know, everything that you think, oh, you know, people tell me all the time.

Well, I can't do that right now. Because I have to do this. 

And I'm like, I mean, yeah, everybody has to do that. builders put systems in place that handle that work. So that that's not the heart that they're working on. Instead, they're working on the heart that actually matters. And by doing that, by working on the heart that actually matters, they actually reduce the amount of hard for the stuff that doesn't matter. I'm a big systems person and the more that I invest in systems, the more that I can spend time focusing on the right hard Maybe that's you maybe you're saying yeah, I believe in that I just don't have time to have the system as well. You know, we haven't been builders should be university part of what we do is once you get your vision together and we know what you're focused on, we help you put systems in place, so that instead of spending all your time on the wrong hard, working hard, you can spend your time doing the hard work that matters. And seeing the results that come from that.

Now, when a couple of weeks build a ship University is going to be open again. And if you are ready to work on the right heart, if you're ready to choose the right heart, and sinker, don't spend another year working really hard and not seeing any results or seeing so little results that you start to question, why did I work so hard? If you're ready to do the right hard stuff, but to have the real victories that come with it, then you need to start getting ready. Alright, so let me talk a little bit, can I do you mind if I do that, you know, I don't normally do that. But if you want to get ready, here's the thing. A lot of people invest and build a ship University by using purchase orders. And so there if you go to builder ship We have on that site already a purchase order kind of walkthrough to show you how to get the purchase orders, we have a justification letter. If you already know that you want to join bill to ship University and this next intake, then go ahead and start getting your purchase order done right now. Because it's really frustrating for people, we open up the intake, it's only open for a week. And they're just hustling, trying to get their purchase orders. So you don't want to be doing that and starting school and doing everything else at the same time. So if you already know that you want to join bill to ship University go to build a ship Get your purchase order started right now. So that when we open up, you're ready to go. Okay, that's done with a commercial.

Now, I want to challenge you. 

Take a look at the work you're doing right now as you prepare for the next school year. Are you working hard? Are you doing the hard work? They're both hard. One leads to frustration and burnout, and cynicism. The other one, doing the right hard work leads to satisfaction and energy and passion and most important results. So you have a choice. You can choose your heart, you can continue to do the same thing you do every single year with the same results. Burnout, tired. Yeah, you worked really hard, but you have to show for it. Or you can choose the right heart so that you can see incredible results this year. And you can make this year so much better. Because you chose the right heart like a builder. I'll talk to you next time.

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, the new need to join Buildership University. Just go to and get started writing your school success story today.

Hey, real quick before you go, if you enjoyed today's episode and you know someone who would really benefit from what you heard here today, maybe they're struggling with a thing that we talked about in today's episode, would you take a moment and share this episode with them? 

You see, not only will it help us get the word about builder ship out to more people, but you're going to look like a rockstar because you're going to give people something they can really use to help them get unstuck and be better at building their schools. Plus, it would mean the world to me. Thanks so much, and I'll see you next time.

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