Byron's Babbles

Action: Turning Dreams & Thoughts Into Reality

Posted in Coaching, Education, Education Reform, Leadership by Dr. Byron L. Ernest on October 28, 2011

I heard the words on a song this morning, “Why do we dream, when our thoughts mean nothing?” I really got to thinking about this and it is so true. Think about it, if there is no action our dreams and thoughts really do mean nothing. This really hit home with the two books I read this week – It’s Your Ship: Management Techniques from the Best Damn Ship in the Navy by Captain D. Michael Abrashoff and What to Ask the Person in the Mirror: Critical Questions for Becoming a More Effective Leader and Reaching Your Potential by Robert Steven Kaplan. I learned so much about what both authors call actionable leadership. Captain Abrashoff’s ship the USS Benfold is pictured above.

When coaching and leading those we serve have dreams and we must give them the actionable feedback necessary to enable them to carry out the actions of making the dreams happen. As Kaplan stated, “Is your feedback specific, timely, and actionable?” This question is very important to me as a teacher and department head. As I coach younger teachers on effectiveness I must always remember that the feedback must be constant, not just when I have time and it must be actionable. If someone I am coaching can’t act on the goals, then my coaching has no value.

Another point Kaplan made that was of particular interest was when he said, “Excellent companies view being a great coach as a criterion for promotion to higher managerial levels, as well as an important determiniant of compensation.” I believe that with the implementation of Senate Bill One in Indiana under the leadership of State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tony Bennett and Governor Mitch Daniels dealing with teacher effectiveness we have also made this a criterion in education. We cannot look at teacher evaluations as a once a year punitive act, but a yearlong coaching opportunity to move all teachers into the category of highly effective.

When we think of using actions to turn dreams and thoughts into reality we must also do what Captain Abrashoff recommended, “Now more than ever, we must stop preparing for past battles and prepare for new ones.” So my final thought for this post is let’s keep dreaming ourselves and encouraging those we lead and c0ach to dream and let’s provide others and seek for ourselves the actionable feedback to make those dreams a reality.

 

 

 

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