Byron's Babbles

Becoming The First Me

Posted in DTK, Educational Leadership, Global Leadership, Leadership, Mindset Mondays by Dr. Byron L. Ernest on November 30, 2020

Chapter 14 entitled “Trust Yourself” in Mindset Mondays with DTK, by David Taylor-Klaus (DTK) really resonated with me because he started out by talking about a coach he admired and then was encouraged to follow exactly. He went on to explain that this was toxic with his audience. Think about it; if you are trying to be someone else, there is no room for authenticity. I actually have a section of a leadership gathering that I discuss this. It starts with a slide that says, “Great leaders don’t copy!” I then ask the group to react. It’s always interesting to hear the responses. At first they usually want to push back and say that they try to do the things great leaders do. Then it shifts to, well they are learning from what the others are doing. Then they decide that copying probably is not the best way – they are adapting to fit in with their style.

DTK said, “I tried to become the next “fill-in-the-blank” instead of becoming the first me” (p. 121). We are all unique, have special talents and skills, and have our own style. This means we need to work toward being the best “me” we can be. As an educator I absolutely hate it when I hear someone say, “You need to be more like ___________.” Really? Why? This does not mean that we do not seek to grow professionally and personally. Growing is very different that stuffing yourself in a template.

Becoming the first me means we are not going to depend as much on outside validation. Do we need more likes and followers? I’m not sure. What do those likes and followers do? The great musical artists don’t try to write songs that are hits. They write songs from inspiration that then become huge hits. There is a difference. Otherwise, we just become a cheap imitation of someone else.

Becoming the first me also means that we trust in our own answers. Many times I say, “Make a decision, even if it’s wrong” or “Let’s do something, even if it is wrong.” We nee to trust our own decisions. DTK included a quote in Chapter 14 from Larry Winger that I love, “Don’t worry too much about making the right decision. Just make the decision, and then make the decision right” (p. 122). Or, as I always say, “The sun will come up tomorrow, and if it doesn’t that nothing else matters anyway.” So, let’s be the best first me we can be because we are the only me we can be.

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