Byron's Babbles

Leading With Global Reach

Posted in Abundance, Co-Elevation, Global Leadership, Global Reach, Leadership, Movement Leader, Turf by Dr. Byron L. Ernest on September 20, 2020

This post continues my reflection on this past week’s Virtual LeaderCon put on by Kevin Eikenberry. We had the opportunity to learn from bestselling author and authority on leadership methodologies, Keith Ferrazzi. His great book Leading Without Authority is a must read. Right out of the gate Keith taught us that to reach abundance we must do three things as leaders and that by doing so we will achieve these three things in our organizational communities. Here they are:

  1. Serve
  2. Share
  3. Care

Leadership, according to Keith, is about the management of relationships. It’s about being committed to “going higher together.” It’s the proven methodology he calls Co-Elevation®️. It’s about getting rid of something I talk about a lot: turf. He described it as holding space for the team to cross the finish line and share the win together.

Keith certainly believes, as do I, that everyone is a leader, Recognizing we have made progress in education in the advancement of developing teacher leaders, I asked him how we could get this non-hierarchical thinking even more universally embedded in education. He told us we need to become movement leaders. Get small groups to discuss and work on issues like this. Then get others involved. This would allow us to become exponential leaders by co-creating together. I loved the idea of making our impact exponential.

This would allow for global reach. Think about what changes we could make in the world if we all committed to going higher together by being leaders who served, shared, and cared.

The Frustrating Truth Of Turf

Great Pumpkin 🎃 Carving By Steve Treffiletti

I learned a new term this week: “Lawnmower Parents”. One of our activities during our North Carolina 3D Leadership was to carve pumpkins using the prompt of: “Truths we Are Frustrated With”. This turned into a great and meaningful activity in all our states with some really deep conversations. I love to watch the carvings develop and am always trying to guess what is being represented. I had to laugh when I saw Coach Steve Treffiletti from Langtree Charter Academy carving a lawnmower. If I would have carved a pumpkin using our prompt, I would have carved a lawnmower too. I have made the picture of his pumpkin the featured picture of this post. While we both would have carved pictures of mowers, our stories were different. I am going to write about both in this post.

Lawnmower Parents

Coach Treffiletti’s truth he was frustrated with, was that of a new group of parents categorized as “lawnmower parents”. I guess I have been under a rock because I had not heard this term yet. For those that are like me and aren’t familiar with theses parents, they are pushing aside “helicopter parents” to intervene or, mow down, any person or obstacle that stands in the way of any inconvenience, problem or discomfort their child might encounter. Coach Treffiletti’s point was that our students won’t be prepared for life or to be great citizens if every hurdle is removed for them.

Lawnmower parents go to whatever lengths necessary to prevent their child from having to face adversity, struggle, or failure. Make no mistake, this does not mean parents should not keep their children safe, help, and encourage them. But, lawnmower parents are not teaching kids how to deal with discomfort. Quite the contrary, they are preventing kids from learning to problem-solve.

I’ve never met a parent who sets out to be a bad parent or whose heart wasn’t in the right place. We all want what was is best for our kids. But we have to watch being too focused on reducing our child’s discomfort in the short-term, rather than focusing on our child’s needs in the long-term Sometimes we must just back off and let our children gain experience dealing with adversity.

Turf

My truth I am frustrated with is that of “turf”. Let me explain. As an education policy-maker it is so frustrating when it becomes challenging, and many times nearly impossible, to innovate and make improvements because the different turf is being protected by the individuals, groups, organizations, or governmental agencies involved. All have a stake, but everyone is afraid of losing turf. When we don’t mow down the turf, we end up with the status quo. I actually discuss this so much in meetings that a person, who I respect a great deal, gave me a toy lawnmower in honor of my constant desire to “mow down the turf.”

Beth Macy discussed the issue of “turf” in her great book, Dopesick. Macy argued that it is hard to get agencies to work together to solve an issue because of turf. She used the example of most drug offenders being sent to federal prison instead of being dealt with at the local or state level because it would leave money at the local and state level. The problem is we begin to view problems to rigidly based on where our funding comes from. We need to figure out ways to eliminate turf’s devastating effect on innovation and changing the status quo.

What’s your truth that frustrates you?