Add Indianapolis Colt head coach Chuck Pagano to the list of those who inspire. All it took for me was 102 seconds. In that time I was able to see what others have probably known for years…the guy just gets it. Chuck Pagano is currently undergoing treatment for Leukemia. A few weeks ago he exited the hospital and headed to the stadium. He got a chance to see a group he has never coached in a regular season game live up to how he will always lead. After a big win against the Miami Dolphins, Coach Pagano addressed his team:
Live in Circumstance or Live in Vision
It’s easy to get caught up in circumstance. The budget doesn’t look like you want it to, you have an angry parent in your office (that happens to be right), and work piles up but you know that getting into classrooms is the right thing to do. Letting circumstance drive your day never allows for vision to take hold. There are often times when I feel like I don’t know what my day will look like until I enter the doors. The road to success is muddled with noses to wipe, shoes to tie, calls to make, courageous conversations to have with staff, and a nap between evening and morning that some like to call “a good night’s sleep”. As administrators we try to tell our groups to be proactive vs. reactive. We want to get out in front of a group or a student who may need help down the road. We offer suggestions and set our environments up for student success. However, sometimes I feel like I’m just trying to catch up.
Living in circumstance tends to take all of your power away. Emotionally, it is easy to get lost in the everyday happenings of a school. I have asked all staff members to sit down and identify 3 targets that when done will make them feel like they can walk out the door and be successful at the end of the day.
Sanfelippo’s 3 Essential Targets
1. Every Staff Member…Every Day
2. Follow Through on All Issues
3. Make a New Kid Connection
If we can look at these three targets at the end of the day and say we fulfilled them we should hold our heads high and feel like the days has been successful. The crazy thing about education and educators is we don’t have the opportunity to see the fruit of the labor on a daily basis. The impact we can have on kids may not show up for weeks, months, or years. It may only come up in a conversation once they have moved on. I can recall countless conversations with kids who I have coached or taught that start with… “Remember when we…”
Living in a vision, both individually and from a team perspective helps us all to stay on track and stay true to what we all believe. When we live in a vision we are able to deal with circumstance, but not be consumed in it. That vision can lead to a feeling of accomplishment as opposed to being overwhelmed. Set your essential targets, post them by your desk, and look at them on your way out the door…and never forget that the circumstance you deal with on a daily basis won’t define you if you let the vision of where you want to go drive your perspective.