No One Cares How Much You Know, Until They Know How Much You Care.

Teddy Roosevelt told us (at least we attribute this to him) that no one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care. Wheater he said it or not it is a great quote and a valuable lesson for anyone who is attempting to be an agent of change. Being and innovative thinker is one thing, getting people to listen to your ideas is another, and inspiring them to try is yet another. In his book, The Innovator’s Mindset: Empower Learning, Unleash Talent, and Lead a Culture of Creativity, author George Couros states that “The three most important words in education are: relationships, realationships and relationships. Without them we have nothing.” When I was a corporate coach I use to teach that 90% of a persons success can be directly contributed to the relationships that they build. The remaining 10% is…relationships. I can really relate to what George is saying and whole heartedly agree. Think about it, think about the times in your life that you were on the top of your game, when you felt the most connected. I bet those times your relationships were the strongest. I attend a weekly IMMOOC ( hosted by George Couros in which he and Dr. Katie Martin discuss sections of his book. Each week they invite guest speakers an tackle some of the ideas that are most relevant. Last weeks guest was Kaleb Rashad, Director (Principal) at High Tech High, a project based learning school. Kaleb is new to his role as director and shared his insight what it takes to be innovative as a new or recently hired leader. His advice rang very clear with me as I am not only new to my role, but new to this career. 

Kaleb Rashad @kalebrashad

I am the Digital Coach at a school on Maui. It is my job to help teachers leverage technology, primarily iPads, in their classrooms. This is a challenge as not all teachers are open to the idea of using technology. Some are nervous about the technology and what to do if it fails to operate. Some are worried about the kids using the technology for things other than education, like games, or watching something inappropriate. It is my job to help teachers work through these and other apprehensions. In order to accomplish this I first need to create realationships build on a foundation of trust. This is a little tough especially since I do not have experience as a school teacher. As I have stated in past blogs, my entire career has been in business. Coming to education later in life has offered me many amazing advantages, but there is a challenge ot two as well. Since I don’t have a portfolio of impressive wins in education, I focus on building relationships. I need to show them how how much I care, which is what I should be doing anyway.  Isn’t this the same in our classrooms? Don’t our kids need to see how much we care? How invested we are in them and their potential? If we show them that our believe in them is unwavering will they believe in themselves as well? Yes, is the answer to all of the above. Once you decide to have an innovative mindset, you automatically start to think about how to create new relationships and how to strengthen the ones you have. Like any relationship this work begins with you, or self. 

Before we can love someone else, we need to love ourselves. I’ve heard and given this advice many times in my life, but what does it mean? Maybe the answer is different for each of us. Maybe we all understand self at different levels. For me self is made up of 6 components: Mental-self, Physical-self, Spiritual-self and how those relate and connect to family, responsibilities and emotions.  As leaders we sometimes try to take the path of least resistance. We look for the “one size fits all” answer. This does not lead to an easier path. By trying to skip the required work it takes to create and build relationships, this approach takes us down a path full of misunderstandings, hurt feelings and missed opportunities. If we follow the “golden rule” and treat everyone the way we want to be treated, we miss out on innumerable possibilities. It is the innovative mind that would suggest not to follow the golden rule but to embrace the “platinum rule”, which states that we treat other the way they want to be treated.  Take the time to find out who they are, what their dreams and desires are, what they hope to accomplish and what they are scared will happen. Become their friend, confidant, mentor, trusted advisor. Make a difference by being the one who embraces the difference. Part 2 of the Innovators Mindset is a great reminder and lesson to be read over and over again.

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