Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Schools Out of Sync

Here is the presentation that I gave in conjunction with All Kinds of Minds at the Tennessee Association of Independent Schools Biennial Conference in Nashville. There were 14 different schools represented in my workshop, and it is amazing how everyone is grappling with the same issue: how to be relevant to the 21st century.

Schools Out of Sync: Teaching and Learning in a Global Society TAIS 2008

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Wanting Change

Election 2008 will take a momentus place in history. It was amazing to see throngs of people gathered to celebrate Obama's victory not just in Grant Park, but all of over the world. People voted, in record numbers, for change. People want change. Millions of people actually became in engaged in a change movement.

This whole campaign cycle has been amazing and so will be Obama's attempt to bring change to one of the most entrenched, self-aggrandizing, complacent, complex organizations ever - our government. We have become numb to a sense of civic responsibility and service.

What will he bring? Although we lack specific details, President-elect Obama brings a renewed sense of purpose and commitment to having a government that serves the people, a government that creates opportunity for people to achieve all that they are capable of, and a hope that we can reclaim for the United States a proud position in the world as Great Leader in ingenuity, innovation, and inspiration.

How could we not invite a renewed sense of our founding values into our governance at this time?

Impeccable with your Word

The four guiding principles of The Four Agreements by Don Miquel Ruiz came to mind as I watched the election returns. Senator Obama, either naturally or in a studied way, certainly applies these principles. I have been using these seemingly simple guides for about four years myself and it is amazing how they focus your behavior, your thoughts, and your attitudes. I like them because they are simple, straightforward and inwardly focused. They are about, for me, developing emotional intelligence and discipline.

1. Be Impeccable With Your Word
Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

2. Don't Take Anything Personally
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering.

3. Don't Make Assumptions
Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

4. Always Do Your Best
Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.