.

My Wish For Your District: Find Your Purpose

This is a recipe for success. This is the kind of education our kids deserve.

Sometimes when I talk with clients, they ask how I differ from my competitors.    Clients want to know how I am better than other people who teach kids about bullying and cyberbullying. 

In my early years, I focused on my competitors. I went to schools to watch people that talked with kids about how to stop bullying. It was by watching others that I learned much of what I know about how to deliver my message and what NOT to say and do. I learned the tricks of how to talk with big groups.  I learned how to get their attention and the importance of starting the talk by making your teenage audience laugh. I learned what to do if a student asked a question that was off topic or stumped me with a question I didn’t know the answer to. I learned what to say if a student didn’t agree with what I said.

Today, when a client asks me the difference between me and my competitors, I just say, “I have no idea.”  You see, I run a business. My business strategy when it comes to competition has always been to “worry about my customers not my competitors”. 

My number one goal is to take the problems of my customers and figure out
how to fix those problems. So instead of focusing on my differences from others, my efforts are focused on trying to understand the audience/customers I work with.  What are their motives?  What are their actions?  What are the things they excel at and where do they need improvement?

My expertise is to help them focus on the solution to their issues.  I see my role as:

  • Helping them see how their actions affect others – negatively or positively. 
  • Showing them the solutions... specific things they can do to get their desired reaction from others.
  • Not only teaching, but role playing and demonstrating activities, exercises and programs that will help them to achieve their goals.

Are you worried about how you stack up to the other districts in your area?  Are you or your Board of Education constantly comparing yourselves to other
districts?

Recently I saw an article referring to a book that talked about character education at the college/university level. What had me so intrigued was the title of this book, “It’s Not What You Sell, It’s What You Stand For,” by Roy M. Spence, Jr.

In this book, Mr. Spence talks about how he works with companies to identify their real purpose for existing. I think the idea of finding your purpose is an interesting way to look at character education.

One of the projects he writes about is a story involving Texas A&M. Because much of my work is done in education, I was really excited as I read…I could see how others were doing what I was doing!

Dr. Robert Gates, previously president at Texas A&M and former Secretary of Defense was involved with the Solutions of the Future Effort. Their goal was to explain higher education in a way that would rally America. They decided to stop focusing on the differences between colleges and universities and instead to start focusing on the difference that they make.

I highly recommend you get your hands on this book. Each of the Texas A&M traditions have a purpose and that purpose moves them towards their solution.  Dr. Gates and the leadership team at Texas A&M is an administration we should be modeling our goals and actions after. This administration’s purpose and focus
is more than academics and test scores. This is an administration that wants their students to become “individuals with leadership skills, a sense of responsibility, a team orientation and a code of ethics.”

Ladies and gentlemen this is a must if we intend to turn around the “me generation.” This is a recipe for success. This is the kind of education our kids deserve. 

So what is Texas A&M’s purpose?  The following anthem was written and is displayed in every dormitory and building on the campus:

Welcome to Aggieland

There is a place where tradition is a way of life, character is stitched into the local fabric and leaders are a natural resource. It’s a place where the future is knocking at the door, but the past always has a place at the
table.

Here everyone’s glass is half full, and cynicism is on a permanent leave of absence. It’s where fish learn to swim, elephants never forget, and a horse could carry someone all the way to a Nobel Prize.

Every man or woman can make a difference here – especially the twelfth one. And you’re as likely to get a statue for a selfless act as you are a heroic one. The greater good is a required course and a helping hand is a required gesture.

This is Aggieland, where optimism is an alternative energy source and acts of integrity are on everyone’s to-do list. History is made every day and remembered every year. It’s a place where pushing ideas forward doesn’t mean pushing values aside.

Welcome to Aggieland. Enjoy your stay.

So what is your school or district’s purpose? Be proud of your purpose. Share and display your purpose. And, most of all live your purpose!

Jill Brown
Generation Text Online
jill.brown@GenerationTextOnline.com

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Aidan October 19, 2012 at 11:43 AM
Sounds like another education "expert" who couldn't find the light switch if she faced a class all by her lonesome day after day.
Jill Brown October 23, 2012 at 03:59 PM
Aidan, Thank you for your comments. I wish you had a real issue I could address. This article is written for school administrators and people who run businesses. It's about deciding your mission statement and setting goals. Goals that pertain to what kind of person/company you are and what kind of person/company you want to be. It's about showing my readers and followers about getting there and stories of other companies or educators who have been successful doing that. I apologize if you felt I was trying to blow up my ego. I was simply sharing my experience, strength and hope. Have a good day, Jill PS In the future, if you have something to say about a piece I have written and you have some constructive criticism, I will be more apt to take it seriously if you email me directly at Jill.Brown@GenerationTextOnline.com
Jill Brown October 23, 2012 at 04:00 PM
Conrad , Thank you for your comments. I wish you had a real issue I could address. This article is written for school administrators and people who run businesses. It's about deciding your mission statement and setting goals. Goals that pertain to what kind of person/company you are and what kind of person/company you want to be. It's about showing my readers and followers about getting there and stories of other companies or educators who have been successful doing that. I apologize if you felt I was trying to blow up my ego. I was simply sharing my experience, strength and hope. Have a good day, Jill PS In the future, if you have something to say about a piece I have written and you have some constructive criticism, I will be more apt to take it seriously if you email me directly at Jill.Brown@GenerationTextOnline.com
Jill Brown October 23, 2012 at 04:02 PM
Hi Robert, Do you know how hurtful a statement like that is to someone? What is the reason for a post like that? Why would you want to post something mean, negative and hurtful to someone you don't even know and someone who can't change a feature that she was born with? And why would you post it in a place where 1000's of people could see? Ladies and Gentleman, this is a fabulous example of cyberbullying. This is the kind of thing that happens every day on the internet. Fortunately, I am a grown woman who is confident and secure in myself. Do I love my crazy, curly hair? Not really but I can't change it. But I feel extremely lucky to have someone like Robert to show everyone what goes on and how kids cyberbully each other. Now imagine what this would do to a teenage girl who is searching for her identity and measures her self-esteem according to what other people think of her physical appearance. When I was 13, a group of girls in gym class made fun of my nose. When I told my mother, she said, "Well, you do have daddy's nose." For the next 20 years I never wore sunglasses and wasn't comfortable looking in the mirror. When I was 33 years old, I had plastic surgery to change my nose. A hurtful comment by a complete stranger has the power to change the course of someone’s life. So next time, think before you speak. By telling this story, my goal is to simply share my experience, strength and hope. Jill Brown
Jill Brown October 23, 2012 at 04:03 PM
Ross, Thank you for your comments. I wish you had a real issue I could address. This article is written for school administrators and people who run businesses. It's about deciding your mission statement and setting goals. Goals that pertain to what kind of person/company you are and what kind of person/company you want to be. It's about showing my readers and followers about getting there and stories of other companies or educators who have been successful doing that. I apologize if you felt I was trying to blow up my ego. I was simply sharing my experience, strength and hope. Have a good day, Jill PS In the future, if you have something to say about a piece I have written and you have some constructive criticism, I will be more apt to take it seriously if you email me directly at Jill.Brown@GenerationTextOnline.com

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