Colleagues & Friends,
What is your unique talent? My more than 40 years in education have taught me that each of us has been given gifts that we need to identify, nurture and most importantly, use for the growth of our students. Some of us are charismatic and can inspire others through instinctive actions. Others are gifted writers, some talented storytellers. Still others are masters of detail and organization. Some council and get the most from their folks. We all have a talent even the Bible tells us that – but what is YOUR talent? There is a story to illustrate.
A wealthy man was going to go on a trip. He called his three best workers together and told them that he would be gone for a long time and that he was leaving them in charge of all of his wealth. To the first worker, he gave half of his savings. To the second worker, 35% of his savings and the third worker, he gave the remaining 15%. The first worker took the 50% his boss had given him and put it to work and doubled his money. The second also invested the 35% wisely and earned an additional 35%. The third worker took his 15% and buried it in the ground for safe keeping. When the boss returned, he was very pleased when the first two workers told him that they had doubled his money. “Well done,” he said. “Because you have been faithful with what I have given you – I will give you more. These workers discovered their talents and put them to work when they were given the opportunity. These are the risk takers who recognized their fear of failure – overcame it and took a chance at success.
“How about you?” the boss asked the third worker. “What did you do with the money that I left with you?” The third worker said to the boss, “I knew that you were a tough boss and I was afraid I’d lose the money, so I went out and hid your treasure in the ground so that it would be safe. See, here it is”. Hearing this, the boss grew angry and asked, “Are you just lazy and idle? You could have at least put my money in the bank where it would earn some interest”.
In this story the gifts that the boss gave to his workers was money, but we each have God-given talents. We each have special gifts. The question for you today is this – Have you overcome the fear of failure or possibly looking foolish to others – and used your gifts to improve your school? We each have a gift – I am certain of that. We each know by observation, examining data and our instinct what needs to happen in our schools. My experience is that many of us are content to just bury our talent and eliminate the risk of failure.
For our teachers who need our leadership and our students who depend on our direction, we must be worker #1 or 2 who take the gifts and try to move forward. We don’t have the same gifts; that can’t stop us. We don’t even have the same amount; that can’t cause us to wait for more. As for the fear, let me reference Rocky’s speech to his son in the last round of the Rocky films. He says,
“Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows.It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you toyour knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hitas hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get it and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward? That’s how winning is done! …But ya gotta be willing to take the hits, and not point fingers saying you ain’t where youwanna be because of him, or her, or anybody! Cowards do that and that ain’t you.” -Rocky IV
Pretty powerful stuff! Let me embolden you, encourage you, and inspire you to use your gifts. Don’t settle for safe. Don’t allow the fear we all feel to cause hesitation. Early on in my journey as a principal I didn’t want to admit to myself that I was in fact responsible for my choices, my actions, and my reactions to the events in my life. I didn’t even realize that I as afraid of failure – so I played it safe. Then I wanted to blame my lack of progress (courage) on my family, my friends, the weather, anything I could possibly find so I wouldn’t run the risk of damage or embarrassment. But what I had created was my own worst nightmare…I was safe but without growth. Fear can paralyze our dreams and progress.
Today’s Monday…how will you invest your week?
Be Well, Do Good Work, & Keep In Touch,