Posts Tagged ‘Inspiration’

This post is taken from Jon Gordon’s weekly newsletter, Positive Strategies to Fuel Your Life and Career.


Jon Gordon's Weekly Newsletter


While watching the Oscars I noticed that almost every award winner said they couldn’t have done it without their team, family, and the support of others. The fact is no one achieves success alone. We all need a great team to accomplish great things. We are at our best when we are surrounded by those who want the best for us and when we are bringing out the best in others. In this spirit I want to share 9 ways to be a great team member.

1. Set the Example – Instead of worrying about the lack of performance, productivity and commitment of others you simply decide to set the example and show your team members what hard work, passion and commitment looks like. Focus on being your best every day. When you do this you’ll raise the standards and performance of everyone around you.

2. Use Your Strengths to Help the Team – The most powerful way you can contribute to your team is to use your gifts and talents to contribute to the team’s vision and goals. Without your effort, focus, talent and growth the team won’t accomplish its mission. This means you have an obligation to improve so you can improve your team. You are meant to develop your strengths to make a stronger team. Be selfish by developing you and unselfish by making sure your strengths serve the team.

3. Share Positive Contagious Energy – Research shows emotions are contagious and each day you are infecting your team with either positive energy or negative energy. You can be a germ or a big dose a Vitamin C. When you share positive energy you infectiously enhance the mood, morale and performance of your team. Remember, negativity is toxic. Energy Vampires sabotage teams and complaining is like vomiting. Afterwards you feel better but everyone around you feels sick.

4. Know and Live the Magic Ratio – High performing teams have more positive interactions than negative interactions. 3:1 is the ratio to remember. Teams that experience interactions at a ratio equal or greater than 3:1 are more productive and higher performing than those with a ratio of less than 3:1. Teams that have a ratio of 2:1, 1:1 or more negative interactions than positive interactions become stagnant and unproductive. This means you can be a great team member by being a 3 to 1’er. Create more positive interactions. Praise more. Encourage more. Appreciate more. Smile more. High-five more. Recognize more. Energize more. Read more about this

5. Put the Team First – Great team players always put the team first. They work hard for the team. They develop themselves for the team. They serve the team. Their motto iswhatever it takes to make the team better. They don’t take credit. They give credit to the team. To be a great team member your ego must be subservient to the mission and purpose of the team. It’s a challenge to keep our ego in check. It’s something most of us struggle with because we have our own goals and desires. But if we monitor our ego and put the team first we’ll make the team better and our servant approach will make us better.

6. Build Relationships – Relationships are the foundation upon which winning teams are built and great team members take the time to connect, communicate and care to build strong bonds and relationships with all their team members. You can be the smartest person in the room but if you don’t connect with others you will fail as a team member.(Tweet This) It’s important to take the time to get to know your team members. Listen to them. Eat with them. Learn about them. Know what inspires them and show them you care about them.

7. Trust and Be Trusted – You can’t have a strong team without strong relationships. And you can’t have strong relationships without trust. Great team members trust their teammates and most of all their team members trust them. Trust is earned through integrity, consistency, honesty, transparency, vulnerability and dependability. If you can’t be trusted you can’t be a great team member. Trust is everything.

8. Hold Them Accountable – Sometimes our team members fall short of the team’s expectations. Sometimes they make mistakes. Sometimes they need a little tough love. Great team members hold each other accountable. They push, challenge and stretch each other to be their best. Don’t be afraid to hold your team members accountable. But remember to be effective you must built trust and a relationship with your team members. If they know you care about them, they will allow you to challenge them and hold them accountable. Tough love works when love comes first. Love tough.

9. Be Humble – Great team members are humble. They are willing to learn, improve and get better. They are open to their team member’s feedback and suggestions and don’t let their ego get in the way of their growth or the team’s growth. I learned the power of being humble in my marriage. My wife had some criticism for me one day and instead of being defensive and prideful, I simply said, “Make me better. I’m open. Tell me how I can improve.” Saying this diffused the tension and the conversation was a game changer. If we’re not humble we won’t allow ourselves to be held accountable. We won’t grow. We won’t build strong relationships and we won’t put the team first. There’s tremendous power in humility that makes us and our team better.


Teachers … How would you describe your class?  Are you an out-of-the-box type of teacher?  Do you get your students to think outside-the-box?

Administrators … How would you describe your school?  Do you promote out-of-the-box thinking?

outside the box

This is an awesome video! 

I can’t think of any other way to describe this video, created by Paul Bogush, an 8th grade teacher at Moran Middle School in Wallingford, CT.  You can visit his blog and see what all he’s about as well as follow him on twitter @paulbogush.


I agree with Scott McLeod when he says, “I want this for my kids. And yours. And everyone else’s. More of this, please!”

Is this out-of-the-box and unusual, or can this the new norm for modern teachers?  What do you think?

This video fits right along with the message of #YouMatter.



How do you feel about showing compassion?  How do you fell about telling someone … “You Matter” ?

You Matter

How would you feel if someone told you that YOU MATTER?  How hard is it to let someone know that they really do matter?

This weekend I sent an email with a link to a YouTube video from Angela Maiers to everyone in our school district.  I usually don’t do this … I would usually just send to everyone on my campus, but this time I thought the message in this video was so powerful that everyone in my district needed to see it.  My hope is that it touched everyone in a way that would motivate each person to tell someone else … a student, a colleague, a friend, anyone … that YOU MATTER!

I got the following response from one of my teachers and I thought it was worthy to share with everyone.

I think sometimes we are so wrapped up in delivering our curriculum that we forget that our kids learn as much from us about how to treat people and how to appreciate life as they do about our subjects.

No former student over the last twenty four years has ever contacted me to say thank you I really appreciated all the lessons you taught me about Biology!  However, they have looked me up to say thanks for having their back, being their ‘school mom’, or making them feel smart.  I know we all have had this experience and if we are honest it is what keeps us in this profession.  I think the truth of what the lady on the video says is that if we are positive with our kids and make them feel they matter then probably everything else academically has a chance of falling into place.

What boggles my mind is that there are still teachers who perceive students as the ‘enemy’.  Almost every time I go to a workshop there will be someone griping about their students.  This speaks volumes about the attitude of the teacher speaking.  The sad thing is the people who need to watch this video most probably won’t or won’t perceive that they are the type of teacher who puts kids down and build negative barriers.  Alternatively, they take pride in the fact that our students ‘don’t like them’ like it is a badge of honor.  I think this is both sad and deeply disturbing. Everyone loses.

Long response, I know, but I’ve been thinking about this most of the day.  This video has an important message EVERYONE needs to watch it, from the students all the way up!

Thanks Angela Maiers for your Two Words Changing the World … You Matter.

You can follow Angela Maiers on Twitter @AngelaMaiers and you can go to her website at

Here is the video I sent to everybody in our district.  Hopefully it will inspire you like it did me.


What do you think about this movement?  How do you let others know that They Matter?

Remember .. YOU MATTER!

photo (2)

I love the Fall!  Why?  Because of two things:

  1. it’s the start of a new school year, and
  2. it’s time for football

There are a lot of similarities between school and football.  Each year you get a chance to start over.  Each year you get a chance to continue to build on your successes from the previous year.  Each year you have returning players / students, and at the same time, you have new players / students.  The success of your team depends on your coaches and your teachers.  All they both need to do is get the best from each player / each student.  When a coach / teacher is able to do this, then success is inevitable.  Success does not always mean an undefeated season or that a student gets straight A’s in every class.  Success is achieved when players and students are able to accomplish more that they thought they could or accomplish more that the did the previous year.  Sometimes there are setbacks … losses or injuries / a failing grade on an assignment or a test.  Great coaches and teachers can either give up or they can work harder and get their players and students to work harder to improve.

The main attribute to me, of a successful coach and a successful teacher is their ability to build positive relationships with their players / students.

Relationships Matter!

What is it about relationships that matter so much?  There is an easy answer to this question … kids won’t learn from someone they don’t like.

I have heard that as a teacher you start the school year out mean and that you can ease up around Christmas.  If you start out too nice, you can’t get mean but if you start out mean, you can always get nicer.  I challenge this way of thinking.  Why not start out the school year building positive relationships with your students (players)?  These positive relationships can make a greater impact on your students.  Sure you can be mean until Christmas … if you want to be miserable and if you want to make your students miserable.  Go ahead.  See how much learning occurs.  But if you want to have a productive school year (and football season) I challenge you to build those positive relationships.  I guarantee you will be happier and your students will be happier and will learn more.  If you do this, you will have a great school year.

In the following video, Rita Pierson makes an excellent case about building positive relationships.  I hope you enjoy.  Please leave a comment and let me know your thoughts.

Learn and Grow

What is the purpose of school?

It doesn’t matter if it is Elementary, Middle School / Jr. High, or High School.  The purpose of school is for the students to learn.  It’s our job as educators to teach them so they can learn.  It’s that simple!

As teachers, we already know everything, right?  We know everything there is to know and we can teach it to every student that walks through our doors, right?  And we know the best way to teach it to them so they can learn it, right?

Really!  (Can you detect a little sarcasm here?)

So what do teachers do to learn?  This is a good question … a question that doesn’t have just one answer because all teachers learn differently, just like their students.  There is not a right way or a wrong way.  What’s important is that you have to learn.  If you don’t, your students will suffer.  And that is unacceptable!

Your students depend on you for help.  Your students depend on you to learn so they can learn!

Here’s the challenge:  get connected, reflect, explore, read, watch, listen, model, collaborate, search, take notes, blog, lurk, discuss, encourage, share, and  …………… grow!



How many times have you heard students say that they hate school or that they dread school?  How many times have you heard students say something about not wanting to go to Mr. __________’s class (you can fill in the blank here) because they just can’t stand him or that class?

Far too many times!!!!!

For students, beginning school in Kindergarten is the highlight of their young lives.  It’s what they have been working for since birth … starting school!  They are so excited and just ready to soak up and learn everything they can from their teacher.  I would even bet that everybody can still remember their Kindergarten teacher’s name.   Mine was Mrs. Meador, and I still remember having so much fun in her class.

But then, somewhere along the way, something changed.  Kids begin to dread going to school.  They still go because they have to, but they really don’t look forward to it.  School became monotonous, boring, not fun, etc.


Let’s change our point-of-view for a minute.

Think back to when you began teaching.  Think about the excitement and nervousness of that first day and all the things you were going to do to help students get the best education possible.  You were going to change the world!   But then, somewhere along the way, for some (but not all), something changed.  School became monotonous, boring, not fun, etc.


There is not one answer to this question.  Whatever the reason, it is imperative that it gets changed.  We must once again find the JOY in teaching.  And I bet that when teachers once again find that JOY, then the students will once again find their JOY in going to school.  (See one of my previous posts, The Energy Bus — 10 Rules to Fuel You Life, Work, and Team with Positive Energy).

In this TEDx video, Dean Shareski does a great job posing the question — Whatever happened to joy in education?  You will really like this fun and insightful video and, after watching, will feel challenged to FIND JOY !!