Taking People with You by David Novak is a read that has left me reflecting on how to become a better person, educator, and leader. I blogged about the intro a few days ago thinking about how much I depend on my wife for many things.
I read the book and took away many key ideas. As always I applied the information to education and parenting instead of business. Here are my key takeaways, but keep in mind there are many more that I took notes on.
1.Develop quality insightful questions for self and others
Most of my notes are the questions that were shared in the reading. I believe that a missing ingredient in most discussions and conversations are the quality questions that push people beyond the limits of their comfort zone. Reading this book I was able to capture some really deep questions that I will be using with my new job as an instructional coach. We have to go beyond the surface to really find out what we are seeking. It is time to quit being superficial and get to the root of the topic. Many of my notes were simply questions that I can modify to provoke thought. I know that attending the #WCGTC13 conference this happened all the time and was a major reason I left with much to ponder and think about. Don’t be afraid to poke the box!
2. Educators must think like marketers
This idea is not new to this blog or me, but as I was reading this book and how Novak works his magic in the business world I once again was reminded that educators must think like marketers. We have to know our intended audience, what makes them tick, how they operate, and decide how to gain their attention. We cannot think like educators. We have to think like students and work from their point of view. It is all about appealing to their needs and wants. Sometimes they don’t know that answer, but as professionals we know what they need. Bridging these two ideas together will enhance education.
3. Have a plan and think BIG
Don’t settle. Create that impossible goal and figure out how to achieve it. It reminds me much of what Tony Wagner spoke about in his speech to the the Gallup(youtube.com/watch?v=w9s4BB…. Create many goals to achieve and even if you don’t reach them all you will reach more than just looking a few steps ahead.
The key here is to keep reality in the forefront and understand what is needed to accomplish the goal. Personally, I will be working very hard to make sure teachers actually work through their projects themselves before unveiling to students. We must see the course first. You can connect this idea to your own situation.
4. Let people discover their own solutions
There are an abundance of experts, books, charts, graphic organizers, etc. that we can go look at to find answers. However, the answers are worthless if we don’t discover it for ourselves. As educators we must provide some guidance, but leave it to students to find the path to learning. As educators we cannot simply copy directly from someone else. We have to infuse our passion and knowledge to make it our own. This requires believing in ourselves and trusting in the process. If you do the other steps above this can happen.
In the weeks to come I will be blogging specifically on some of the specific takeaways from this book. However, I do recommend you read this book. There are some really great things to read, learn, and adapt to whatever you do in life. Like anything, you have to act upon it if it is going to mean anything. I will share out later what happens when I act upon the things I learned from the book.