I was recently recommended a new podcast from a fellow veteran and business owner, From The Green Notebook, and the first episode I listened to did not disappoint. The podcast website states,
“Our host Joe Byerly will extract valuable lessons from some amazing people from all walks of life. We will discuss the importance of habits, mentorship, life-long learning, mindfulness, and the effects of ego on a team.”
The episode that I listened to featured Marine Colonel and Author, Tom Gordon, and covers leadership concepts that can be applied to everyday life. I think there are some great takeaways from the episode so I wanted to share a few with you. The full episode will be linked below and I highly recommend you take the time to listen.
Takeaway #1 – Who are you? vs Who am I?
This is a great exercise that Colonel Gordon used with his military students to allow them the time and space for introspection with regards to who they are to the outside world versus who they really are to themselves. In the world of social media, I think this can be a powerful exercise for leaders, educators, and for students to examine who we are and who we want to be. Listen to the full episode or my podcast break down on the episode to see how Tom facilitated this exercise…it is difficult to write out the practice.
Takeaway #2 – “Do not let the urgent get in the way of the important.”
I really liked this quote from Colonel Gordon when he was discussing how to bring intentionality and structure to your day. Often as educators and leaders, it is easy to feel like everything is a priority and feel that we never have enough time to get it all done. This quote and follow-on discussion are powerful in our fight against allowing urgent, and more importantly, urgent and unimportant, tasks to get in the way of completing the important. If you want to learn more about how to classify your task I recommend learning more about the Eisenhower Matrix to help.
Takeaway #3 – Five tasks to be completed daily
When I heard these 5 tasks and how Colonel Gordon used them to hold himself and his subordinates accountable, I knew I had to share them with you. I think these can easily be adjusted to meet our educational needs and to be used with students of all ages. The 5 daily tasks are:
- Find a problem and fix it.
- Find subordinates/students doing a good job and thank them.
- Teach somebody something.
- Learn something.
- Ask someone how you can help them.
These five tasks look simple when written, but I challenge you to accomplish them each day for the rest of the week. Once you have them mastered I encourage you to share with others and adapt them to your students and see how they do. Let me know how it goes.
I hope these takeaways were meaningful to you as they were to me. I challenge you to take at least one of them and put it into practice. It is easy to read an article but hard to take action. Let’s do the hard things!