It’s the first day of my summer vacation and what am I doing?  Planning for next year, of course!  Friends & family know I can’t sit still.  I’ve learned to take time and be reflective and am always looking to answer the following three questions:

  • What went right?
  • What went wrong?
  • What can I do to change what went wrong and make it right?

I was sharing one of my favorite team-building sites with a couple of colleagues yesterday and began to get very excited.  I can’t wait for the new school year to begin!  Yeah, yeah … I know … the old contract was mere minutes from wrapping up and I was already planning for the new one.  This is me.  Love me or leave me.

While I was sharing the one site, another site came to mind and then several books I’ve read and as I began to talk about a book I read in grad school that helped me kick off one of my best school years, I could feel the excitement building in my colleagues!

I owe my quest to be a CEO to Kathy Dodge Clay.  CEO stands for “Chief ENERGY Officer” (credit: Jon Gordon).  Dr. Dodge Clay was my Human Relations professor.  Let me tell you, I am the first to admit I didn’t expect to get as much out of her class as I have!

Human Relations was the one class I dreaded and the one I thought I’d get zero benefit from.  Oh, how wrong I was!

Dr. Dodge Clay began our first day with what I thought was mindless fluff … happy thoughts, “kumbaya” moments.  Standing in our big circle, I remember thinking it was going to be a loooong semester.

Of all my classes, my Human Relations class truly impacted me as an educator and as a leader.  I attribute my change in professional and life philosophy to the 18 weeks I spent in her class.  I now look for tools to motivate myself & other people.  If I find a gem, I pass it along.

Trust me when I say I spent the last two hours of my contract year sharing some incredible gems!  I explained to my colleagues how important it is to hop off the complain trainfeed the positive dog, and fill other people’s buckets.  I declared my commitment to be a continual CEO to my teachers and my colleagues.  Folks in the other department that share our floor were even tuning in.

Positive energy is contagious.  The challenge will be to keep everyone, me included, motivated during the next school year.  I’m up for it. 🙂

Although the work is hard, I’m going to have fun next year.  No doubt about it!

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