In my EDL 610 course, which is Visionary Leadership, we are spending time learning, teaching and demonstrating the Habits of Highly Effective Learners by Stephan Covey. This week, the topic is on being proactive.
Covey said it best: "I am the captain of my life. I can choose my attitude. I'm responsible for my own happiness or unhappiness. I am in the driver's seat of my destiny, not just a passenger." To be proactive then is to take control ... control of the steering wheel, and choosing the route(s) to the final destination. It was shared in a lecture that Sonya Friedman said we only have power over three things: "what you think, what you say, how you behave ..." It all fits - take control of the steering wheel.
As I reflect on this habit, to be proactive, I think of the times I've waited for something to happen, to be pushed to react and respond. My staff have shared recently they sometimes feel like firefighters, because we have not been proactive with some of the roll outs of our programs and systems. We have reacted and been pushed to respond. I would rather get to the point where we know the final destination and are on the path to reach that destination. It is OK to make adjustments based on the reality of the day, of course, but the destination must be reached. I was reading How to Create a Culture of Achievement by Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey and Ian Pumpian, and in the book they shared the notion of being in a marathon. And in the marathon, it is OK to run it, to walk it, to take baby steps. It is OK not to be moving forward.
When it comes to making a commitment on this notion of being proactive, my commitment is to create road maps through involved and proper planning. We will know the destination, and understand the 'why' of trying to reach that destination. And we will involve folks along the way, to give input and create understanding of that road map. We will live the hashtag that we preach so much #teamworkmakesthedreamwork. I am committed to ensuring my teams have the tools to be proactive and are not set up for failure. This starts at AAS at the senior management level, and will work its way through the ranks of the organization. We will start to create road maps and have conversations on those maps during the weekly senior management team meeting division meetings.
It's time to take control of the steering wheel, and let everyone know the destination. Just like the family vacation, we will create the road map together and reach that final destination, together.
J.J. Lewis - a blog sharing the journey throughout SDSU's MA.EL. program.