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Fostering Environments for Success

Yesterday I experienced success in my exercise class. I’m not the most coordinated person, but I was able to successfully complete a complex speed ladder drill. First the instructor showed the new move to the class. I need more handholding, so the trainer stood beside by me and demonstrated the move again. I started slowly but quickly worked up speed. Voila! I had it down. Cheers erupted from the other participants- I had mastered the move! Later in the class, the trainer remarked how much my form had improved- she noticed that I was getting stronger. I walked away from that class feeling elated. I felt success in this environment, and it made me reflect back to work.

How do we set people up to be successful in the workplace? How can we cultivate a feeling of empowerment?

Last Friday I had a professional success at work. After rummaging around for computers to run Makey Makeys for an upcoming STEM afternoon, we salvaged some old laptops for the FabLab. Since we have computers, I wanted to get MinecraftEdu to run on them. By the end of the afternoon, we had our educational licenses and we were running our own server! Now I’m in the process of starting an afterschool program for Minecraft.  The FabLab teacher has already mentioned the possibility of continuing it over into the summer STEM program. I’m excited to see how it takes off from here!  What made this a success was the support of Felix Jacomino, our director of technology. Felix is awesome at green-lighting innovative projects, and that spirit permeates our campus.

How can we create environments where employees feel successful? I think by valuing their ideas, we can motivate people. In a recent online discussion about his book Innovator’s Mindset, George Couros asked participants what made an innovative leader. The response: a passionate, risk-taking cheerleader with a growth mindset- a lead learner!

Innovative leader (1)

I think this applies to teachers as well. They are the lead learners in their classroom. So whatever your position, try to create a feeling of success for the people around you!

We have an awesome administrative team. Our head of schools is our lead learner- always curious and pushing us forward. And the assistant head of schools? Number one cheerleader. This week my goal is to empower those around me and creating a feeling of success for others.


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