Today was a very momentous day for me. Today marks my 10 year wedding anniversary as well as the last day of summer vacation. Both of those occasions trigger a variety of emotions including joy, hope, sadness, love, nervousness, and gratitude. Why such a large variety of emotions for two vary different aspects of life? The past two days I’ve been able to reflect and realize how many parallels can be drawn from my marriage and my first full official year in an educational technology leadership position. Here are some things that have been strangly applicable to both my marriage and career in edtech:
- Learn to pick your battles. Some things are not worth the headache/heartache.
- Cherish and appreciate the small victories.
- Accept praise and compliments when you receive them. Have tough enough skin to accept criticism, but use it to get better.
- Enjoy the quiet moments and use those times to recharge, refocus and reflect.
- Collaboration is more fruitful than cooperation. Collaborating respects all voices. It can be messy and beautiful at the same time.
- Keep those that love and respect you close. Regularly, let those who you love and respect know you do.
- Comfort and complacency are not your friends. Bad habits and actions evolve from status quo mentality. Be content but never satisfied, believing things can always improve.
- Clear communication is key. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Be careful what your unspoken language (body language/facial expressions) communicates to others.
- Be grateful always and complain less. Someone else has it tougher than you.
- Believe what people show or do. People’s actions reveal who they really are.
- Always underpromise and overdeliver.
- Grow where you are planted and stay in your lane. Doing too much before you are adequately prepared will set you up for more failures than successes.
- Great and purposeful things are worth the work. Always make the extra effort when you can and avoid sloppy, cartoony, or lazy.
I will not recount all of the highs and lows of my marriage or first year in educational technology leadership. I can look back at both and say, wow, I’m truly blessed. It’s not too often that you hear people in the early stages of their careers being provided or earning the opportunities or chances I’ve received. God has opened several doors for me to meet people and provided opportunities that have been invaluable. I am very thankful and always remember “to whom much is given, much is required, to whom much is entrusted, of him they will ask all the more.”
Because I’ve been blessed both personally and professionally, I still must do more. It would be easy to sit back with my feet up and bask in my accomplishments during my first year in edtech leadership, but that’s not my style. The glows from the past 12 months are only a few ladder rungs in my journey in the edtech arena. I am still as hungry and humble as I was this time last year. I still have a chip on my shoulder determined to prove that one person can dent and breakdown the status quo doors and mindsets rampant in education and educational technology. There are too many kids depending on me including my son and daughter so the work must continue. If you think you’ve seen a lot from me, I’m here to warn you I’m not done yet!