As you read this, school leaders across the country are preparing to address their staff when they return for the start of the school year. For a lot of schools and districts, the prior year was a case of a couple of steps forward and a couple of steps backwards. That is one of the problems that manifests itself when you have numerous indicators of success. So the question I often get is, “How do I address the staff when I know there are lots of things that did not go according to plan?”

To answer this question, I crib from George S. Patton. To paraphrase the General, he said,

“Victory is achieved when you declare it.”

This advice makes me face the fact that all complicated endeavors have numerous indicators of relative success and failure (and a full year of school with tens of adults and hundreds of students is a complicated endeavor). It makes me focus on the fact that success breeds success. Therefore, when it is time to sum up the prior year and get ready for the next year, I try to focus on the following theme:

In total, we won last year (at the very least, we are smarter and we lived to fight another day). We will take that victory and we will use it as the jumping off point for even greater victory this year.

So my advice to you, the LYS reader and leader, is to:

1. Declare victory
2. Set the next ambitious challenge
3. Start working at full speed.

Think. Work. Achieve.

Just a reminder for existing LYS readers and an invitation to new LYS readers, Sunday is advice day. Send me your favorite piece of advice and why, along with your mailing address. If I post it, I’ll send you a world famous Lead Your School can koozie.

Your turn…