Tuesday, February 5, 2019

The Sting of Feedback~The Pathway to Growth

Every year, I choose a word for the year I want to focus on. For the year 2019, I chose 'growth'. Simply put, when I reach the end of 2019, I want to be better than I was when I ended 2018.

So, I was reading an article the other day on growth. This line caught my attention:

"When ski instructors are teaching new skiers, they will tell them if they are not falling down, they are not trying hard enough." 

When is the last time you fell down while trying to grow or stretch yourself?

My word this year is growth. I am finding it is painful.

I presented earlier this month at the New Superintendent Academy in Harrisburg, PA. While I concede there were things I could improve upon, in all, I thought it went well.

I received the evaluation back the other day. Again, for the most part, the results were positive. Until I read the open ended comments.

One person wrote that I came across as ill prepared...it was a waste of time, and in all six of the sessions this individual sat through, I was the only one who did not respect their time.


As I was reading it, I saw red. A swirl of emotions washed over me. Mostly, after the dust settled, I realized I only like when I get positive feedback. I like when people tell me how great I am. If you are not going to do that, I don't want to hear anything. I know, it's a real mature way of looking at things.

Once I allowed myself to be angry, to wallow in self-pity, I took some time to reflect on where I truly could grow.

I could have done better. I could have been more prepared. True growth comes from the next time I enter the arena...to take the lessons learned from this presentation- and get better.

2019. A year of growth. Painstaking...but I am determined to grow.

How about you? When is the last time you entered the arena? When is the last time you 'fell down'? What are you doing to get back up and get better?  Every one wins when the leader gets better.
Grow. Fall down. Learn from it. Get up. Get back after it.


It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.