It's not my job to motivate players. They bring extraordinary motivation to our program. It's my job not to de-motivate them.
Lou Holtz is one of the most acknowledged coaches in Notre Dame football history and the second most successful in NCAA history. His record of 100-32 was a result of a tremendous amount of determination and consistent communication with his players and staff. His thoughts on motivation are well known in the world of sports but they also resonate with our push to improve learning outcomes with our students and staff.
At a recent professional development day we had the opportunity to learn from Shawn Lennie, Ontario educator and consultant. He provided a plenary session on the power of the effective use of digital technology and challenged based learning (CBL). At its core challenged-based learning is a multidisciplinary approach that supports learners as they leverage technology to solve real world problems. More information on both Shawn and CBL is available at the end of this post. Mr. Lennie built his presentation on a number of key focus areas including the elimination of barriers to the technology experience and the importance of building relationships and sharing resources. There were many important points to consider for all of the educators in the audience. Shawn’s commentary on the need to connect with what motivates learners resonated with me as we continue on our digital leadership journey.
Technology is not the motivation in itself; it is the enabler that supports our motivation. Ultimately we strive to support improved outcomes for our students. Along that path we come across obstacles that present challenges to the realization of our vision. For me technology provides the edge I need to overcome the many managerial distractions that take time away from working directly with staff and students. Technology in the form of Google Applications allows me to effectively manage the daily administration of the school, communicate with staff in a timely manner and meet school board expectations regarding school improvement monitoring.
Shawn Lennie challenged us to create environments that spawn self-motivation. How can we leverage the use of technology to spark interest and use with our staff members and school community? For me this is the image of the leader as coach. It is all about the walk that supports the talk. Show them a better way with technology and they will incorporate it in their lives and their work with students. And the most important part – don’t stop. Persistence led Lou Holtz and the Fighting Irish to a historic number of consecutive bowl came appearances. It wasn’t an accident or luck ; it was the determination of one person to continually find ways to light each team member’s desire to succeed.
This week consider what motivates you and your colleagues and pinpoint your role in igniting that spark that each one of our community members brings with them.
Information on Challenged-Based Learning can be found at . . .
Information on Shawn Lennie can be found at . . .