Monday, July 20, 2015

If your not failing, your aren't trying hard enough
I am a bit self-conscious - maybe you are too. I like to put my best foot forward. So I clean my house like a crazy person when someone is coming over. I cringe at the thought of other people seeing the usual disarray of shoes, half-opened mail, used cups, etc. that normally decorate our living space. I don't like to look unprepared or foolish, especially at work. So I spend time pondering new ideas, researching and calculating, turning them over and over and over in my own mind before I put them out in the world. Some might call this analysis paralysis, I call it being thorough. :)

Like most Americans, I buy into the culture of success. We are a culture of winners and over achievers who show off brilliant business plans on Shark Tank and well polished talent on American Idol, The Voice, etc. No one wants to be embarrassed by the "judges" in their life when they point out their lack of preparation or hard work.

I have been inspired recently to be more willing to screw up. In the spring my friends at North Carolina Digital Leaders Coaching Network talked about failure as a good thing. To bring about innovation in education, we have to empower each other to take risks. I nodded my head yes, but thought to myself - that is for other people. I have been seeing this idea all around me ever since.  It really is the IN thing - Forbes article on failure7 TED talks about failure. Apparently if you are not failing, you are just not trying hard enough.

So I am ready to embrace failure. I am going to be brave enough to let go of my old ways and reach for the new opportunities. When I fail, I promise not to beat myself up (too much). I am going to break out of my analysis paralysis and try.

I am challenging myself to put my riskiest ideas out there. The ones with the most potential impact, but also the potential for failure. I am going to set a big stretch goal, so I can celebrate (and learn from) my failures.

My goal for 2015-16 school year - Help students throughout Durham connect to the Internet from home to access academic resources.

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