Frogs and posteriorties (part 2b)


Frogs and posteriorties (part 2b)

20 Jan ’19 Leadership 0

It has been a bit more of a task than I had anticipated. This frog has been cut up into two parts and twenty-one mouthfuls. We are over half way now…

Upgrade Your Key Skills

Continuous learning is the minimum requirement for success in any field. We are in and around around the ‘good enough’ debate I have enjoying with Chris Moyse.

The more there is to be done, the more trees there are to be cut down, the challenging it becomes to stop, and sharpen the blade of the axe.

Read, educate / network, listen – Tracy suggests audiobooks in the car. (Check). I would highly recommend you learn how to use your podcatcher. There is some excellent content available – from education I have ASCLs podcast, TES, The Learning Scientists, then I have mentioned Curious Minds and the new series TED Interview hosted by Head of TED Chris Anderson. Futurist Ray Kurzweil, was pretty mind blowing.

If you read – Schools Improvement curates the new so you do not have too.

Leverage your special talents

C – something and not too much [for me anyway]. More ‘self-help’ than ‘leverage your special talents.’

Identify Your Key Constraints

More ‘self-help’. C+

What is holding me back?

What stops you or holds you back from eating the frogs that can really make a difference?

I prefer the second question.

I going to go out on a limb here. If asked, a good proportion of professionals will be able to identify their own constraints. With some Coaching, most could notice and name them. Then go on to identify their own constraints. Otherwise, you need to ask the people you work with, to tell you and that opens up a more complex debate.

Listening to the feedback, consciously addressing one’s own constraints, that is the hard part. Maintaining the change requires continued awareness and effort. From my perspective, it requires me to.

Put the pressure on yourself

Be accountable to yourself. It is the champion mentally.

As an aspiring coach, young PE teacher and burgeoning teacher-leader, I read pretty much every British football coach autobiography of my era. Wenger, Ferguson, Robson, Rednapp, Big Fry, Vennebals, then the greats, Clough, Busby, Shankly and then I went further afield, DiCicco and Dorrance. Here I read of an observation that made such as impression, I have search it out for you.

The vision of a champion is bent over, drenched in sweat, at the point of exhaustion, when nobody else is looking.

Anson Dorrance

On Tracy’s reference to ‘pressure’ not too much in this Chapter sit comfortably with my personal philosophy. I am not as sure that ‘pressure’ is healthy. Setting short deadlines and sub-deadlines is value advice. Under promise and over deliver.

Maximize your personal powers

Here I applaud Tracy. Rest and being rested is often overlooked on leadership courses. Less so in the most recent education debate and not before time.

Much like quality working, Tracy advocates for quality restfulness. To that he adds physical health. I would add mental well-being too. He also asks readers to think of the posteriorties for physical and mental balance (I would say stop putting unnecessary pressure on yourself.)

Motivate yourself into action

Back to the self-help. Optimism is the most important quality you can develop for personal and professional success and happiness.

Get out of the technological time sinks

There is more to life than just increasing its speed.


Treat technology as a servant, not as a master. In this ever connected world, disconnecting is essential. Essential for authentic, connected communication, for focused, high-quality work, for well-being.

All teachers and leaders beware of urgent. We all to often react and focus on urgent’s demands, instead of what is most impactful.

RIM, makers of Blackberry’s, were the first company to successfully introduce ‘Push Services’ for email, and later BBM text messages. 2009 ‘Push notifications’ arrived with iOS3.0 disrupting work life communication immeasurably. 2013 ‘Push notifications’ arrived in our browser care of Google. Push notifications are arguably, the single biggest disruption to communication since email (1990s).

Leaders need to be self-aware, that how and when we communicate, is an act of communication itself. Very few things are so important that they cannot wait.

Silence, the presence of everything. Find time for silence. 4:45am works for me.

Slice and dice the task

Food analogies: ‘salami slice’ and ‘Swiss cheese.’ Really.

Set the aim. Plan the work. Consider the unintended consequences. Work the plan. Assess the return on investment.

Create large chunks of time


Interruptions are costly – refocusing takes time, mistakes occur. Can I throw in another affirmation for 5-6am? Too much?

Develop a sense of urgency

Highly-effective people launch quickly and strongly toward their goals and objectives… and potentially to their peril. If I review my gravest errors, they arose from a lack of considered planning. Reactive rather than responsive. That is why I am currently interested in the ADKAR model of change management.

I understand the Momentum Principle – a worthwhile point.

Single handle every task

Your ability to select your most important task, to begin it, and then to concentrate on it single-mindedly until it is complete is the key to high levels of performance and personal productivity.

This really should have a ‘Discuss?’ at the end of the quotation.

The advice shared by Tracy clearly resonates. 1.5 million copies sold worldwide. I read it twice. The tone does feel quite extrovert. In a ‘go get ’em tiger,’ kind of. Nevertheless, take what you can from it.


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