Thursday, February 9, 2017

Just Say No

This month, our Compelled Tribe of bloggers are writing about "Collaboration vs. Competition". I really wrestled with this concept, because I'm a very competitive person, but at the same time, collaboration is always my goal at school for students, staff, and myself. As I was pondering which of these techniques motivated me the most, I received word that a professional proposal I had submitted was denied. I was also told that a personal goal of mine was not realistic. I quickly realized the fastest way to motivate me to do something is to tell me no, or that it can't be done. I immediately went to work on finding another avenue to push my professional goal through and my work toward my personal goal went into overdrive. Ironically, getting "denied" was the fastest way to make sure both of the things that I wanted to do will get done.

Looking at the world of education (and the world in general), I believe collaboration is the best way to get things done. We need to work together, we need to compromise, we need to trust one another to make true progress. Teachers need to work in teams, parents need to partner with the school, and schools need to collaborate with the community. We all have a vested interest in making sure each child is successful.

Competition is a powerful motivator and it also helps us set goals and challenges for ourselves. However, I'm a firm believer in the saying that the only person we should strive to be better than is the person we were yesterday. If we all did this, we could truly bring about substantive change. Are you trying to be better than others or be the best you can be? The latter takes true commitment and courage and yields better results.

This week's topic helped shed some light for me on my own motivation and my own stubborn streak. Competition or Collaboration? Both are important, but we need to focus on who we are competing with and who we are collaborating with. Compete against yourself, collaborate with everyone else. And how do you motivate me? Just tell me no.

"Competition gives me energy. It keeps me focused." - Conor McGregor

"When you need to innovate, you need collaboration." - Marissa Mayer

"Never allow a person to tell you no who doesn't have the power to say yes." - Eleanor Roosevelt

What happens when we stop putting people in "boxes" (4 minutes)


Monday, February 13: Celebrate Monday Assembly 9:05 am
Tuesday, February 14: Happy Valentine's Day!!
Wednesday, February 15: Achievement Team Merchant 8:00 am
                                          Achievement Team Nadon 8:30 am
                                          Jon shadowing a 2nd grade student 1:00-4:00 pm
                                          PTSA Founder's Day Banquet 5:30 pm at Schoolcraft College
Thursday, February 16: REED Benson 8:20 am
                                      Data Dive Meetings in LMC (K-2 in morning/3&4 in afternoon)
Friday, February 17: MDA Popcorn Sales $1.00 per bag

Monday, February 20: No School for President's Day
Wednesday, February 22: REED Nadon 2:30 pm 
Thursday, February 23: Staff Meeting 8:05 am
                                      Elementary Principals Meeting 1:00-4:30 pm 
Friday, February 24: PTA popcorn sales

Monday, February 27: Student of the Month & March is Reading Month Assembly 9:05 am


  1. Great post, Jon. I am torn between the two as well. I am leaning more towards competition being good as long as the team is the main focus. Enjoyed reading. Thanks for sharing.

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  3. Jon,
    Thanks so much for sharing the power of "no." I have a letter of rejection that is framed on my desk at home. Every day I look at it and tell myself I'm going to prove them wrong. I guess we are both similar in that way! I love the way you worded the, "Compete against yourself, collaborate with everyone else." It's a great way to think about and remember what's important. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  4. Jon,
    I appreciate your passion for collaboration. I agree that it can't be about winners and losers. It has to be about getting better and the best way to do that is through collaboration.

  5. Thanks, Jon for sharing your thoughts. Had to smile about when getting "denied" was a catalyst for making sure that you got what you wanted and needed. Barriers are often motivating. :)