PDF Below C Level: How American Education Encourages Mediocrity - And What We Can Do About It

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In every profession and career, as we climb to higher leadership positions, the role of facts and data decreases. Any one of them has the potential to derail even the best of leaders. While they may creep up on us, we can see them coming and apply the proper antidote. And even though these seven challenges never really go away, we can create some life habits that keep them at bay.

Teacher Preparation: Reforming the Uncertain Profession

Nieuwhof writes from a been-there-done-that Christian perspective about the issues as they manifest themselves in our lives and follows up each one with a chapter on how to combat it. These issues affect everyone and some you'll find hit close to home. Cynicism Disappointment and frustration often end in cynicism. Ask them and they know all about it. It may get us in the door, but character is what determines how far we go.

Technology just makes it worse. Eliminate hurry from your life. And this comment could pull any of us up short:.

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For me, the sense that a conversation is going nowhere always carries with it an underpinning of judgment and even arrogance on my part. Which, of course, should drive me right back to my knees in confession. Irrelevance Irrelevance happens when what you do no longer connects to the culture and the people around you. That gap is a factor of how fast things change relative to you.

Change staves off irrelevance. Get radical about change.

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Surround yourself with younger people. Seek change to transform you. Burnout Burnout saps the meaning and wonder out of life. Signs of burnout include among other things: your passion fades, you no longer feel your highs and lows, little things make you disproportionately emotional, everybody drains you, nothing satisfies you, and your productivity drops. Getting out of this state begins by admitting it and then figuring out how to live today so you will thrive tomorrow.

What does that look like?

Nieuwhof recommends some concrete steps you can take to bring you back from burnout. Go deep enough and take enough time to recover so that you begin to feel gratitude for the process. Emptiness Ironically, success often makes you feel empty. Humility will win you what pride never will: the affection of others. Other people naturally gravitate toward people who live for a cause beyond themselves.

The practical advice found here will benefit anyone on their leadership journey. It does not invalidate everything else of its type, rather it is designed to be simpler and thereby memorable and actionable on issues that really matter for people in the work environment. And it is quite straightforward for both accessing yourself and others you work with.

Pioneers value possibilities and they spark energy and imagination. Drivers value challenge and they generate momentum. Integrators value connection and they draw teams together. Guardians value stability and they bring order and rigor. The authors naturally go into detail on each of these types and give an example of a well-known person that fits that type. They also delve into difference between the types as they relate to stress Pioneers are the least stressed.

The Relationship Economy

The trick of course, is to use this knowledge to modify you own behavior. Then you can determine how you might flex your own style to better match the preferences of those around you. For example, too many constraints can completely shut a Pioneer down, while a Guardian may withdraw in an environment that feels too chaotic.

Knowing these trigger points can help you as a leader to give people more of what they need to excel and less of what will turn them off. I might want to be direct with others but I have learned that I am more productive when I am diplomatic.

But being that that is my natural tendency, I probably prefer when people are direct and concise with me. That fact would affect my working style profile.

"Mediocre to Awful" State Science Standards Could Jeopardize U.S. Competitiveness

They prefer having all of the answers and enjoy zooming into every detail. They grew up in a different time and may have adopted a more novelty-seeking and relationship—focused orientation. Without it we tend to be reactive, disengaged, an unimaginative. The more conscious we are, the faster we adapt, and the higher performing we become.

Bob Rosen and Emma-Kate Swann wrote Conscious: The Power of Awareness in Business and Life , because they believe that becoming more conscious is critical in our increasingly disruptive and accelerating world. Driven by the need to be right, those obsessed with being smart tend to hoard knowledge, externalize blame, and mismanage relationships and risks. This sabotages our ability to thrive in a constantly changing world. As a result, we stay stuck, biased, and reactive. Staying small and never stepping up is sure to lead to regrets and will undermine your highest potential. Harness the power of introspection by getting to know who you are, where you come from, and why you act the way you do.

Get curious and adaptive: deal with complexity and paradox by learning how to expand your mind, leverage your relationships and networks, and overcome unconscious biases. Become more honest and intentional in leadership and life, overcoming the pitfalls of being too safe and cautious while embracing reality. Act boldly and responsibly to reach your highest potential: how to champion your higher purpose, stretch people in constructive ways, and be generous in your relationships.

To lead change you need a conscious mindset.

OVERVIEW, REPORTS OF HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE

If we are going to create change, we have to begin with ourselves. That requires that we become more conscious of what pushes us forward—our Accelerators —and what holds us back—our Hijackers. Accelerators like courage, drive or determination, deliberate practice, resilience, and vulnerability, drive us forward. Hijackers like self-criticism, cynicism, controlling behavior, aloofness or disengagement, and hyper-competitiveness, hold us back.

It is important to know how these things impact your performance and constructively use them or deal with them. There are many things that conspire to throw us off-course. Knowing who you want to be in the world and remembering your purpose, will help you to manage these issues and keep you on course. The more conscious we are the less drama we will experience in our lives.

Another consequence of being conscious is to be civil. Acts of civility are the small sacrifices we make for the good of all and the sake of harmoniously living and working together. Barack Obama because "he's an Arab. He's a decent, family man, citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues. Conscious unleashes our full potential as human beings. By expanding our minds, enriching our experiences, and shaping our destinies, we discover our purpose in life. Being conscious enables us to approach life as a journey. Equipped with everything we need—an open mind and heart, confidence and resilience, and our capacity for greater consciousness—we embrace the uncertainty of life.

Conscious is the accelerator for effective change. If you are a high-performer, it comes with the territory. Graham offers 7 tips for overcoming Imposer Syndrome :. Quite that Inner Voice. Perfection is Slow Death.