George Manthey is my cousin and Assistant Executive Director at Association of California School Administrators. He is retiring this year and gave his 'Last Lecture' at the Classified Educational Leader's Conference in Emeryville, CA on Feb. 28 of this year. His speech really touched my heart and I wanted to share some of his "GEMS" for those of you that don't want to sit through the full hour speech. That said, the ending makes it all worthwhile! Where I couldn't resist adding my comments, they are (in parentheses).
- People meet up. People we connect with are there for a reason.
- Steal the best stuff, share it, and give credit!
- Leaders need to simplify, not complicate - Doobie Brothers -I may be just a boy but I am not a fool, Our leaders need to simplify instead of complicate. There is an inverse relationship between size of SIP and the improvement.
- Don't underestimate your influence - make the most of every single opportunity! It is through creating change that we have a lasting influence. Here he tells a wonderful story about a struggling 2nd grader who came back to him some 30 years later, an extremely successful lawyer and father, and said, roughly, 'all of my accomplishments are your accomplishments, too.' (What teacher doesn't wish for that impact?!)
- Leading is a dance. Dance joyfully. When you dance, sometimes you teach, other times you learn. At times you are fronts and center, other times you are in the background. You have to take risks. Dancing is more powerful when you include everyone. (Sometimes you lead, sometimes you follow.)
- Often you need a commitment to just go halfway.
- It isn't good enough to have a goal, if your goal doesn't have truth, beauty and goodness. Seek what is beautiful, right and good.
- Sometimes you won't know, there are other times you will (think Vincent Van Gogh)
- Include and transcend. Live in the world of What's Not. Lao Tzu said 'Hollowed out, clay makes a pot. Where a pot is not, is where it is useful.' Our imaginations are not big enough when they are not expanded by others.
- one word - NOTICE. Pay attention. Live whole heartedly. Brene' Brown reported in her TED talk, 'people who notice have things in common: Courage. Compassion. Connection. Vulnerability.'
- End Abruptly when the time is right.
- There are no accidents. In everything there is a purpose.
- Love the ones you're with.
George Manthey's Last Lecture from ACSA on Vimeo.