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Be Legendary: Lessons Learned from Michael Jordan

By Brian Lile posted 11-08-2018 12:23


This school year we have set our sights on “Being Legendary.”  Over the next few months, I will be blogging about what it takes to “Be Legendary,” using lessons learned from an ad campaign of Nike starring Michael Jordan.  If you want to make a difference, if you truly want to be legendary, I hope that something shared over the next several months will be of benefit to you.

Lesson #1:  It’s About Knowing Where You’re Going

An effective leader has a clear vision and the ability to inspire others to believe in the vision.  If you have had the great opportunity to be a part of The Leadership Challenge, you have learned that one of the five practices of exemplary leadership is to “Inspire a Shared Vision.”  If you do not have a clear vision of where you are going, how are you going to go anywhere?  How are you going to create a positive movement with energetic supporters?  In John Maxwell’s book, Leadership 101, he shares his favorite leadership proverb: “He who thinks he leads, but has no followers, is only taking a walk.”  I would also add that if that leader has no vision then not only is he taking a walk, he is taking a blind walk.  Maxwell also shares that,

“If you can’t influence others, they won’t follow you.  And if they won’t follow, you’re not a leader.  No matter what anybody else tells you, remember that leadership is influence – nothing more, nothing less.” 

Effective leaders reflect upon their actions and confirm that their actions match their vision.  We must never forget where we are going.  We must never forget the people we are leading.  At our school, we have often shared often that we want to be a school where students want to come, staff want to work, and people want to visit.  Remember where you are going!  Be Legendary!

Lesson #2:  Don’t Forget Where You Came From

Not only do we need to know where we are going, but we must never forget where we came from.  This holds true for you as a person and an educator as much as it holds true for your school or district.  Every educator should never forget the desire, nervousness, and excitement we had on our first day of teaching.  These feelings are present in effective leaders every school year.  We must remember our journey as a school or as a district.  Many of us can remember how our school/district was viewed in the past by our community, and yet so many of us have made major strides in the area of school and community relations.  We have witnessed a positive attitude shift about our school in our community.  We need to be proud of this accomplishment, but we must continue to strive for even more.  Remember to be legendary, never forget where you came from, and remember those who helped you along the journey!  Remember where you came from!  Be Legendary!