Are you playing full out?

fullout2In the past few years, I’ve become a fan of Michael Hyatt. I enjoy reading his blog and listening to his podcast – I learn so much! Today I followed a circuitous path to one of his blogs – The Benefits of Playing Full Out. In the post, he shares 3 ideas that reflect what “playing full out” looks like:

  • Being fully present, undistracted by anything else.
  • Stretching yourself, even if it makes you feel awkward or uncomfortable.
  • Giving it your best effort, even when you are tired and want to quit.

After reading this short list, I reflected on my ability to “play full out” in my role as an educational leader. In what situations am I most inclined to play full out? When am I unmotivated to play full out? What are the barriers and how can I overcome them?

Like most things in life, our ability to be fully present, to stretch ourselves and to give our best has an ebb and flow. For me, energy and interest levels play a big part. Also, levels of synergy with other people I’m collaborating with. However, for the most effective leaders, low energy, lack of interest and being around unmotivated people are no excuse for not playing full out. Yes, we are human, and we will have days when we are not successful at overcoming those barriers. But the most effective leaders push through the barriers; they’re not always successful, but they keep pushing.

This serendipitous learning experience (so common in the digital world) has reminded me that I need to be more self-aware of my “playing full out” behaviors. For every situation I find myself in, I need to ask:

  • FOCUS: Am I fully present, engaging with the work at hand with a laser focus?
  • LEARNING: How am I stretching myself to engage with the work at hand to grow and learn, but also help others grow and learn?
  • GRIT: Am I sustaining my focus and learning despite physical and mental fatigue?

What do you see as the BENEFITS of playing full out? Why should we embrace it? How has it made a difference it what you have achieved as an educational leader? How do you make “playing full out” a part of your school culture?

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