Friday, February 6, 2015

Think like a super villain, not a minion.

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At ULearn last year I sat next to a lady who cited the government as an excuse for schools not being future focussed. The year before at a different conference, someone cited a similar reason for why they could not achieve their peresonal goals. One often hears senior leaders blamed too. Sometimes boards of trustees or communities, sometimes parents, often, colleagues. I too have played the blame game, especially where in my opinion, the needs of the students are not being put first. 

However, with Carol Dweck's Minset and Dan Pink's Drive ticked off my summer reading list, I am deliberately trying to think, act  and even communicate in a more growth mindset orientated way. After all, blame, and making excuses are signs of a fixed mindset. And as my summer reading pointed out, just because I show a growth mindset in some contexts in my life, does not mean that I necessarily show it in others. For example, I know that I am far more growth orientated when it comes to academic learning than when I'm doing a physical activity. 

So, to combat those moments where I might slip into the fixed mindset, where I might play the blame game or make excuses, I am testing a new motto. Think like a super villain, not like a minion. When a super villain does not like what the government is doing, they plot to take over the world, or they hack the system. Rather than moping around, they plan takeovers, grow their following, and find loopholes in the system that allow them to pursue their goals. 

Now don't get me wrong here, I am by no means telling you to be a super villain, but rather to start thinking more like one. Where are the loopholes you can exploit? Where are there old, unnecessary or stifling systems, processes and rules put in place by people, that can also be broken down and improved by people? What rules are there that need to be broken, or better, replaced with new rules. Rather than trying to think outside the box, think about how you can assist in the demolition of the box. Super villains often also have a knack for being creative in their problem solving, for thinking big. They ask 'how might we' questions. How might we take over the world or build a flying octopus suit? Super villains have done anything and everything from building enormous robots to stealing the moon. 

Personally, I would much rather stop making excuses or stop blaming others, that is how a minion thinks. I would much rather think like a super villain. 

PS: 7 seconds left for my 28 minutes challenge today!