Start with One Thing

Thomas C. Murray

Thomas C. Murray

2017 Education Thought Leader of the Year and "20 to Watch” by NSBA
We all know the feeling Being overwhelmed. Not knowing where to start.Being paralyzed by fear.Feeling like we're juggling too many balls in the air. In the #LeadershipMinute video above, I connect with my good friend, Shannon Miller, who addresses this issue in which we can all relate. Shannon is an incredible leader, a dynamic librarian, an advisor for Future Ready Librarians, and most importantly, an amazing person. As you heard from Shannon, she simply recommends to "just start with one thing." After all, isn't that the only way possible? It reminds me of the question, "How do you eat an elephant?" With a follow up response of, "One bite at a time." Whether you're a teacher librarian, a principal, a classroom teacher, or a Superintendent, I can just about guarantee that you're feeling like your plate is full. In fact, I can't remember ever hearing from one of the above how they had so much time on their hands and they didn't know how to spend it. So what can we do if we're feeling overwhelmed? 1. Take Inventory - What are those things that you have to do? What are those things that you'd like to do?2. Set Priorities - Analyze the inventory and prioritize them from "non-negotiable" to "it would be nice to…"3. Start with One Thing - Take what it is that you really want to do and find a way to start. Right now. Send an email. Order a needed resource. Have that conversation. Just start. [No, seriously, go do it. Like, right now.] 4. Get Help - The prideful mindset believes they can do everything on their own. There are only so many hours in the day, and there are amazingly talented people out there besides you. Connect and get help.5. Keep Moving Forward - Take the next steps. Keep going.6. Celebrate the Small Wins - Take time to breathe while celebrating the small wins. Recognize large successes are a compilation and culmination of many small wins. Whether it's the fear of failure, too much care for what other people may think, or a paralysis from feeling overwhelmed Just start. and start with one thing. So, what's it for you? What is it that you've been wanting to move forward with, but haven't yet? What's your next step here? Why not take it today? The pain of regret will be more difficult than the pain of failing forward and trying again. The work is hard. But, our kids are worth it. Together, we can do this. All for the kids we serve, Future Ready Schools is a project of the Alliance for Excellent Education, my home organization, and is located in Washington, D.C.
Leadership is ACTION.
In this #LeadershipMinute, Tom talks about how leadership is defined by one’s actions. To see all of Tom’s #LeadershipMinutes, visit his YouTube Channel.
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Social-Emotional Learning
Basil Marin joins Tom for this #LeadershipMinute.
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Changing Climate to Change Culture
Todd Whitaker joins Tom for this #LeadershipMinute. For more on Todd’s work, click here.
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Creating and Sharing Great Content
Jennifer Gonzalez (@CultofPedagogy) joins Tom for this #LeadershipMinute. To check out Jennifer’s incredible blog, visit cultofpedagogy.com.
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What Should Middle School Look Like?
Dr. Neil Gupta joins Tom for this #LeadershipMinute.
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Don't Forget About YOU!
For more #LeadershipMinutes, subscribe to Tom’s YouTube Channel here.
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How Do You Maintain Balance?
Jessica Cabeen joins Tom for this #LeadershipMinute. I’ll start by saying I feel like a complete hypocrite writing this blog post as balance in life is something with which I struggle. There. I said it. I struggle to maintain a proper balance in life. I absolutely love the work that I’m blessed to do. Although the travel can be exhausting, there...
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What You Do Matters
Tom shares some thoughts from a recent keynote for a state conference. For more from Tom’s YouTube Channel, click here.
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How Does Your Community Know?
Matt Miller joins Tom for this #LeadershipMinute. To see other #LeadershipMinutes, click here. Every day in your school and district, great things happen. How does your community know? One school district that I love to follow, not simply because of the amazing work that happens inside it, but because of the intentional way that they share their...
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Culture Building: One Day at a Time
Traveling the country and working with school and district leaders over the past four years has significantly altered my lens. Spending fourteen years in the same district in Pennsylvania was an incredible blessing. I worked with so many dynamic, kid-loving people. Over my tenure there, our teams had come together during some of the most difficu...
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