Committed Are You?

cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo by Ed Schipul

cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo by Ed Schipul

People who are committed to a team or a vision, show up, follow through and stick with it even when the going gets tough!

I remember when I was young and I was playing basketball for a struggling club.  We played on a Friday night as juniors and my club wasn’t exactly a winning franchise at that time.  I was a fair junior player but a stand out in my club and as a result I would often play three games in a night. This wasn’t what normally occurred but due to my clubs low numbers it was needed to fill the team with good enough players. I would play my own grade U/14s then U/16s followed often by U/18s.

At that point I was desperate to leave the club for a better option.  One where other players could share the load.  My mother however insisted that I stay committed to my team and at least stick out the season until they could get enough players to survive without me. Of course at the time this frustrated me. I played three games most Fridays and scored most of our team points in each grade. Whilst being a lead scorer may have been enough motivation for others, it wasn’t something that I really cared so much about. I would have rather scored nothing and be on a side that played a higher standard.

Eventually the time came for me to exit and the rest is another story, but to say my scoring was less prolific instead I gained the team game I craved.

So what did this teach me?

“Dependability is more than ability alone.” – John Maxwell

A big part of committing to a team is being true to your word; if you say you’re going to do something,you  do it. If you say you’re going to be somewhere, you be there. Showing your team members they can depend on you is vital. Working towards a team goal doesn’t always mean it aligns 100% with your own vision. It would be great if it did but sometimes we need to compromise a little. As a leader if I didn’t would that be a dictatorship?

I read and hear a lot of talk about motivation in education. This week alone it has filled the twitter stream on #satchatoc and #satchat trending. One tweet actually suggested that an unmotivated teacher is “dangerous”.  I was quite shocked by this statement and whilst I wasn’t actually participating in the chat I couldn’t help but jump in and ask….

Screen Shot 2013-07-15 at 8.44.55 AM

Whilst I will leave that post for another day, it concerns me that we place such high stakes on being motivated when there will be some times, (just like when I was a kid playing basketball) that commitment to the team may need to come first. I wasn’t motivated by potential success or the quality of the “game” we were building.  I just had to push through and play the best I could because I was part of the team.  So when we say we need to support kids to be more resilient to show more “grit” doesn’t commitment play a role in this?

Just some thoughts, I would love further considerations…

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