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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Here's The Pitch

Years ago Steve Jobs of Apple Computer, approached Pepsico executive John Sculley, attempting to convince him to become CEO at Apple. His plea - "Do you want to sell sugared water the rest of your life, or do you want to change the world?" (from Odyssey: Pepsi to Apple - a journey of adventure, ideas, and the future. 1987) Sculley not only accepted, but willingly took a significant pay cut to leave the financially solid Pepsico company for an opportunity with a company that boasted more promise than performance at that point in their organizational history. 

Educational leaders need to discover and refine an alluring pitch to attract talented prospective teachers that resonates as powerfully as the clarion issued by Jobs. Teaching is much more than an occupation. Effective teaching is a response to a higher calling. It's an opportunity to make a positive and constructive difference in the lives of others.

When I review the stack of resumes of candidates I am likely to skip over those that merely state their objective as: elementary teacher; secondary math teacher,... Instead, I search for the applicant who really gets it - that teaching is about the responsibility, not the role. Specifically, the candidate who announces their objective in terms like the following - Grow People, or Help others invent the future,..

It's the challenge of school leaders to nurture and sustain that pursuit of dreams and hopes among teachers who want to make a difference.

I'll conclude with a quote from Viktor Frankl, survivor of a Nazi concentration camp and author of Man's Search for Meaning:

"Striving to find a menaing in one's life is the primary motivational force in man."

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