The narrative

What is your narrative?

How does every piece of content and media tie back to that narrative?

Does everyone in your organization understand the narrative? Are they actively contributing to it, too?

T-Mobile does this well. Every employee at corporate knows that T-Mobile prides itself on being disruptive. They call themselves “The Un Carrier.”

As I’ve been out at T-Mobile HQ today, I saw people reciting narrative one after another. People from different departments and roles all knew the ethos of the company.

It’s a powerful norm to create because when it’s in place, the narrative spreads like wild fire.

The vibe

You can feel the vibe of a group. You know by the way people speak. The things they empathize. The questions they ask.

It’s not everywhere. It doesn’t have to be.

New York New York

Every time I go to New York I’m struck by how crazy it is.

Thousands of people streaming through the sidewalks. Taxis blaring their horns. Dozens of languages being spoken all around you. The hustle and bustle.

The contrasts are what get me. Brand new apartments rising up next to old, deteriorating store-fronts. Wealthy celebrities walking alongside everyday people. Buttoned up suits on business people and wildly colorful outfits on creatives. People making fortunes and others losing it all.

In the weirdest, craziest way there’s something for everyone.

An urgent moment in time

Something about this moment in time feels urgent.

There are countless problems facing our world, yet most of the education system is more irrelevant than ever. Students sit, lined up in rows, listening to lectures, instead of standing up and creating the change we need.

Young people see the problems that need to be solved. They understand that the current mental health support systems are inadequate. They feel disengaged and know that learning could be more fun. They see the planet degrading. The best part is, they want to act! They have ideas for change! But most young people aren’t given the chance.

Dual School exists to fill this gap. By providing students the time, space and resources, we help young people build their dreams and launch projects that matter to them. Whether it’s a safer drone, a financial literacy curriculum, or a better way to help english language learners, Dual School students are stepping up where society has failed.

The exciting part is that it doesn’t take much. We don’t need to wait decades for governmental action in order to give students a chance to connect with their passions. If you can create the right frame, it only takes a few hours every week and you would be amazed how much a young person could accomplish.

Share your rejections

No one wins the first time they play.

The myths that we perpetuate around overnight success do no one any favors.

The hard work happens every day.

The payoffs may not come for years and years.

You don’t need to be rejected to feel inadequate. Maybe you didn’t get rejected because you didn’t even submit anything. Maybe the fear of humiliation held you back.

Share you rejections, but also share your hopes, dreams and fears. It’s all valid.

Leadership is…

Hard

Lonely

Collaborative

Fun

Exhausting

Creative

Terrifying

Uncertain

Necessary

Scarce

Worth it

Learning to be lefty

I got a cut on my right hand that made it hard to brush my teeth, open jars and perform other typical functions.

Using my left hand felt awkward. But I’m sure if I had to do it every day it would soon feel normal.

It’s not that right-handed people CAN’T use their left hands. It’s just that they never have and don’t have any reason to stop now.

With the right practice, anything is possible.

The 4 year assumption

Even the most innovative schools, district, charter, private etc… they all fail on one thing: the four year assumption. The fact that everyone will take the same amount of time to complete the experience.

How could that be true considering any entering class could have dozens or even hundreds of unique students?

The future of education has to look different. More customized. More modular. Less absolute.

Our world today is dominated by people who are either “learning” or “working.” Those two things need to be intermingled much more than they currently are. The modular school of the future could change everything. The question is, what small step do we take to get there?

Content Rich

With a supercomputer in your pocket, most information is at your fingertips. Needless to say, everyone has access to lots of content.

What young people are missing are the experiences where content knowledge would have been useful.

As educators, our job isn’t to recite content. It might be to curate, contextualize and share knowledge. But before any of that, we first need to light a spark. A spark that makes the content worth learning.

Wherever you go

Wherever you go, you bring yourself.

So simple. So obvious. Yet, it’s profound. You can’t run from yourself. No matter how nice the weather is, or how delicious the food is or how fun the parties are, you are still you.

Regardless of your job title, your salary or your achievements. You are still you.

Knowing you can’t escape that fact might help you make peace.