Recently, I had the pleasure of hearing the General Manager of the World Champion Kansas City Royals speak at my doctorate class at Baker University here in Kansas City. This was after I had spent the previous 2 nights and days in St. Louis for the Missouri Educational Technology Conference (METC) and Edcamp STL the day before that. Needless to say it was an awesome week!
One of the first things Dayton said was "Culture is everything". I wholeheartedly agree with Dayton, a school or district without the right culture is destined to go nowhere. Empowering people to be innovative, fail-forward, and feel appreciated are crucial aspects of a positive school culture. Having people that are all in helps as well! Below are a series of tweets I sent out the evening I got to hear Dayton speak.
Of course, Dayton works with baseball players and a team, but this statement easily fits the educational landscape as well. Being each other's biggest cheerleaders and positive encouragement does not happen enough in our schools. Dayton has created a culture with the Royals that is emphasizing this and this is one of the many reasons there has been so much success with the team. Why don't we in education genuinely root for each other and support each other to get better and celebrate our successes and innovations more often?
It was so interesting to hear Dayton talk about how he balances his time with his players like Yordano Ventura who he spends time with in the off season in his home country with his mom. Dayton mentioned Yordano's father is not around and he is a young man so it was easy to see that Dayton puts extra effort into his players and treats them as if they were his own. He spoke about Alex Gordon and how he takes care of himself and has persevered into a great ballplayer after having a rough start to his career. The idea though of responding to your immediate leadership team and realizing who needs more attention over others and making that a priority will stick with me.
This quote spoke to me as well because as a leader I try to be authentic and I consider myself a very genuine person and leader. I would add to this quote that people want to be heard. As an aspiring leader, I think putting time and value into your key leaders will only pay huge dividends in the end.
What great perspective in this quote from Dayton. Too often people are so caught up in themselves which ties back to earlier quotes above about selfishness. I often tell people I'm around that people think it's all about them. Unfortunately, we live in a society that does not foster this concept as much as I would like. What if the perspective was around the good of the whole and not just me?
As a coach, I loved this statement! Dayton had me fired up with the conviction in which he said this quote to our class. As an educator, I would argue the same statement has great value. If you are not 100% in it, to be the absolute best you can be, get out of the profession! Dayton said at one point, "if you are on the fence, you may as well get off". We as educators owe it to our kids to keep growing and learning!
I tweeted many other quotes Dayton made to our class, but for sake of this post not being a novel I will stop here. I can say that the timing of hearing Dayton could not have been more perfect for me. He is an inspiring man and leader. Thanks Dayton Moore for taking time to speak with us and inspire many school district leaders from all over the Kansas City metro area.
This post and how I used my tweets in the post was inspired by Tracey Kracht from Liberty Public Schools, who wrote this brilliant reflection post on her time at the METC conference and keynote presentation by George Couros called: BE THE CHANGE.