Tribes, Change, Risk, Discomfort

I recently read a blog on Seth’s presentation on Tribes as a way of connecting people in change and he posed several questions about connections, upsetting people and leading.

Whilst reading the blog I was drawn to several quotes from Chris Lehmann who is the principal of a Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia:

  • We cannot let fear stop us from doing the right thing.
  • If you’re not willing to lose your job you’re not going to be able to do your job.

The connection for me about Seth’s presentation and Chris’s quotes was risk. Its a risk to lead and to upset people for fear of them not wanting to be friends anymore.

When you see Chris’s video one of the first things he talks about are 5 values that are embedded in his school. He asks that teachers reflect on the lessons they construct to see if they match up with these values. The images we see are of students really engaged with the content of the lesson which is set in inquiry [one of Chris’s values] and real problems.

On reflection my school values are about inner values [responsibility, respect and resilience] not the values of learning [inquiry, connections, actions etc…]. This is a real challenge for me for if I were to ask the tribes of teachers [bit of a stretch there] I have in schools to reflect on their lessons they construct based on the current values they don’t really challenge reflection on themselves, only students [did that lesson encourage responsibility??].

Getting back to Seth’s point about tribes as a way of connecting people in change – real change – risking upsetting people – I can only reflect that we learn when we are in the zone of discomfort – the trick it be live in this zone.

I do wonder what other people feel leading movements, or schools, or change in classrooms. Do your explicit values prompt reflection of your work? Do you promote change risking loneliness or alienation seeking tribes of people who connect to your ideas and work? How do we make the connections necessary to survive in the this land of discomfort?

Bit of a ramble this post – lots of reflections.