Friday, 7 August 2009

I finished the day at Morley Town Hall watching a performance of Summer School Musical...

The Summer School Musical was produced by a group of young people from Morley primary schools who had worked as a team during the week with Danny a musician, composer and vocalist, Tanya, a dancer and Naomi, a visual artist to produce a real celebration of music, art and culture. The Summer School Musical took us all on a journey starting in the 1960's with train travel to the seaside followed by a trip to Spain and ending with a Spanish fiesta.

Th project was funded by our Find Your Talent programme working with Rachael Holdgate, her team from the White Rose Learning Centre and Jamie, Rebekah, Luke and Charlotte; peer mentors from local high schools.
Every now and then I meet people who are simply brilliant at their job...

It could be the headteacher I met last week whose intelligence and understanding has re-engineered the culture in her school to achieve outstanding outcomes for her students. It could be the primary teacher I met recently whose focused and uncompromising work has unlocked the desire to learn and read in each young person whose life she touches. It could be the classroom assistant I met recently whose passion and commitment for the environment and developing school grounds has completely transformed the learning landscape at her school. It might be the exceptional colleagues I work with at Merrion House who anticipate my every need or it might be the colleague who delivers both high performance and is a great team player.

Brilliance, true brilliance, is something we all value. It's a joy to encounter someone who is truly exceptional at what they do. So the question is how can you become known as someone who consistently demonstrates real brilliance? Dirk and I have been talking about this recently. Colleagues who demonstrate brilliance work hard at it. Clearly the key is that persistence, motivation and commitment are all required to deliver your brilliant best but importantly everyone can do it! Colleagues who demonstrate brilliance have identified the things that turn them on, that inspire them and that give them that buzz and then worked hard to develop and master their performance. They have added knowledge, skill, experience and practice to consistently produce at the highest levels. By the way the best any of us can be with low motivation is adequate. No matter how hard we work and how much we desire it, in the long run we will never be brilliant at something we are not intesrested in or inspired by; without high levels of motivation you can forget it. In other words, however hard we work in areas where we are not motivated and where our heart isn't really in it, we resign ourselves to mediocrity.

Who wants to be mediocre? Who wants to be known as "satisfactory?" Wouldn't you rather try to be brilliant? The first step to unlocking your brilliant best is to know these things; what do you love doing... what really turns you on at work?... what would you do even if you weren't being paid?

And then the trick is to get someone to pay you to do it!

Thursday, 6 August 2009

I had breakfast this morning with Maxine Room...

Maxine was Principal and Chief Executive at Park Lane College here in Leeds before it became the new Leeds City College and is leaving us to take up the leadership of the Lewisham College in South London. The College appointed Maxine as its new Principal and SHE will be the first black Principal of a general further education college in London, replacing Dame Ruth Silver DBE who is retiring after 17 years having taken the college from a once failing establishment to its current outstanding and Beacon status. Before joining Park Lane College, Maxine was Principal and Chief Executive of Swansea College, a post she held for over four years moving the college from good to great!

Maxine has been a breath of fresh air here in Leeds and she will be missed.