Have a great holiday season !

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As the NSW school term comes to a close, it’s time to wish everybody a great holiday season.  I’ve searched around for some Christmas quotes and found a few that I like.

What is Christmas? It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future. It is a fervent wish that every cup may overflow with blessings rich and eternal, and that every path may lead to peace ~ Agnes M. Pharo

Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childhood days, recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth, and transport the traveler back to his own fireside and quiet home! ~ Charles Dickens

Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas. ~ Calvin Coolidge:

Christmas is for children. But it is for grownups too. Even if it is a headache, a chore, and nightmare, it is a period of necessary defrosting of chill and hide-bound hearts. ~ Lenora Mattingly Weber

Christmas gift suggestions:

To your enemy, forgiveness.
To an opponent, tolerance.
To a friend, your heart.
To a customer, service.
To all, charity.
To every child, a good example.
To yourself, respect.
  ~ Oren Arnold

And, probably my favourite:

A lovely thing about Christmas is that it’s compulsory, like a thunderstorm, and we all go through it together. ~ Garrison Keillor

Have a great Christmas


How to bring schools into 21st century

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 Once again people are grappling with the issue of whether or not we are really dealing with the big question of just what sort of schools do we need, and how should we decide what learning experiences look like within them if they are to be about a new set of “Three Rs”:  perhaps Relevance, Relationships and Rigour ?

This is a story about the big public conversation the nation is not having about education, the one that will ultimately determine not merely whether some fraction of our children get “left behind” but also whether an entire generation of kids will fail to make the grade in the global economy because they can’t think their way through abstract problems, work in teams, distinguish good information from bad or speak a language other than English.

Click here for a summary of the Time magazine cover story

Close to the end point, and the start of thinking about new beginnings.

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Well, it’s that frantic time of year again with such amazing juxtapositions of the sublime and the ridiculous.  It is also a time of reflection, of pause to consider what has been done since this time last year, what is planned for holidays ahead, and what are those plans we want to make for things in 2007.

When you have time for a read, you may enjoy this piece on Authentic Leadership. 

It provides an opportunity to consider the notion of congruent leadership

“To be nobody but yourself – in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you somebody else – means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.” – e.e. cummings,

There’s a good piece on congruent leadership which you can download as a pdf file by clicking here

The Price and Prize of Leadership

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This is an interesting read when reflecting on the year and thinking about both the opportunity coming up for renewal and recreation during the holiday period but also the planning of leader behaviours for next year.  The following excerpt is from the introduction. 

Leadership isn’t easy. This seems a self-evident statement. But much of the literature and the media frenzy surrounding leaders and leadership suggests that the prize of leadership is effortlessly attained or effective leadership can be explained by a list of desirable attributes. It cannot.

The success of the many leaders we have worked with and interviewed over the last decade stems from active engagement in a complex series of carefully cultivated relationships–often in contrasting contexts. Leaders who nurture these relationships and master different contexts are able to help their organizations achieve a clearly identified higher purpose. Those who get it wrong are often derailed.

Click here for the whole article online at the Leader to Leader Institute website (formerly the Drucker Foundation)

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