[MMM] Two keys that smart leaders use to motivate their work in all circumstances

Happy Monday,


My Mondays always start with me taking myself out for a coffee. 
That may sound strange, but it is my time to myself to think and review the previous week and get a sense of focus for the new week.


While at my “meeting” I happened to observe an interaction between a high school teacher and one of the students he was supporting. I saw the student evolve from being highly tentative and full of shame, to having a real sense of hope at the end of their meeting.


The Ottawa Catholic School board’s motto is “Inspired Education, Inspiring Students.” 


The reality is I think it should be the opposite.


“Inspiring Students, Inspired Education.” 


Unless students are inspired, there will be no education. First inspire, then educate.


We hear a lot about teachers and their hours, salary, tenure, summers off, etc. While there are some teachers who just teaching as just a job, most teachers show up everyday try to bring their best to their role. What they do positively impact our society.


Dean Mariani is one of those really great teachers. 


He works with young high school students with challenging personal circumstances.


He inspired this student through a masterful balance of empathy and accountability. He sought first to understand and then affirm the real challenges this young man was facing. He did this in Starbucks, a safe place as a neutral third party location.


They worked through a practical plan and finally, he made an accountability agreement with the student.


This was the type of leadership this young man truly needed.


The student left inspired and far more prepared to learn.


At one time I was like this young man. I didn’t have a lot of confidence in my abilities or myself. I had a teacher Wayne Mackelvie who did the same for me. He was empathetic and he created a high amount of accountability with his students, including me. 


Will this student make the right choices? Only time will tell. But we do know he has the right leader with Dean by his side. 


The choices are now up to him.


Dean rang the “school of life” bell for this young man.


That is real education, something that lasts a lifetime.


Thanks, Dean, for the great work you do. It matters.


Along the road with you,




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