We love what we do. And I think if a particular conversation the other week is anything to go by that oozes out into how we do it as well. An organising teacher and I were chatting during the first break when she shared an interaction she'd had with one of the participants during the morning session. One of her students had sidled up and whispered at one stage, 'Have you noticed how many times he's said the word love?' The teacher whispered back, 'You can tell he loves what he does can't you?'
"If your presence doesn't make an impact, your absence won't make a difference." - Trey Smith
How can you create lasting impact if you're not there all the time though? This is something we're very mindful of as we seek to most effectively support the development of leadership potential within our client schools. We definitely want to have an impact on each of the individuals and the group as a whole while we're there, that's a given (whether it's a day, multi day or multi year connection - some client schools we see the students right throughout their school years, while some we see while they're within a particular year group). But lasting impact, leading to participants more effectively acting as difference makers within their spheres of influence is what lights us up most. Relationships matter, and it's why feedback like we received below always leaves us feeling so humbled. (Find more examples of what our clients are saying: https://www.explorediscoveract.com.au/testimonials)
'Over the years, Cameron has developed a relationship with our student body based on respect, responsibility and having fun! He actively engages with staff members to develop programs based on our student’s needs and provides ongoing support and lesson opportunities throughout the school year through regular email correspondence.'
So lets fast forward to last Sunday. We're in the process of sending out our next set of ongoing communication to our client schools. It's all part of our commitment to connection to meaningful action beyond our program experiences. So many clients share with us what aspects of this communication they find most helpful. But it was two particular emails that came bouncing back to us that had us smiling all the way into the new week. The first had the extra surprise of something to watch. We loved the short video they'd created, and can't wait to see the students next term to tell them in person as well. This particular client school we support through our L.E.A.D. with Courage: Stage 3 Leaders Program and Transitioning to Stage 3 Program each year.
'Thank you for your newsletters - I look forward to them each term and always try to share at least one thing form them with the students. This newsletter featured the kindness boomerang and it reminded me of the wonderful work our Year 4 teacher has done with her students about kindness. The link is unlisted so you will have to click below to watch it - I just wanted to share some of the wonderful reactions that your work is having.'
The second email came a short time after from an Assistant Principal within one of our client schools. Both sets of students that she was talking to had participated in our 10 week L.E.A.D. with Me Program over the past two years. We love the transformational journey that this program takes the participants and ourselves on. And are again left feeling so humbled by the ripples still being felt by the participants as they continue their journeys of potential. I know they had the same impact on me as well. I often reflect on aspects of how I'm changed by their wisdom, courage and growth that they displayed as we learnt together.
'I just thought I would let you know that I had to meet with a group of Year 5 and Year 6 students as part of the Cyclic Review. I asked them a few questions about the school and they spoke so highly of you. They said that you made a great impact of them. It's interesting that the students who were the Year 5 representatives were the students that you worked with the previous year when they were in year 4 and they still recall what you did with them. It's nice to know that your work is still being spoke about even when you leave.'
As the quote goes, 'It takes two flints to make a fire' (Louisa May Alcott). What a privilege it is to be able to establish, build and foster these types of relationships that start with exploring the possibilities, discovering potential and acting authentically, together. Thank you!
"If you want to achieve widespread impact and lasting value, be bold." - Howard Schultz