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Book:  The Innovator's Mindset

Author:  George Couros

Purchase:  PrinteBook | Audiobook

Citation:  Couros, G. (2015). The innovator's mindset : empower learning, unleash talent, and lead a culture of creativity. San Diego, CA: Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc.

Three Big Takeaways:
  1. If you are a school leader let people know you are about the kids by getting out and interacting with your students. By doing this, you are setting the tone for your school. (pg. 74)

  2. Any time a new policy or procedure is presented for an entire school, we must ensure it does not punish everyone for the mistakes of a few. (pg. 149)

  3. Sharing your learning helps others, but it also benefits you. Every time I share something, I think deeply about what I’m sharing because I know others will read it. I want to make sure I am sharing great stuff. (pg. 174)


Other Key Ideas:

As leaders, if we ask teacher to use their own time to do anything, what we’re really telling them is: it’s not important. (pg. 5)

We have the world at our fingertips, the ability to connect with people around the globe.  Yet what do schools focus on when talking about technology? “Cyberbullying” and “digital safety.” (pg. 7)

When I first started teaching, I remember thinking students should learn the way I taught; they should adjust to me.  I could not have been more wrong - a great teacher adjusts to the learner, not the other way around. (pg. 38)

Social scientists have identified something called the audience effect - the shift in our performance when we know people are watching.  The effort of communicating to someone else forces you to pay more attention and learn more. (pg. 53)

“Would I want to work in a school where I was the principal?” Working from this empathetic mindset allows me to keep teacher’s perspective in mind.  There were lots of things I took from my former administrators, but there were some things I chose not to replicate because I hated them as a teacher (or teacher-leader). (pg. 59)​

Do you see personal moments with staff as investments or expenditures?  Ten minutes spent listening to someone will do wonders to instill loyalty in that person, as well as a willingness to go above and beyond what is expected.  (pg. 76)

Apply the “rule of seven touches.” Personally “touch” (or interact) someone seven times, and they will come to know you; if they know you, they might trust you and they will change. (pg. 76)

As a principal, being physically present in the classroom helped me develop a better understanding of the experiences of the teachers and students.  I wasn’t there to evaluate the teachers. In fact, it was more about evaluating the environment that the school had created. (pg. 84)​

People will not feel comfortable taking risks in an organization unless leaders are willing to take risks themselves, share the things they are doing, and try to improve themselves. (pg. 130)

Ask your staff “where do you see your career in the next three to five years?  Knowing who may be interested in moving into leadership is valuable info to have. (pg. 133)

Before you add a new initiative, ask yourself:  Is this adding or subtracting from the already full plates of the educators I serve? (pg. 154)

Having access to great ideas and forward-thinking leaders through Twitter and other social media increases interactions with others and provides access to new ideas.  A network helps people become better. How could it not? (pg. 168)

The more transparency we have in our learning and our practices - both inside and outside our organizations - the more we can tap into one another to drive positive change. (pg. 196)

The success of a school should not only be measured by what students do when they are in school but also by their impact on the world after they leave the school environment. (pg. 215)

We can’t base the way we teach on how we were taught because a) we have powerful opportunities at our fingertips, and b) the way many of today’s teachers were taught wasn’t effective for all students. (pg. 220)

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