We’ve been very quiet at the Present.me blog over the past year. As part of our forthcoming relaunch as an education focussed platform, we’ve invited Unhomework author Mark Creasy to guest blog for us. Here’s his first post:
A new year of fresh starts, chances and opportunities aplenty, putting best feet forward, looking forward, making resolutions etc, etc, etc…
But what type of year are you looking forward to? What are you hoping for this year – I know “Just surviving” will be the response of a few, but, beyond that, what are you hoping for/ wanting?
Having been glued to this year’s Olympics I’ve decided to use them as a springboard to some ideas, and, in no particular order, I wonder if your upcoming year will be defined as…
The Mark Cavendish
After a successful career, where you have frequently been recognised for your talent, you finally achieve something you’ve always wanted to – only to be questioned by others as to whether it’s enough.
The Adam Peaty
You meet all expectations, again! Starting the year colleagues look to you as a star performer, recognised as the talent in your area and at the end of the year, ignoring pressure (you don’t even appear to feel it) you (and your class) produce outstanding, gold medal, world record breaking performances.
The Laura Trott
Once again consistently deliver, meeting all expectations – maybe even have a few emotional moments, but these show your human side, but before you know it this will all be glossed over, because you’re getting married and it’s far better to gossip about something than to discuss a real talent!
The Jason Kenny
You do everything in an understated way, you even admit to being boring! At times some people might even doubt you as it looks like you may have blown it, but in the end your talent and the outcome are never in doubt.
The Tom Daley
You are a true star in your year group/ department/ school and everyone expects of you, but despite early promise and some outstanding performances, this year you don’t deliver as expected. More important here is the reaction of others, will they support you to rebuild, recognise that it’s you that have inspired and supported others to surpass your achievements this year, or denigrate you because you ‘failed’?
The Hannah Miley
Despite continuous hard work, effort and everyone willing you to do well, again you don’t quite make the level you’d hoped – it can’t be classed as failure, but the end result just misses the high target you’d set for yourself.
The Ryan Lochte (#1)
You’ve reflected on a successful career (by most people’s standards) but feel constantly outshone by a colleague, whom you’d hoped had gone, but is back – better than ever! So, desperate for attention, knowing (perhaps) your best days are behind you, you go for a dramatic hair dye (or possible outlandish clothes/ make-up) which some reflect makes you ‘look like Jack Frost’! * Unfortunately, this doesn’t detract enough from your colleague who outperforms you again! (* = The comment made by my daughter when she saw Ryan Lochte’s hair!)
The Ryan Lochte (#2)
Having disappointed many (except for one lone commentator who confused you with you more illustrious compatriot) you, like so many people, make a mistake. However (like a character in Eastenders) rather than admit this, you make up an extravagant lie, persuade others to back you up and then you’re proven to have lied – though maybe you have escaped the scene and left them to pick up the pieces!
These are just some examples, of course, for many colleagues, their year will be more like Yusra Mardini (a member of the IOC Refugee Team), who get on with their work throughout the year, neither expecting nor receiving recognition, but constantly battling to get to the end of the year. For some, they will be more akin to Nicola Adams, constantly battling and striving – but smiling throughout every struggle.
Though what about school’s? What Olympic analogies can we draw for entire organisations? Will your school be…
Numerous problems and changes are occurring, but rather than address or – on occasion – even recognise them, you prefer self-congratulation and buck passing (e.g. IOC and Russian Olympic Team!)
The Diving Pool
A situation where everyone knows there’s something wrong and dramatically! You try to convince everyone it’s fine, but no-one is sure – until you spend heavily (panicking?) and restore the original state.
The Olympic Park
It looks good, especially to anyone only looking at strategic pictures, but investments in projects haven’t addressed the serious, underlying issues – which everyone knows about, but you’re more interested in the glamour of looking good, not doing good. You have spent unwisely in white elephant projects – ignorant of legacy, or the needs and requirements of future users, particularly those with disabilities who will receive barely any parity!
Or, even better, will you be able to consider your school Team GB?
- A great team spirit.
- A cohesive atmosphere across all of the aspects of the team.
- A plan that’s delivered results over 4 years.
- Clearly, measurable outcomes.
- Unparalleled success.
- Using and developing the most up to date technologies.
- A leader who has been in place for a sustained period, trusted and empowered.
But then again, perhaps this is due to elitism, targeted funding and not worrying about spreading the success further – or even inspiring beyond the period that you happen to be in the public eye?
Sounds like a familiar story!
Whatever your story, personal or organisational, please comment below and have a great term!