Wednesday, 26 March 2014


“If you think you are beaten, you are. If you think you dare not, you don't! If you want to win, but think you can't, It's almost a cinch you won't. If you think you'll lose, you're lost; For out in the world we find success begins with a fellow's will; It's all in the state of the mind. Life's battles don't always go to the strongest and the fastest, But sooner or later the colleague who wins is the colleague who thinks they can.”

I met with an old colleague this morning who asked me how he should deal with a challenge he was facing.
We talked about what we had at Education Leeds and how we created a culture of excellence where we constantly and relentlessly focused on what works and finding brilliant practice so that we could learn and build and make outstanding provision commonplace. It is important when we are dealing with the challenges, the negativity and the criticisms we are currently facing and when the going gets tough, that we stay positive and stay focused on the things that matter, in our lives, our work, and in our relationships. We all face a difficult, changing and potentially chaotic future where individuals, families, children, organizations, and businesses all face financial concerns, accelerating change, massive challenges and increasing problems. You could get depressed about it and simply stay in bed in the morning but we must all stay positive and develop the ability to see opportunities as we cope with these challenges and difficulties. We must all continue to learn and to grow and we must develop the ability to bounce back from difficulties and setbacks. We must  get back up when we are knocked down and to continue to produce results, even in the most difficult circumstances.

Learning to deal creatively with challenges, with setbacks and failure is a key to success, so whatever you do over the next few weeks and months, make sure that you:

  • Manage your life to create the space to think and plan;

  • Focus on the things that have gone really well;

  • Find allies and friends to give you support and encouragement;

  • Find things to do that will build capacity;

  • Stay in touch with the real world;

  • Look for the little things that make a big difference;

  • Exercise, stay fit and look after your self; and

  • Collect bits of magic to keep the soul alive!

  • And whatever you do… be positive...
    ... and remember that you can always phone a friend!

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