Start Small. Dream Big.

I’ve been listening to Lee Cockerell’s book, The Customer Rules. As an educator, it’s easy to overlook the fact that we are in the customer service industry. In fact, in Cockerell’s book, he’s quick to point out that we are all in the customer service business, regardless of our roles and line of work.

So many of the examples he gives of great customer service experiences are small and yet memorable. This has me wondering what are some small moves we can make that will make a big impact on our internal and external customers in schools?

Whether it’s a smile or the words we use, there are many intentional moves that can make a positive difference in the lives of others. For example, think about how different it feels when someone responds with “My pleasure” rather than “You’re welcome.”

Words matter. They matter in a big way.

Cockerell goes on to share Henry Ford’s alleged quote, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” Yes, feedback is important and listening to those we serve is important. It’s also important to see beyond what is to what could be. Twenty years ago, if someone had asked me whether I needed a handheld computer that I could carry around in my pocket, I would have said, “No!” But now, the thought of not having my smart phone with me at all times gives me anxiety.

As educators, we are doing the hard work on making this world a better place. We have a big responsibility to make school BETTER than the rest of the world. People often create what they experience. If we can make school a spectacular place, perhaps students will make our world a more spectacular place?

Schools are the epicenters of community cultures. Because of this, we have the opportunity to lead people into new, better realities.

We can start by modeling for others how to treat one another. Perhaps the way we thoughtfully approach our words and our work will have a ripple effect on our communities.

As Mother Teresa once said, “Small things done with great love can change the world.”

That’s super motivating. That makes me want to try harder. Dream a bit bigger.

So much so, in fact, that it has me wondering what seamingly impossible things we can do in school to make this world a better place?

Let’s start small and dream big.

Let’s start small by being thoughtful with our words and our personal energy. And while doing so, let’s dream big about what school can be.

That positive energy will go a long way as we do the hard work of creating a big, bold, beautiful new reality in schools.

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