Lighting the way...

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First General Session a Real 'Kick'

Before a single word of Sam Glenn’s message was spoken at the 2010 Joint Annual Conference’s first general session, on Friday, Nov. 19, he immediately began drawing a “wow” impact by performing a stunning chalk-art drawing within minutes before the audience’s eyes.

It began as a swirl of color, but when the drawing was done, a lighthouse appeared on the large canvas, and appeared to shine out over a seascape at sunset.   He explained that this unusual visual performance was presented to illustrate the conference theme, “lighting the way.”

The drawing, along with Glenn’s quirky, but entertaining speech, provided a motivational package that infused his audience with a positive “kick in the attitude,” as he put it (which also happens to be the title of his best-selling book).  

His simple theme was “life gets better when we get better.” On that subject, Glenn explained how a change in attitude can create better teamwork, better outcomes and a better life. “Organizations get better when people in the organizations get better,” he added.

“It starts with attitude and it starts with you,” Glenn said, explaining that we all interpret every scrap of information we receive based on our attitude.   He offered some tips on how to revive one’s best attitude:

  • You begin to revive your attitude by recalling your purpose.
  • There is one simple “secret discovery” that Thomas Edison said builds performance, productivity and teamwork in a heartbeat: humor .
  • It really helps if you realize the value of “fun” in life and the workplace.

On the latter point, Glenn maintained that leaders should want their team “to work harder on themselves than they do on their jobs.” If they do, he said, they will almost immediately do their jobs better, too, because they will each come to “own” their job.

 “There are two kinds of people in jobs: renters and owners,” he said. It’s the people who own their jobs who produce the most and create the best outcomes, he said.

In conclusion, Glenn wrapped up his address by stating: “Attitude determines everything; attitude is contagious.”

Earlier in the opening session of the conference, which was introduced by IASB President Joseph Alesandrini, of Pekin Community High School District 303, awards were presented for outstanding school architecture and for reducing workmen’s compensation costs.

The top design award went to Wight and Company, and representatives of their school design project — the Ann Reid Childhood Center — at Naperville CUSD 203.

Joanne Binotti also presented the Risk Management/David Binotti Award to representatives of Ashton-Franklin Center CUSD 275. Binotti awarded a plaque to superintendent John Zick and board president Robert Colwell.

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