Striving for "What Could Be"

I read a quote a few weeks ago which prompted reflection on my years as a basketball coach. That season of my life was full of great memories, experiences, and team success. Every player I had experienced one common side of Coach Dunn. I always chased perfection knowing full well that we'd never attain it. Every practice was designed to help prepare the team for playing the perfect game. We never did. What we did do was go to the state final four two years in a row. The first year we finished 3rd. The 2nd year we won the state championship. Successful...yes. Perfect...never. 

Here is that quote:
Leaders are fascinated by the future. You are a leader if and only if, you are restless for change, impatient for progress, and deeply dissatisfied with the status quo. Because in your head you can see a better future. The friction between "what is" and "what could be" burns you, stirs you up, propels you. This is leadership. ~ Marcus Buckingham

The last line about friction describes both Coach Dunn and Superintendent/Principal Dunn. You may relate to some or all of the quote as well. 

Here's what I think... Leaders aren't leaders just by title. We have leaders throughout our schools, but we each have different responsibilities. I know what burns me, stirs me up, and propels me. What creates that fire within you?

After those two successful years which resulted in the only state championship in the history of Chadwick High School, a disgruntled relative of a former player thanked me "for ruining the basketball program." It was a tremendous lesson for a 25-year-old young and inexperienced educator. It doesn't matter what you do, you will always have naysayers. My challenge to you is to take chances and try new things anyways. Sometimes you fail, but sometimes you WIN.

Strike that...

Sometimes the KIDS win!

Doug Dunn is superintendent and principal of a small K-8 school in rural, south central Missouri. He can be found on Twitter at DougDunnEdS.