“Words": The First Ingredient of a Culture Recipe

Update for Mar 14-17

This is not a political statement – It’s a hypothesis about the effect our words have on others.

I’ve always been a believer in the power of words.

Lincoln, King, Lennon and McCartney continue to inspire me: Lincoln for his prose like style speeches seen in the Gettysburg address and second inaugural address; King for his oratory style that evokes emotion and hopefulness; and Lennon and McCartney for their ability to rapidly evolve their music and lyrics.

Last Friday, I was mesmerized by the live images of a rally in Chicago for presidential candidate Donald Trump because of how quickly it was getting out of control and becoming uncivilized. However, I wasn’t surprised and here’s why: I believe that leaders set the tone.

I believe that Tim Kight is right when he talks about how Leaders establish the Culture that influences Behaviors that get certain Results.  I also believe that the words we use and the messages we send directly influences the culture we are trying to build. When I think about some of the themes and rhetoric of the Trump campaign, I would say that much of it has been focused on exclusion, blame, and fear.  Those themes created the culture that influenced the behaviors that resulted in the violence we saw in Chicago on Friday.

Last Sunday evening, I got to take my kids to see the new Disney movie Zootopia



First, it’s worth the price of admission.  It has all of the elements a good Disney movie: great characters, funny scenes, and an engaging story line. Second, it and has a wonderful message about perseverance, acceptance and being aware of our biases and stereotypes. The writers did a great job of developing those themes without slowing the movie down for kids. 

I went into that movie not really knowing much about it, but I did know that I could expect there to be a positive universal message — That’s the result of a culture that has been built by Disney.

I come away from this weekend with two reflections.  One reflection is actually just another reminder that our words and the messages they send matter. They drive the culture we are trying to build.  

The other reflection is that we need to surround ourselves with words, messages and people that support and affirm Above the Line behaviors.  We need to work to find away to push out negativity or find t’s source so that it can be addressed.  

The next time you find yourself reacting out of anger, frustration or suspicion, press pause; think about what’s really going on.  Slow down and get your mind right because how you react and what you say next contributes to the culture we are trying to build and get the results we seek.  

Be a builder! 

-Herb


Articles Worth Reading

Validating the Learner and Nurturing their Passion for Learning https://shar.es/1Y0hqF

The biggest regret from a 41-year career in education reporting (and a lot more) wpo.st/TYdL1
Why Every Student Needs a Teacher Champion  — THIS IS A VIDEO I WATCH AND RE-WATCH TIME AND TIME AGAIN!!!
Middle School Maker Journey: The Making of a Mantra by :

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