How Will You Respond to Surprises?

March 17, 2017

“In an age when innovation is increasingly a group endeavor, it [Google] also cares about a lot of soft skills–leadership, humility, collaboration, adaptability, and loving to learn and re-learn. This will be true no matter where you go to work.” Thomas Friedman

~George Couros 

The Innovator’s Mindset

I was recently involved in a conversation where colleagues were sharing a list of expectations, skills, and characteristics a future educator candidate should possess. Unfortunately, during this discourse, NOT one of the above attributes were mentioned. I couldn’t let the moment pass. I simply added, “I’d hope we are looking for an individual with an innovator’s mindset who is relatable and coachable. If they are missing some of the expectations, we can train them in those areas.”

Honestly, it melts me to think that this is the mindset of which we often hire. Skills based. Experienced. “Meet” our expectations–or at least for the interview. 

Have we forgotten that just about any behavior, skill or practice can be learned and/or taught? Why isn’t mindset, humility, and “processing on the fly capabilities” not among the list?

REALness Moment

During a recent interview, of which I was the candidate, I learned so much about how this process might look. Did they have expectations for the role of which I was seeking? Definitely. Did I meet every one of them? I don’t think so. My skill set played a large part, however, sharing my passion and the REAL me landed the job. In fact, after being hired, they tailored the role slightly to fit my strengths. To me, that means maybe some of the REAL me wasn’t expected, yet desired. Should we not expect the unexpected? I firmly believe unique exceptionalities are unexpected gifts. And, aren’t surprise gifts the best?!

If the attributes mentioned by Thomas Friedman are not sought after when interviewing future educators, we should question our motives of preparing students for the future. In Part 2 of the Innovator’s Mindset, George Couros said it best,

“Empowering students to succeed in school and life–means that we pay attention to the skills companies are seeking.” 

Want change?

Expect the unexpected.

How will you respond to surprises?

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