The Value Of Having Problems

Cesar Chavez Quote

We all love to have problems facing us all day at work, right? Well, if you do not agree with this statement, let’s look at the value of problems through the lens that Dan Rockwell suggests. You see, problems can be used to help move your organization to become better, as well as help with your own interpersonal growth.So let’s zoom in on how problems can help you.1. Centeredness. Problems remind us that we are not the center of the world. In fact, problems can often remind us that we are not that important in the life of most people. The #1 personal factor that learner-centered leaders must always keep in mind is the issue of too much ego. Learner-centered leaders realize their importance lies in serving others. You serve the learners, your staff, the parents of learners, and the community. Period.2. Reminders. Problems remind us of “inconvenient truths” about ourselves and our organization. When confronted with a problem that is difficult to solve (i.e. a solution does not show itself after the first few minutes of thinking about it), what is your initial reaction? Is it blame? Is it that you question the facts that are presented to you? Do you get angry? Reflecting on your reaction to a problem when it is posed to you is important for learner-centered leaders.3. Drive. Problems can give us a sense of urgency to get things done. A problem often reflects a weakness in your thinking, your organization, or your assumptions about life. Approaching a problem with a sense of curiosity will motivate you.4. Insight. Some problems can be good and reflect that your school is heading in the right direction. When confronted with a problem that is on the horizon, but hasn’t revealed itself yet, I say “If that comes true, that will be a great problem because it means we are growing.”

About Tom Butler, Ph.D.

I believe that public education is for the public good and that education should be uncompromisingly learner-centered. The New Learning Ecosystem points us away from the old model of education that does not serve kids well. All educators regardless of where they work can help lead and contribute to the New Learning Ecosystem.
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