What if work was about pursuing your strengths and passions to serve the team and others? This post was inspired by James Victore and Ben Barry discussing how to build your own career in this 99u talk:

One of Barry’s work mantras is, “Get hired to do the work you want to do.” This career tagline came to Barry during his final year of college where he was asked to create a piece that did not align with want he wanted in his portfolio. He went to the professor and was granted to go his own way. [HMW as educators do that?} Since then Barry has had a stent at facebook where he led the creation of the Analog Research Lab. This lab, a non-digital makerspace housed on facebook’s campus, was birthed from his own interest and out of response of the desires of his co-workers.

An ongoing conversation around school schedules has been stewing on the Upper School campus since I have worked at Mount Vernon (@mvpschool). We have generated countless prototypes and experimented with over 5 schedules last year. At the heart of the discussion is an attempt to make school more like real life. What if school was a place with permeable walls, space to test and learn your strengths, and to dream up project to impact the world around you?

I strongly believe, and so does my school, that the next generation of globally competitive leaders will lead from capacity and character. A traditional focus on competence will take a backseat to leaders who lead with passion, humility, and the determination to NEVER quit learning. Competence can happen on the job, but capacity and character take time to simmer and develop in the heart of the leader. The opportunity to intentionally pursue our strengths, passions, interests and learning how to connect these to real world work builds creative confidence, courageous character, and self-driven learning that will embolden the capacity of all learners. What if our schools gave our students these opportunities?

HMW redesign the experience of school to equip students to lead from their strengths and passions to develop the capacity and competence needed to be globally competitive leaders?