Several weeks ago I was fortunate enough to attend a two day conference in the beautiful Southern Highlands of NSW. This conference changed the way I looked at how I operate as a leader, and how I live my life… but more of that later.

My Sketch-note from the two days, as I built my knowledge.


When learning about Covey’s 7 Habits the first concept introduced is that of a ‘paradigm shift’. The idea that two people can see the same thing and yet have different ideas on what they see. There are more effective ways of looking at things!

1 – Be Proactive

This talks about the concept of Circle of Influence and Circle of Concern. Work from the centre of your influence and constantly work to expand it. Don’t sit and wait in a reactive mode. – A good phrase to use here is to: ‘Respond-don’t react!’

2 – Begin with the End in Mind

Imagine the end result. Be clear about what you want to achieve and create so you can work and plan towards it.

3 – Put First Things First

This topic resonated powerfully with me. It talks about difference between Leadership and Management. To be effective priority should be given in the following order:

1) Important and Urgent

2) Important and not-urgent

3) Not Important and Urgent

4) Not important and Not urgent

These four points can be plotted as quadrants. The ideal place to operate in is quadrant two. Deal with important issues before they become urgent.

The personal aspect of this habit really hit me hard. I am a busy person. I work hard, I have a busy family, I have leadership responsibilities in a select area at school yet I also try to squeezing in my love of ed-tech and passion for learning and connecting with the best teachers I can find.

At the course I began to shift my thinking. What were the priorities in my life? What to I value? What feeds me? What drains me? What to I really want to be spending my energies on?

This line of thought caused me to re-evaluate what I was doing and set off a chain of events in my line of thought that prompted me to redirect the path my career was headed in.

Who cares for traditional career paths? I’ve never been one to shy away from blazing my own trail.

4 – Think Win-Win

Rather than battle out a win-lose situation. Look for a third option where both parties in a situation can win.

Wins can be easier and more powerful if people help each other do it.

5 – Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood

Use empathic listening to genuinely understand a person. Authentic relationships are always the most powerful. Take the time to understand those you work with, especially if there is a dispute. Try to understand where the problem is really coming from before you try to solve it.

6 – Synergize

Teamwork is crucial. A good team can do more than one single person ever good. It can be powerful to have ambassadors that can echo out mission, vision, purpose. Multiply your voice with a strong team!

7 – Sharpen the Saw

The concept of continuous improvement! This is true in a professional sense. Keep learning. Stay up-to-date! But also in your personal life. Be good to those you love and look after your health.

That last point hit me too. I know I’m a big unit! Maybe it is time to put back on the boxing gloves!

This blog is the first of a connected series in an andragogy (quality adult learning) trilogy. I hope to have the others out soon.

About The Author

Primary & Executive Teacher

Founder #aussieED | Primary Teacher - 1:1 Educator | Google Certified Teacher | Speaker | Committed to turning Ed Theory into real classroom practice

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2 Responses

  1. Arielle Nakache

    Great blog Brett – and good on your for ‘blazing your own trail’ which is an ethos I’m doing my best to live by as well. It’s so important to focus on what gives you energy rather than what drains you, as well as the concept of sharpening the saw. Very wise words indeed!

    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Jenny Murphy

    Great blog and it really made me think- as much as anything because of things you said about how it affected you. If I can be of any help while you’re blazing your own trail do please contact me. We’re connected on LinkedIn I think but certainly twitter @LatitudeGrpTvl


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