Do you have a jar of awesome?

Photo by Keszthelyi Timi on Unsplash

Today I want to share a super-simple tip that will LEVEL UP your mindset for next school year.

My tip is called the JAR OF AWESOME.

But before I reveal how to implement this tip, I want to share an email that I received last May from one of the leaders I have the privilege to coach.

Lizzy is an amazing principal and Ruckus Maker leading an international school in Nepal!

That is one of the coolest parts of the mastermind — we have members from literally around the world who connect on a weekly basis who want to discuss education and leadership in depth.

(A few weeks ago I shared how nearly 3/4ths of principals DO NOT connect even 2 or more times in a school year to have these kinds of discussions — not true for the mastermind!)

Anyway, Lizzy is super interested in building a WORLD-CLASS CULTURE and she knows that to do that, she first must become world-class in leading herself.

It all comes down to mindset.

Yesterday, I wrote about 14 words that changed my life. Those words were, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

The people we surround ourselves with will influence us for better or worse.

If you are a crab in a bucket and you want to escape, the other crabs will pull you back down before you rise to high . . .

If you are a bird flying in a V-formation, you take turns at who leads and who follows because the most difficult job is flying up front . . .

Who do you want to surround yourself with?

Choose properly and build a stronger mindset.

Choose poorly and you will atrophy.

So back in May of 2020, I wrote to Lizzy:

“If you have ever thought, ‘Am I crazy?’ because your dreams and vision for education are so innovative and bold, then we have a community of leaders just like you.

You’re not crazy.

You’re a Ruckus Maker making a difference.”

And she responded:

“This is what sets your brand apart from everyone else.

It’s not just about mastery of principles or systems, feedback conversations, or social skills as a leader — which are all important!

It’s about pushing the envelope, finding others who are doing the same, and becoming a better leader by working on the whole package of who you are. It’s a place for outliers and risk takers.”

That’s right, Lizzy!

And how do I know what she wrote?

Do I search for hours my email inbox for encouraging messages like these?

Heck no!

I put these messages in an email folder labeled JAR OF AWESOME.

(Thank you Tim Ferriss for teaching me this idea).

This folder is packed with encouraging messages because it’s important to remember THE IMPACT that we have as leaders.

This email (and many others) show how I’ve helped Lizzy, who then helps her school community.

I’ve seen her grow by leaps and bounds since working with her for just over a year. She is super tough and compassionate. An amazing combo of a leader that helps her create massive value in her school.

So I want to encourage you this summer and into the 21–22 school year to create a JAR OF AWESOME email folder for yourself.

And anytime you receive an encouraging note, tag it JAR OF AWESOME.

Leadership is tough.

Leadership can be isolating.

And mindset is everything . . .

We all need reminders that our work matters and this is how to do that.

I hope you have an amazing community like we do in the mastermind, but if you don’t, this tactic is one way to keep your spirits up and keep your mindset positive.

I’m cheering for you and if I can help in any way please let me know!

Keep Making a Ruckus,


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