I worked in the restaurant business for many years and still remember a friend that told me this quote that has really stuck with me through the years in regards to managing people:
It is easier to water trees then put out fires…Anonymous
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I use this saying, or quote, whatever you want to call it it, at least five times a week. It makes sense to my students, co-workers, and my own family. If you think about it, it is a heck of a lot easier to water trees then put out fires, but the fires are what get our full attention. By the time we have let something turn into a fire, there will be damage, it is just a question of how much.
So much of my job is being a chess master, thinking steps ahead of your classes, making sure that before they even think about misbehaving or slacking off, they will see an image of you in their mind and know the consequences.
When I am managing my classroom well, it feels like watering trees, checking in, making sure everyone is feeling well, learning the material, but sometimes there are just too many variables at playa and something does turn into a more serious situation.
I think as a manager or leader, if you can keep 99% of the problems from not becoming fires, you will be successful. If not, management and leadership can be quite trying.
Anyway, that is my take on best advice I can recall. I hope perhaps it enlightens or perhaps encourages some of you.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
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