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Make Your Michael Jordan Moment

I want you to have a moment where you feel like Michael Jordan as a Director.  Your center is your court.  You should dominate it!

I am a basketball fan.  I have several heroes from that field, but Michael Jordan is someone everyone knows, or at least they think they do.  Millions of Nike’s Jordan sneakers have been sold over the years.  He still earns over $100 million a year, because he is such a part of the American culture.  He is the what we think of when we think EXCELLENCE.

But how did he get there and how can you emulate him?  He said, “I had to learn the fundamentals of basketball. You can have all the physical ability in the world, but you still have to know the fundamentals.”  Did you take time to learn the fundamentals?  What are the fundamentals of Directing a child care center?

  • Professionalism
  • Marketing
  • Curriculum Development
  • Staff Recruitment & Training
  • Communication

These are the core of the Texas Director’s Director Credentialing courses and most of our ongoing trainings. There are other things you need to know, but these are the core.  If you have these down cold, then the minor crises can be handled.  

If you don’t feel confidence in your fundamentals, reach out to us.  We can help you with training or individual coaching.

A child falls on the playground, breaking an arm.  As a professional who has trained her staff well, you know that first aid will be rendered, the child will be comforted, that then the parens will be communicated with well, and then the paperwork will be completed.

OR

The city cuts off the water to your street while they are upgrading lines or the road, whatever.  It doesn’t matter why they did it, but it happened and now you have a situation.  Go out & use your communication skills to find out how long all this is going to last & help them to understand why this is a huge issue for your children.  If it is going to be more than 5 minutes, lean on marketing, curriculum development & professionalism to determine what you can do that will provide a quality day for your students.  You may have to call the parents to get the children because you can’t provide care, or you might be able to create an impromptu field trip to the neighborhood park, using their plumbing, facilities & picnic tables.  If so, just call, text, email parents to let them know how the plans have changed.

Once we have the fundamentals down we move into proficiency.  

“I’m not out there sweating for three hours every day just to find out what it feels like to sweat. “-Michael Jordan  We have to keep working on things.  Practice.  Drill.  Do it again.  And again.  And Again.  Walk through the program every day.  Talk to parents every morning & afternoon.  Do tours.   When you are done, evaluate how it went.  Do you need to shift something?  Are you making your free throws?  BTW tours are the child care version of the free throw.

Jordan is faithful: “Be true to the game, because the game will be true to you. If you try to shortcut the game, then the game will shortcut you. If you put forth the effort, good things will be bestowed upon you. That’s truly about the game, and in some ways that’s about life too. ” Are you being consistent?  He was. Keep going.  Get better, focus on the fundamentals.  

Some folks have a hard time seeing themselves as Michael Jordan.  OK, fine.  You don’t want to be the icon of excellence.  It can be scary to reach that high.  How about trying to be his coach?  A lot of what you do is coaching the staff, parents & children.  The coach he credits with getting him to excellence was University of North Carolina Coach, Dean Smith.  “Other than my parents, no one had a bigger influence on my life than Coach Smith. He was more than a coach – he was my mentor, my teacher, my second father. Coach was always there for me whenever I needed him and I loved him for it. In teaching me the game of basketball, he taught me about life.”  Can you be Coach Smith?  “I built my talents on the shoulders of someone else’s talent.”  Be the base for your people to reach excellence.

If you need a coach of your own, so that you can get your center court moment, I am here for you.  Coaching & training is what I do.  Get your Michael Jordan Moment!

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Focus on the fundamentals.  Get a coach if you need one.  Practice.  Evaluate.  Do it again.  Then when it is game time, you will shoot the game winning shot.  Stand your ground & take your shot.

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Failure Bow

We misbehaved.  We have not kept in touch with our clients on our mailing list.  We will do better.
We knew better.  Kate has been teaching about marketing in small business since the 90’s.  She can give you 20 ways to keep your clients engaged without breaking a sweat.  Carrie opened her first center in 1995.  Carrie maintained a waiting list from the first day she opened.  Without communication with her list, her first program would have closed within a year.

In the theater world, where Carrie spends much of her free time, there is a tradition that we would like to invoke: the failure bow.  When you mess up in public you take a bow and all your fellow performers clap.  This is usually done in rehearsals, because the audience doesn’t need to know when you messed up.  The team around you steps in and covers the error.  And then, together, you move on to do the hard work.

We didn’t follow our own basic marketing advice.  We know this.  We just got too caught up in other projects.  We take our bow.  We acknowledge our mistake and move on, with our friends.

We all need to take a bow from time to time.  There are likely times when you’re unhappy with how your school is running, what you’ve gotten gone, or which path you’re taking. That’s because you’re human. Those sentiments affect all of us from time to time. Sure, there will be days when your best doesn’t seem good enough to you, but what if your best is really just fine?

Coming to terms with your true self can help you acknowledge the awesome person you really are and what a great program you have developed. Your various characteristics combine to make something totally unique and special. No one else has your individual talents. No one else could ever take your unique place in this world. No other center can provide what you do for these children.

Accepting yourself for who you truly are can also boost your confidence and help you take advantage of your innate skills for your own benefit and that of others as well.  When you fall down, just bow and move forward.

Try these strategies to achieve contentment with where you are:

  1. Know that your program and staff are special. It’s important that you look at everyone, including yourself, as a beautiful creation. You weren’t made this way by mistake. Your beliefs, likes, and dislikes are all part of a magnificent design.  It brought this team together and attracted these families to your school.
  1. Look at the bright side. Often times, you probably feel that someone else’s situation is better than yours because they have more, their clients seem to be happier, or appear better off than you. But if you take a moment to look at the circumstances of others who are “less blessed” than you are, you’ll realize that there is actually a bright side.
  • Do you know anyone who couldn’t find a good toddler teacher for so long that they’ve given up on it?
  • Is there anyone around you who’s suffering the pain of losing a loved one?
  • When was the last time you noticed how the register family homes near you are doing?
  1. Consider your accomplishments. Throughout your life, you’ve probably achieved lots of things, both personally and professionally. Whether you accomplished a stronger bond with your staff, or completion of a project that earned your center recognition, those things all took place while you were in the skin you’re in today.
  • Remember that the person who has those accomplishments is the true you – you did it with your own strength, abilities and sensibilities.
  • You’re a winner in your own right by merit of what you’ve accomplished, and no one can take those victories away from you.
  1. Avoid underestimating yourself. One important factor that may be causing you to feel less than happy with who you are and where you are in life is the fact that you may be underestimating yourself. It’s possible that you don’t have what you want because you haven’t really tried to get it!
  • Instead of wishing you had what somebody else has, why not put some thought into how you can achieve it for yourself? Make a detailed plan of achievable steps to get what you want. We can help you with that if you need the hand up.  All of our directors are entitled to 5 hours of coaching a year.
  • Stop and consider that there’s really nothing separating you from your goals because you have what it takes to work towards it.

You were uniquely created with the talents and skills to have a fulfilling life. However, remember that what you put in is also what you get out. Make the life for yourself that only you can design and achieve!

Once you have gotten back into a good place mentally, take 2 hours to evaluate where changes need to be made. 
What do you know you should be doing for your school, that is not getting done?  Are you getting contact information from parents who call, email, and tour?  Did you follow up with them?  When did you last send out newsletters to your current families?

What about with your staff?  Do each of them have an annual training plan?  Are you practicing your “Management by Walking Around” and taking notes to catch staff doing a great job?  I know I get into a routine and forget to get up and go into the classes and just be for 5 minutes, letting the class flow around me.

Are you being a good scout: be prepared. 
Monthly safety checks are easy to let go.  When was the last time the screws and bolts on your trikes were tightened?  Scissors and tweezers wander away from first aid kits.  Does the emergency folder have up to date contact information and medical information for all the students and staff?  Are health forms up to date?  Are there licensing issues that need to be addressed?

Take a bow and do what needs to be done!