While attending the National Principals Conference in Boston, MA in July 2019, I was planning on going to one of the morning sessions that was overbooked. There was a crowd of people that could not get into the room, so the organizers quickly moved the location. As the group was heading to the new location, there was a friendly young woman waving people in for coffee and scones. Well, who doesn’t like coffee and scones early on a Friday morning? So I rolled into that room and saw some friendly face faces there, including Lesli Maxwell, Assistant Managing Editor from Education Week. She greeted us warmly saying good morning and welcome. I saw some Education Week magazines on the table and overheard someone saying that this breakfast and coffee are complements of Education Week.
As I got my coffee and scone, I saw this as an opportunity to meet Lesli and the people from Education Week. They were there for a breakfast meeting that had ended, and they had some extra food and coffee left over, which they were so graciously willing to share.
I grabbed a few copies of my book: “The Principal: Surviving and Thriving” signed them and went over to introduce myself to Lesli. We shared greetings and a warm hello. She shared that it was great meeting like this and that they were looking for some new people to contribute to the magazine. I also excitedly said this is great, and I was looking to expand my audience and share with more people. We exchanged information and I went on to my next session.
Reflecting on this encounter, I thought about how fortunate I was to have had this meeting by chance. But was it really by chance? I believe it was chance, hard work, and opportunity all coming together. It certainly was by chance that I was walking down that hallway at that time when the meeting ending and the extra coffee and scones. Was it by chance that I was at the conference? Had written the book? Writing a blog and podcast and such? I was totally ready and prepared for this opportunity and moment. What’s the old saying: “Luck is when hard work meets opportunity.” All of these and more came together at that moment when I had a chance to meet Lesli. My good friend Dr. Rob Gilbert, a sports psychologist at Montclair State University and creator of the Success Hotline has always told me: “It’s not how great the opportunity is, it’s how great you are to the opportunity.”