That Sparkle In His Eye
I spoke to my Aunt Maryann recently. She’s a big fan of my work and was a lifelong educator herself. She’s always very complimentary of my books, blogs, and podcasts. In this particular conversation, she could not stop talking about a recent guest on my podcast, Jon-Michael Shea. She said: He’s got such a sparkle in his eye…. he has a spirit for education and you just know he’s going to be great.”
What was it about Jon-Michael that made her make this comment? What exactly was it about him that she noticed? What is the sparkle in his eye?
I think there are tangible and intangible things that make up successful educators and successful people. That magical combination makes people want to be around someone else. The great Roger Ayers, Division I and Final Four college basketball referee uses the phrase: “be the referee that everyone wants to work with.” Jon-Michael Shea has a special combination to be that administrator that everyone wants to work with.
After reflecting upon my Aunt’s comments, as well as the podcast with Jon-Michael Shea I think it boils down to three things:
* Positivity: Jon-Michael was very positive on the whole. He had a great attitude and a bright outlook on the future.
* Grateful and humble: Jon-Michael referenced his great staff multiple times throughout the show. Instead of taking credit, he gave the credit to others. He had a growth mindset and was looking to serve other people as well as promote their positivity as well.
* Body language: Jon-Michael smiled the whole time. As my Aunt pointed out, there was a sparkle in his eye. There was an energy that is hard to put your finger on but just made him someone that you want to be around, works for, or go to school where he is the principal.
As I’ve said many times on the podcast there’s no one magic formula, one combination of traits, actions or techniques that make it perfect. It’s your own style matched up with a number of these points as well as others. Some tangible and some intangible, these people continue to go out and look to serve others and impact the world. People are craving kindness and service. There’s enough great leaders out there to make it happen. Be one of them!
Thank you Jon-Michael for doing a great job in your field, and thank you to my Aunt Maryann, the matriarch and an elementary school educator for noticing the sparkle in his eye. She ended our conversation with “don’t you ever lose that sparkle!” Coaching me, guiding me, pushing me and reminding me to do my best. Thank you Aunt. Love you!
If I can help you in any way don’t hesitate to reach out at @andrewmarotta21 (https://twitter.com/andrewmarotta21) on Twitter. I would love to come run your next professional development or leadership workshop.
Quote: “If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.”
– Henry David Thoreau