Jim Collins was amazing in his address at yesterday’s general session for the National Middle School Association Convention. Author of the best seller Good to Great, Collins tailored his remarks to hit home with the gathering of middle-level educators. Several of the significant points are as follows:

The adage “schools should be run like a business” is poor advice for schools. While there are businesses which are “great,” most businesses are, well…average. Why in the world would we want to take practices which are merely average and import them into our schools.

We need to look for those things which work and stick with them. Our tendency in education is to start new things, abandon them quickly, and start something else. As Collins put it, “The signature of mediocrity is in inconsistency.” Furthermore, he implored leaders to empower others to have freedom to “polish a lead bullet into silver and have time to do it.”

Of particular interest to me was when Jim Collins touched on time management and implored us to develop not only a “to do” list but a “stop doing” list. More on this subject later.