Saturday, July 9, 2011

Enchanting Up and Enchanting Down: "Enchanting" Schools, Part Five


If you have been following this series of posts, you have made it to the end.  Congratulations are in order.  In addition,


Writing this series on enchanting schools has been a great learning exercise for me.  I hope you have also found some nuggets of wisdom to use.

This entire series was inspired by two sources.  One is the outstanding book, Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions by Guy Kawasaki.  The other is a blog post summary of Enchantment by David Deal.  If you haven't read either or both of them, I encourage you to check them out.

Enchanting Up and Enchanting Down

From David Deal:

Enchant up

Enchantment begins inside your own company. You can’t enchant others if you can’t enchant the people with whom you work. And the most critical person to enchant is your boss. If your boss asks you to do something, drop everything else and do it. Go to your boss with a prototype of your solution to her problem and get her feedback and buy-in. If you have bad news, deliver it early.

Enchant down

Achieving enchantment inside your own organization also means enchanting your work force. The single most important way to enchant your own people is to give them a road map for success. Show them how to succeed working for you. If you want to work for Guy, he’ll try to enchant you by helping you master new skills, giving you autonomy, and empowering you to change the world.

Schools are filled with layers of people.  There are formal roles and informal roles; all of which have either written or unwritten hierarchies.  The concept of enchanting up or down exists at every level.  You may not need to only enchant your principal or division head, but also your department chair and your more experienced colleagues.  There are also those who you need to follow your lead.  Those who you hope to motivate and encourage to join you.  This may be your students or less experienced teachers.

For enchanting up, educators should maintain an open line of communication in order to know what your "boss" expects.  The best way to earn the trust by enchanting up is to make good on the expected work and be dependable.  Your "boss" is more likely to join your cause if she believes you are capable of actually following through, which you demonstrate by doing the work needed.

Enchanting down, as Guy and David suggest, is a matter of articulating a vision of what is possible, supporting others in sharing that vision, and provide the resources needed for others to take action.  Enchanting down also speaks to nurturing internal motivation.  This motivation is thoroughly described by Daniel Pink in Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us.  Enchanting down, essentially, is deciding to lead.  That is, having an inspiring cause to make something better and creating a way for you to communicate your cause to others while enabling others to not only participate in, but encourage others to join your tribe.

If you missed the other parts of this series, or if you want to go back and read them again, here are the links to them.

The prelude to this series - Responsibility or Cause

Part 1, Likability and Trustworthiness

Part 2, Getting Ready and Launching

Part 3, Overcoming Resistance and Enduring

Part 4, Presentations and Using Technology

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