There he was on stage, my longtime colleague Aaron Polansky taking a risk on a new keynote called “The Courage to Run.” Although I have known Aaron for over 10 years, I had never seen him do a full keynote. I’ve probably seen him do more karaoke songs instead (and man does he have a great voice!) However, I wasn’t worried, though, because I knew he had the passion and ability to share some thought-provoking ideas; he did not disappoint.
In preparation for the event, we discussed the theme of the PD day “Inspire ’16” and our goal was for him to offer inspiration to teachers and staff on connecting with students, fostering a growth mindset, and building a positive school culture. In 45 minutes, he had us laughing, reflecting, and (dare I say) crying as he challenged us to think differently, to change worlds through our words, and take risks.
The one line that has continued to resonate with me that Aaron shared was, “When you are green you grow and when you are ripe you rot.”
What better image then to image yourself growing or rotting? I’d choose to grow, wouldn’t you? But growing isn’t always comfortable and involves taking risks.
As Ginni Rometty, CEO and Chairwoman of IBM, sums it up: “I learned to always take on things I’d never done before. Growth and comfort do not coexist.”
You don’t grow by staying comfortable, but instead it often takes great risks to gain great rewards.