Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Dear friends and whanau and readers from the blogosphere in general

As you know I am in China for a while and unfortunately my access to blogger, even with a vpn, is hit and miss. More miss than hit. So I will continue to post about our adventures in Wuxi, musical things and such on another blogsite that I can access. Please go to http://wnpurdy.blog.com from now until further notice for all the juicy bits that are fit to print.
Love and peace - Wozza

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Into the abyss by pushing forwards (The Jam)

I was watching the TV One news tonight (A.K.A The John Key Show - our Prime Minister seems to command a huge number of stories) and almost choked on my dinner.

John Key being interviewed for the umpteenth story used the phrase 'binary choice', as in - the situation required a yes or no answer.


I thought aboutTim Philips in Talk Normal when he says that jargon is used to exclude us and cover lies...to create a cult like atmosphere.

I've not considered politicans to be a cult before, but it seems an appropriate label if a politician like Key uses a phrase like 'binary choice' as if it is part of normal, everyday speech.

Who is he talking to on a daily basis that he should utter such a thing?

Thursday, October 4, 2012

I'm a thousand miles from nowhere (Dwight Yoakam)

The Lead Adviser chaps and chapettes I worked with in the Middle East gave me a book as a going away present. Talk Normal by Tim Phillips is subtitled 'stop the business speak, jargon and waffle'.

Waiting on Waiheke Island in Auckland for the China adventure to begin has given me a chance to catch up on my reading.

My friends weren't taking the piss, but giving me a book they knew I'd agree with.

Sure enough the stance taken by Phillips is to rid the world of weasel words that get in the way of mass communication. For instance - problems are no longer called that, they are issues, challenges or (even worse) opportunities.

My time as an education consultant exposed me to a different level of jargon and weasel words. I got heartily sick of hearing that I worked in a challenging environment!

I read Tim's chapter on 'How HR ruined your life' with a smile on my face.

He's right - HR is full of fake-happy gibberish. From personnel managers to talent co-ordinators in under three moves! When applying for a job we must be onboard with being passionate role players.and so on into oblivion.

I wish I could say that the aviation world was any better than education but, if anything, it's worse. How will I cope?

Saturday, August 11, 2012

It's a crash course for the ravers (David Bowie)

I've just returned from a full on week in Christchurch, learning all about aviation English from Colin Davis and the kind folks at Airways New Zealand http://www.airways.co.nz/index.asp.

Colin and my fellow student Mike.
My Wozza's Place blog has details on my new career path in Wuxi, China. Before I can embark on that I needed to be certificated in Aviation English teaching by Colin,
This meant a flight to Christchurch early on Monday morning to the headquarters of Airways NZ. I had no idea what a huge concern this is. TI noticed their organisational chart on the wall and it was vast; made Cognition Education look like a corner dairy in comparison.

Day one of the course and we are analysing air crash disasters! Gulp! Anyone with even a cursory knowledge of your beloved blogger knows what a nervous flyer I am. Yes - since 2003 I have flown all over the world but that's thanks to red wine, diazepan, and a carpe diem attitude.
The blogger and the trainer.
 So to say this was just a teensy weensy bit out of my comfort zone is like saying Usain Bolt can run a bit.

After a while I shrugged it off and started concentrating on learning as much as I could about aviation terms in three days. I slept well each night, believe me.

The fourth day was about putting my new knowledge into practice with some Japanese students from the Christchurch flight training school. A lovely bunch they were too. I took three sessions and managed to gain my certification.

Which means - next stop Wuxi!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

I'm going to make a brand new start of it in old New York (Frank Sinatra)

This is a companion post to one I did on my Wozza's Place blog (http://www.wozzasplace.blogspot.com/) to farewell my amigos and fellow Cognition Education workers from Al Ain and Abu Dhabi. Contracts come and contracts go and most of the crew is heading off for pastures new or pastures familiar in Nu Zild.

To commemorate/celebrate I decided to head into the archives and chuck down some visuals of an exciting and very fulfilling part of my life. I met some exceptional, inspirational, and often gifted people during my three years working in Qatar and the UAE and I want to wish them good luck - whether they are staying in the Middle Eastern sandpit or making a new start somewhere else.

And to my brothers at Ali bin Abi Taleb School - I certainly miss you guys!

Graysy and Deno looking relieved to have Wozza on the team

Hisham and I try to locate Nu Zild on the big map

The Qatar crew enjoy a late breakfast

CJ doesn't believe Deno and Larry's instructions re the ablutions

Cogs and local Principals (Ally blanks me shock)

At Shakespeare's with the dream team

Hassan the art teacher

Adbulla commands the mic shock!

Nidal with the shy and withdrawn Adbulla

CJ trying and failing to locate the picture of Sheikh Zayed

Mohammed waits for Pete and Maggie to test the food

CJ - fearless leader - boldly samples the cake first

Cognition's failure to supply a desk does not deter Johnny
CJ asking local just where does he think his kandoora is!

Bye y'all - it was real!!

Friday, July 6, 2012

I stumble into town just like a sacred cow (David Bowie)

I'm reading Joe Bennett's Where Underpants Come From at the moment. It's subtitled 'From checkout to cotton field - travels through the new China'.

I'm not really a fan of his work. He's usually trying too hard to be funny in a clever way, whereas a great travel writer (clearly he aspires to Bill Bryson status) is just funny in an effortless way and informative in a clever way.

In the absence of any other amusing travel writing on China though - he's it.

I'm six chapters in an so far he hasn't moved from Shanghai. Chapter 6 was solely concerned with trying to make a dinner experience with a Chinese couple witty.

He does make some interesting points though which elucidate my own thoughts and knowledge of China. We both know little to nothing about it, beyond that there are a phenomenal number of people in China (1.4 billion I think), it's the world's producer of just about everything we buy, and it's an ancient land - 3,000 years and counting (at least, I think).

So we have ignorance in common.

With that in mind I watched an interesting TED talks item which clued me into the new generation of Chinese and the new China better than Joe could manage (in 95 pages so far). It also answered a few of my questions about blogging in the new China. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

What is fate gonna do to us now? (The Exponents)

I was reading an interview recently on McKinsey Quarterly with a CEO (Moya Greene) who admitted that he no longer read novels -
I’ve usually got three or four books on the go. I’ve given up on novels. I can’t get through them no matter how good they are; there’s no way I’ll finish before there’s some kind of interruption. So I read poetry now: the collected works of Ted Hughes, Emily Dickinson. I’m working my way through Philip Larkin. You can take a Larkin poem and read it on the bus in 15 minutes. The good ones stay with you and will come back to you. That’s what I like about poetry: you get a little shot of mental protein without a lot of time.
I laughed out loud when I read this, but I decided to give it a shot nonetheless. Here's my little shot of mental protein for today:

Poetry Of Departures by Philip Larkin
Sometimes you hear, fifth-hand,
As epitaph:
He chucked up everything
And just cleared off,
And always the voice will sound
Certain you approve
This audacious, purifying,
Elemental move.

And they are right, I think.
We all hate home
And having to be there:
I detect my room,
It's specially-chosen junk,
The good books, the good bed,
And my life, in perfect order:
So to hear it said

He walked out on the whole crowd
Leaves me flushed and stirred,
Like Then she undid her dress
Or Take that you bastard;
Surely I can, if he did?
And that helps me to stay
Sober and industrious.
But I'd go today,

Yes, swagger the nut-strewn roads,
Crouch in the fo'c'sle
Stubbly with goodness, if
It weren't so artificial,
Such a deliberate step backwards
To create an object:
Books; china; a life
Reprehensibly perfect.

Monday, June 4, 2012

I love my baby with the red dress on (Ten Years After)

A continuation of my last posting's theme - a trip down memory lane with material from that presentation I had to give.

Deputy Principal years at Cambridge High School

A return to the 'Naki as Principal Stratford High School

School ball with Jacky (She Who Must Be Obeyed)

In Doha doing the ole soft shoe shuffle

With Qatari leaders

The wedding venue we used to present our PD

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Ring, ring goes the bell, the cook in the lunch room's ready to sell (Chuck Berry)

I recently gave a presentation that had me as the topic. More specifically - what made me so special?

New Zealanders don't generally like blowing their own trumpet but this was a rare opportunity to sell myself.

I did some research and along the way I came up with some groovy pictures from the past that cried out for inclusion on the blogosphere.

Here are the first lot - photos that appeared in Mt Albert Grammar's Albertian magazine way back in the mid to late 1990s when I was Senior Housemaster at School House. When I was a student at M.A.G.S. the School House was a really mysterious place ruled by Ron Hemus and hirsute senior boys who were gods (of sport in particular).

It was a terrific experience being allowed into that arcane boarding school world. It dovetailed with a resurgence in fortunes for football in the school. I'd been in the 1975 team that won the Auckland competition and it had been a barren time since then until Kevin Fallon brought talent into the team - boys who were mostly boarders, drawn to the school by Kevin's reputation and chutzpah.

A special time.

What a front row! Some amazingly talented men and women!

Jacky is between me and Harry.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Thousand-year-old petroglyphs doing a double take, pointing a finger at eternity (Bruce Cockburn)

I receive regular updates from the NZ Teachers' Council under their Food For Thought umbrella. The latest one was talking about something important (I'm sure) and it casually dropped in the statistic that 76% of registered teachers in NZ are female.

Wow! I am in a real minority. Less than a quarter of teachers are male. This was a shock. I had no idea that things had progressed to this point.

Clearly the figures for Primary school teachers will have been a significant factor as only a fifth of Primary teachers are male, but this is obviously a factor for secondary as well now.

One of the main reasons I became a teacher myself was the example provided by male teachers at Primary (Mr Lindsay at Manukau Intermediate) and secondary (Warwick Gibbs and Barry Gough at Mount Albert Grammar). I seriously doubt this would have been an avenue for me without these gentlemen.

The feminisation of the profession is beyond doubt.

The number of women in primary teaching in New Zealand has
over the decade between 1992 and 2001 increased by 13%, while the number of men has decreased by 9 percent. http://www.nzei.org.nz/site/nzeite/files/misc%20documents/Men%20in%20Primary%20Teaching%20in%20New%20Zealand.pdf
This situation has not changed over the 2002-2012 decade as far as I can tell. Upshot is we need more male teachers! 

Why? For at least four reasons according to that report I've cited above:

Academic: To help address perceived learning deficits of boys
Social: To cater better for perceived social needs of boys
Environmental: To reduce an overly “feminised” nurturing ethos in primary
Representational: To make primary school staff more representative of society at
I would add that we need male role models in schools because males and females are different. We think differently, we act differently, we talk and listen differently and we have different learning needs.

At what point do we as a society think enough is enough? When 15% of teachers are male? 10%? 5%? Zero?

Friday, May 18, 2012

You know the answer sure ain't there (Cold Chisel)

I have written quite a lot in recent times about bonus pay incentives and the risks attached to morale among other things.

Blow me down if I don't return to NZ to learn that the current Minister of Education (Hekia Parata) is advocating performance pay for NZ teachers.

It's one of those crazy ideas that I'm sure sounds like manna from heaven for politicians. Why not reward the best performing teachers? Sure - let's do that. Sounds good. I repeat - sounds good.

Forget the research, forget the dangers, forget the practicalities, forget collaboration, forget good will, forget common sense and let's announce it and work out the pesky details later.

Lordy lordy - what an utter disaster a business model idea like bonus pay would be for teaching.

I listened with increasing concern and bafflement.

This news came with a sleight of hand move by the government to increase class sizes and thereby reduce teachers on the ground.

Cause for concern. Staff rooms in NZ school will be interesting places to be as this brainwave is digested.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Who is right, who can tell, and who gives a damn right now (Joy Division)

Betamax's failed strategy
 The Duncan J Watts book (Everything Is Obvious, Once You Know The Answer) which I've mentioned in recent posts has an interesting section on the strategy paradox.

In a nutshell this is a strategy which possesses great clarity of vision that is decisively acted upon but yet fails miserably.

The example he cites is Sony's Betamax videocassette tapes vs the VHS format from Matsushita. We all know what happened - the cheaper, nastier, poorer quality VHS tape won the day (before DVDs came along, rendering VHS tapes obsolete).

And the reason why a genius corporation like Sony failed when they had a vastly superior product?

Sony thought people would tape TV shows at home using blank tapes. That seemed a perfectly plausable strategy decision. They didn't think that people would want to own pre-recorded cassettes in great numbers.

But the video rental market exploded (all those video hire places that are now closing down just as quickly). VHS gained an advantage and the more machines that were bought, the more stores stocked VHS tapes.

This is a strategy paradox in action - the main cause of which is not bad strategy - just great strategy that happens to be wrong!

I've been thinking about this in conjunction with my devotion to the evidence based inquiry methods which I believe work brilliantly within a school's strategic vision. The inquiry cycle (do the search on the right to find my other posts on this) is quick on its feet, can adapt to new findings, has its eyes focussed closely on data/evidence and is reactive.

If a Betamax vs VHS scenario ever crops up within a strategy the inquiry method immediately sounds the alert.

Why aren't more school administrators implementing inquiry cycles? I can't see a down side.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

I'm gonna keep on walking till I find my way back home (Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee)

Duncan J Watts makes a good point in his book Everything Is Obvious (see the previous post).

I banged on about bonus schemes a while ago. I have a thing for intrinsic rewards over extrinsic ones and I wondered how successful a business model of performance bonus pay would work with a bunch of educational types.

Watts makes the point in his book that 'a number of studies, in fact, have found that financial incentives can actually undermine performance. Financial rewards can also generate a "choking" effect, when the psychological pressure of the reward cancels out the increased desire to perform".

In summary he says:
The upshot of all these confusing and often contradictory findings is that although virtually everyone agrees that people respond to financial incentives in some manner, it's unclear how to use them in practice to elicit the desired result. Some management scholars have even concluded after decades of studies that financial incentives are largely irrelevant to performance.
I often wonder what the thinking is at company HQ when financial incentives are discussed and then thought to be a good idea.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

I love the friends I have gathered together on this thin raft (The Doors)

I'm currently reading a nifty book called Everything Is Obvious (once you know the answer) and it has made some good sense to me even though the subtitle of the book is How Common sense Fails.

I will return to the book a few times over the next couple of posts but I had to include this extract because it immediately made me think of one of the Cognition Education leaders who addressed a meeting in Al Ain last September.
Publishers, producers, and marketers - experienced and motivated professionals in business with plenty of skin in the game - have just as much difficulty predicting which books, movies, and products will become the next big hit as political experts have in predicting the next revolution.
The highlighted phrase is the bit in question. When Terry Bates used it at that meeting, my colleagues and I all looked at each other with a - what the hell does that mean? - expression on our faces. It was certainly new to us and we certainly wondered where Terry had picked it up from. It was clearly business jargon from somewhere.

A Google search reveals that we can blame Warren Buffett. It's a term referring to a situation in which high-ranking insiders use their own money to buy stock in the company they are running.

I think we should ban it! Even though Terry's number one acolyte, Colin Donald, has adopted it. No more skin in the game please!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

In the year 2525 (Zager and Evans)

I was asked recently for my thoughts on the challenges facing education in New Zealand in the next ten years.

This is a tough question and I thought about it long and hard.

This is what I eventually came up with.

·         Schools will continue to have to work with a lack of adequate funding. The Christchurch earthquake has had a deep effect on the nations coffers. It will take some time before education is again at the forefront of politicians' minds I fear.
·         Closing the achievement gap between Maori and non-Maori students. This has been a focus for the last ten years and will continue to be a focus during the next ten, I have no doubt.
·         Attracting the most talented and best motivated people to become teachers and making it attractive for the best to remain in New Zealand. Australia is a drain but so too is the rest of the world. It's a global market now. I have chosen to return to NZ but I am in a minority compared to my NZ colleagues in the UAE. They are considering Singapore, China, Europe, America...anywhere but here. What a shame that we can't attract them back at this point.
·         Extending new pedagogical approaches that focus on differentiated/student centred classrooms and disseminating emerging innovatory good practice. NZ is at times zenopobic about things that haven't originated at home. We have to get over that.
·         Utilising new technologies as aids to learning. Often new technologies are seen as a panacea and not what they are - tools.
·         Learning from John Hattie's meta-analysis (visible learning). There is so much to be distilled from Hattie's research and it will take ten years to make progress on his findings.

That lot should keep everyone busy and focused for the next decade at least.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

It's a Tenth Avenue freeze out (The Boss)

Please excuse the temporary absence of posts this week. I am in transit back to New Zealand. Normal transmission should resume shortly!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Gotta make it through the tunnel, got a meeting with the man on the other side (Bruce Springsteen)

A colleague sent me a link to an article on the CNN site recently. I read it, liked it and then began reading another one on knowing your leadership superpower. I'm a sucker for this kind of pop culture reference.


I love the central idea about identifying working with your core strengths rather than your weaknesses. They are of course standard interview questions - what are your strengths (leadership powers)? What are your weaknesses (kryptonite factors)? But this article suggests turning that second question around and saying - forget about your weaknesses and play to your core strengths.

Got me to thinking about my own leadership power.

It's difficult for us to focus on strengths but this week I've been farewelled in a variety of ways and my friends and colleagues have focused on a common superpower - my ability to build relationships.

It seems I have hit on the the right balance, where I can play to my own strengths and let my team play to theirs.

Perhaps that's why, when I was growing up, my favourite comic book superheros were The Fantastic Four.

It's a story of husband and wife, brother and sister and brother-in-law, and friendship. The team play to their individual strengths but only win against the evil doers when they combine their powers.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Eddie waited till he finished high school; he went to Hollywood, got a tattoo. He met a girl out there with a tattoo too; the future was wide open (Tom Petty)

An American reader from OnlineEducation.net sent me this graphic to critique, which I did.

Why America's Education Isn't Worth the Money
Via: OnlineEducation.net

The most striking thing about it, apart from the grammatical error ('one out of four...don't graduate') was the alarming statistic about 7,000 students dropping out of school every day.


So, say American high schools work for 180 days a year (as do schools in the UAE and NZ), that's a whopping 1,269,000 students a year that leave school before they graduate.

Where do they go? What do they do? What is the cost to the nation?

But I guess the question that the American education system needs to ask is WHY?

An excellent fact sheet on American school drop outs is available at http://www.all4ed.org/files/GraduationRates_FactSheet.pdf . According to them there is no single identifiable reason.

The next biggie is - What can be done to stop this tragedy?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Yawm 'asal wa yawm basal (one day honey, one day onions)

Only one week to go before the end of the Trimester and my return to New Zealand.

Putting a lid on the Middle Eastern experience is difficult because the relationships that have been established are deep ones.

I guess it's natural that I have bitter/sweet feelings at this juncture. It's a time for looking back with a lot of satisfaction, and a time to look forward to the next phase of my life back in NZ. At the moment I'm not exactly sure what that will be apart from settling into our new Hawke's Bay farmlet.

The present is what occupies my thoughts more than those things though. I'm now moving through lame duck status by moving rapidly towards the end of the trimester, even though a successor has not been found for me yet.

The lame duck stages I'm following are as follows:


The reflection/acceptance stages were a few posts back. They come pretty quickly after the phone call to the boss and he doesn't say we'll double your salary if you stay!

Self criticism is mandatory for teachers. The guilt is never far below the surface for us educationalist types but then I became resigned to the fact that these were my last weeks as an educational consultant in the gulf and that's where you find me now. That and waiting for the final farewells next week and the withdrawal from Al Ain and the UAE soon after that.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Oh I knowww, I knowwww (Sybil Fawlty)

The McKinsey Quarterly had a guide to better listening recently. This is an area of interest to me because I am often annoyed by people who don’t listen well.

You know the poor listener types:
The pseudo listener nods the head a lot, and adds insincere comments like ‘How interesting’ and ‘I see’ because they are too busy thinking about their own opinions and what they want to say instead of listening to you.
The continual talker/ non listener never shuts up. Continually interrupts conversations. Loves the sound of their own voice.
The critic misses clues to your underlying feelings because they are too busy looking for facts.
The ‘I’m in a hurry’ listener never slows down long enough to look you in the eyes and find conversation. Talks and listens while doing other jobs.
The bored listener also doesn’t look you in the eyes. Other body language stresses that he/she refuses to give their full attention. They would rather talk to someone else as their eyes scan the room behind you.
The aggressive listener has contempt for others’ ideas. In meetings and conversations this person is usually waiting to interrupt/jump in over you and point out mistakes- usually interrupting conversations and making the speaker feel inferior.

The guide made three simple suggestions for people that, if followed, would reduce the number of poor listeners.


All three are crucial cornerstones of good listening. The first two are succinct and self explanatory. The third needs a little further comment.

To listen well we have to be prepared to challenge long-held and cherished assumptions. Then there is a miraculous world of new possibilities.

This takes real effort because it flies against human nature. We need to force ourselves to shelve prejudices and assumptions and shake up our thinking…and become better listeners.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Where there is no vision the people perish (Proverbs 29: 18)



What springs to mind?  

70-year-old Frank went for his annual physical. He told the doctor that he felt fine, but often had to go to the bathroom during the night. Then he said, "But you know Doc, I'm blessed. God knows my eyesight is going, so he puts on the light when I pee, and turns it off when I'm done!"

A little later in the day, Dr. Smith called Frank's wife and said, "Your husband's test results were fine, but he said something strange that has been bugging me. He claims that God turns the light on and off for him when uses the bathroom at night."

Estelle exclaimed, "That old fool! He's been peeing in the refrigerator again!"

This post is dedicated to Frank and Estelle, the director of the U.S. patent office who resigned In 1875, saying that there was nothing left to invent, and to Dick Rowe who famously lacked the vision to recognize the talent inside John Paul George and Ringo, declaring that “guitar groups are on their way out, Mr. Epstein".

Vision, as everyone knows, is the core of leadership.

Vision is seeing what life could be like while dealing with life as it is.

Poor Dick Rowe could not listen to the rough chaotic versions of Besame Mucho, The Sheik of Araby, or Three Cool Cats and hear the fabs’  humour, notice their spark, glimpse the potential, or see what Brian Epstein had seen. He failed to see the possibilities. George Martin could though.

George had vision. He could see the potential purpose hidden in the chaos of the moment. His vision would see the birth of new possibilities, not only for The Beatles themselves but for music, for Britain and for the whole world.

Brian Epstein had hawked the audition tapes and been turned down everywhere. All had agreed with Dick Rowe’s assessment.

Imagine if he hadn’t come across the young George Martin who was in charge of a label that made comedy records! Imagine if George had had no vision!

The Beatles would have slunk back to Liverpool. Maybe they’d have stayed together. Maybe they would have gained success through other means. Maybe they would have gone into other artistic fields. Luckily that alternative bizarro world doesn’t exist. And that is down to George Martin’s vision.

Vision deals with those deeper human intangibles that alone give ultimate purpose to life.
[Next post - more on vision as I reveal my top visionaries!]

I will sit right down, waiting for the gift of sound and vision (David Bowie)


First – some defining comments: a visionary is variously described as a person given to fanciful speculations and enthusiasms with little regard for what is actually possible, a dreamer, a person with unusual powers of foresight.

I love dreamers, I love working for dreamers (where have they gone?), and I love being a dreamer. You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.

My favourite visionaries and something of their thoughts

George Martin When I have a gut feeling about something, I've generally been right. And when I've listened to experts, they've invariably been wrong.

John F Kennedy/ Robert Kennedy There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why... I dream of things that never were, and ask why not? (R.K.)

Allen Ginsberg Follow your inner moonlight; don't hide the madness.

William Wordsworth We have within ourselves/ Enough to fill the present day with joy,/ And overspread the future years with hope.

John Lennon/Yoko Ono A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality. Y.O. Imagine… J.L./Y.O.

Albert Einstein We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.

George Lucas 'Star Wars' is fun, it’s exciting, it’s inspirational, and people respond to that.

Lao Tze Be careful what you water your dreams with. Water them with worry and fear and you will produce weeds that choke the life from your dream. Water them with optimism and solutions and you will cultivate success. Always be on the lookout for ways to turn a problem into an opportunity for success. Always be on the lookout for ways to nurture your dream.

Nelson Mandela It always seems impossible until it’s done.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

I don't need to fight, to prove I'm right, I don't need to be forgiven (The Who)

I continue to be inspired by an address I heard at the International Confederation of Principals in Edinburgh 2003.

It was an address about Inspirational Leadership and it used Henry V to make its points.
I was cleaning up my files in preparation for my return to NZ at the end of March and I found my notes to this address.

Reading through them I found myself inspired again. I loved the connection between school leadership and Henry V (my favourite Shakespeare character in my favourite Shakespeare play). My notes from 2003 say – ‘can do this with other figures/stories – Luke Skywalker’.

So I thought I'd have a go and do a little chart to indicate the links.
§  How to sell a vision: authentic performance in presentation  S

The epic journey
Henry V
Luke Skywalker
The call to imagination

The chorus (a single narrator) says. ‘IMAGINE’
The sound and picture says, ‘SUSPEND YOUR DISBELIEF’
Act I
Assessing the past and
visioning the future

Henry lays out his vision for gaining the French crown
 In Star Wars, Luke comes to terms with the death of his family on Tattoine and accepts his destiny –  to become a Jedi and defeat the Empire.
Act II
Identifying inner personal resources and inner ‘traitors’
The preparation for the French campaign, dealing with traitors and critics. Gaining a critical mass of support
Luke battles his inner demons in his training with Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back
Act III:
Overcoming first blocks to success

The battle for Harfleur – Once more unto the breach, dear friends…
The capture of Han and Leia is overcome
Act IV
Crisis management - the dark night of the soul and inspiring the troops
Henry incognito visits and then inspires the troops before the battle
Luke strives to control his anger/hate in the face of the Emperor’s provocation in Return of the Jedi
Act V
Achieving the vision and turning the battlefield into a garden

The Battle of Agincourt followed by the wooing of Catherine of Valois
Luke rescues/redeems his father and defeats the Emperor in Return of the Jedi

 I want to explore the vision aspect, Act 1 from the chart, in the next post.