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Pursuing Less

August 28, 2012

I recently read a blog post called the, The Disciplined Pursuit of Less.  It explored the idea of why successful people and organizations don’t always become very successful.  One explanation laid out was what the post termed “the clarity paradox”:

Phase 1: When we really have clarity of purpose, it leads to success.
Phase 2:  When we have success, it leads to more options and opportunities.
Phase 3:  When we have increased options and opportunities, it leads to diffused efforts.
Phase 4:  Diffused efforts undermine the very clarity that led to our success in the first place.

Curiously, and overstating the point in order to make it, success is the catalyst for failure.

The ‘clarity paradox” could have been developed specifically for the education profession, where we frequently talk about “initiative fatigue” and seem to roll out new program after new program.  It is most often driven by the desire to provide the best opportunity for success to our students.  As we adapt to new government regulations, new curriculums, new instructional strategies and more – it is important for us to consider the need to eliminate an activity before adding a new one.

As the school year begins, this post was a nice reminder to stay focused and to remember that just because we “can” do something…. it doesn’t always mean we should.

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