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President's Weekly Message (04/23/21)

Updated: Apr 30, 2021

"focus on the bagel"

Hello API Job Corps Centers,

Today’s topic is “focus on the bagel.” You may be thinking, “What the heck is she talking about? She must be overworked!” I have a story to tell.

Simon Sinek, a leadership guru and professor at Columbia University, talks about the day he was running a 5K race with a friend. They got to the finish line and the race sponsor had set up long tables with dozens and dozens of free bagels for all the runners. He looked at his friend and pointed, “Free bagels!” His friend looked back and said, “Too long a line.”

Simon repeated himself, “ But you don’t understand….there are FREE bagels.” His friend replied, “The line is too long.” Simon realized the mindset he just experienced was something he had experienced his entire life.

There are those that focus on the outcome, and those that focus on how hard it is to achieve the outcome. There are those that focus on the bagel, and those that focus on the line.

What do we need to do to focus on the bagel?

  • Start with the WHY: Remind yourself of the reason for doing what you are doing. In Job Corps it is easy to be distracted from the WHY. But when we focus on the WHY, we focus on helping one student succeed, helping one student develop a dream, and helping one student lead a successful life.

  • Develop a north star: If you don’t know where you are going, you are never going to get here. Develop your long-term vision and map out the incremental steps it will take to make it a reality.

  • Take in small victories: Everyone has setbacks and everyone has victories. Don’t pay more attention to your setbacks and fluff off the things that go well. Celebrate each and every success since that will keep you energized.

  • Keep track of your success: As you get closer to the finish line and to your bagel, remember that you will run another race soon. Continue to keep track of your successes and realize that it is a never-ending process. There is always another race and another bagel right around the corner.

  • Share your goals with a trusted advisor: Sharing your goals with someone you trust keeps you honest. You may let yourself down, but you won’t want to let others down.

Whatever you do….focus on the bagel, not the line.

Finally, continue to follow our center and the CDC safety and health guidelines and take care of yourself and our students. Please stay safe and stay open!!

Dr. Wild

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