Friday, February 8

The Bev Factor

In the last several weeks, I taught a series of webinars on goal setting and strategic planning for secondary school principals in Texas committed to improving student academic performance. I was initially skeptical about the likelihood of making a meaningful difference using distance learning and not personally being in each of their schools. My success was assured by the skill, patience, creativity, composure, and grit of Bev Hoerig, the technology coordinator for the project, based at the University of Houston-Victoria.

Although she was amazingly in control of every dimension of the various technological components needed to engage people from dozens of sites in an interactive learning experience, Bev never confused means and ends. She understood technology was a way to accomplish learning goals with limited resources, and used every facet of what the technology offered to achieve those goals. She gently taught me how to pull ideas and information from the participants in live time and use those to shape the discussion. She inspired me to create lively and even humorous slides. She pulled the best from each of us as well as what the technology offered.

So often, there is a "Bev" who can play that catalytic role in a project --and yet isn't empowered and then recognized for the synergy they can create. Ask yourself on your next initiative who could provide The Bev Factor and help achieve its fullest potential. Then, give them responsibility and turn them lose. You know you won't be disappointed.

Thanks, Bev, for teaching me new skills, encouraging me to stretch, and being my partner in what turned out to be a fun and rewarding project. Although we've never met in person, I feel I have a new friend and trusted colleague and hope our paths cross again.

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