Being the Leader that can Bring this Plan Together

In order for me to become a self-differentiated leader and successfully implement a plan within my organization to use technology to teach students how to better problem solve then there are some key factors that I need to share.  The principles, vision for my goals, and the outcomes I want with the implementation of this plan are laid out in this blog. There is also a need for me to take a defined stand, in essence be exposed, when others disagree and offer resistance. As I make the changes I need to becoming a self-differentiated leader I will need to recognize sabotage that will take place as changes are made. Remembering that it is not personal and there is no need to get emotional over it, just realize that I am doing my job because sabotage is a sign that change is taking place.

To be successful, it was key for me to understand why I was developing the plan. Simon Sinek said it best when he said, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it”(Sinek, 2013 Ted Talk). The initial step to leading organizational change was to develop the why, how, and what of the plan I was implementing.

Having a clear why, how, and what will help to establish a sense of urgency, because the student coming to our college expect a different type of learning environment. After 15 years in the classroom I have observed that problem solving has a direct correlation on retention and passage rates. Students struggle each year with developing proper problem solving ability. Student’s problem solving ability will not improve if we do not have a plan to take the traditional classroom and adapt it with a plan that utilizes the think, pair, share with technology integration. As an educator I will bring this plan into the classroom that will help students prepare for real laboratory environments, and bring excitement to the classroom. As student’s ability to improve problem solving skills this will improving their chances of securing a job in the histology field. We need to change this or we will lose touch with current students. By focusing on the influencer model we can move from traditional classroom environment to develop a new system to help students be successful.

As I built a model to influence educators to lead out in changing the classroom, I created some steps that are outlined in the plan that model changes. I utilized the 4 disciplines of execution model (McChesney and Huling 2012) that would give the Wildly Important Goal (WIG) of:

Develop a plan that can foster problem solving by developing the student’s ability to take responsibility for their own learning with peer involvement using the think, pair, share method.

With this goal putting focus on the ultimate goal which is to stretch the boundaries for organizational change. I developed some vital steps to direct our path through this change.

  1. Giving students practice with problem scenarios while in clinical.
  2. Give students convoluted problems while in class to work together with other students.
  3. Students practice with two directional problems to learn the correct steps to use to solve problems.
  4. In class students are given problem scenarios with multiple answers to work towards the best answer.
  5. Using Poll Everywhere in class will allow students to utilize the think, pair, share method.
  6. Use repetitive problem solving questions involving equipment to reinforce student’s ability to problem solve.

These vital steps are behaviors that need to be repeatable high-leverage actions performed crucial moments that will lead to the results we want. (Harapnuik, 2016)

The need to improve student’s problem solving ability by implementing the think, pair, share method using technology in the classroom has been difficult due to the stigma that “new technology” brings with it. The whirlwind of day to day teaching, keeping up with changing technology, along with the administrative duties of work, is what makes implementing this plan so difficult.

Setting the Wildly Important Goal at a high level will give a clear finish line for students to achieve. Charting the outcomes each week and being able to compare them to previous scores will keep the administration and faculty focused and they will see if they are winning or losing. Establishing a meeting at the end of each week to discuss what is the 1 or 2 things that can be done and make commitments for the next week. This 4 Disciplines of execution part of the plan is to provide the outline for engaging the ones responsible for implementing change in class and track improvements each week that will culminate in higher outcomes.

As I move forward with this plan I am starting to grasp the concepts of the models and methods that I will need to be a successful differentiated leader that can lead my organization though this transition of change as we move forward in educating the Health Care workers of tomorrow. I also recognize the need for crucial conversation, now this is like a normal conversation except emotions run higher and opinions vary. These conversations are important to maintain a safe environment before others move into a silence state where they withdraw and do not want to participate in the task at hand, or they become violent or hostile towards the plan and others involved. Maintaining safety for all involved is important to moving forward. You have to learn to share facts, tell what your story is, be honest, and encourage others to express differing opinions. When others do blow up then you want to explore their ideas so they feel that it is safe to express their mind and will trust in the process. (Patterson, Grenny, & Swizler, 2012)


  1. Patterson, K., & Grenny, J. (2013). Influencer: The new science of leading change, Second Edition. McGraw-Hill Education.
  1. Covey, S., McChesney, C., & Huling, J. (2012). The 4 Disciplines of Execution: Achieving your wildly important goals. Simon and Schuster.
  1. Sinek, Simon. (2013, September 29). Start With Why – TED talk.
  1. Harapnuik, D. (2016, January 29). 4 Effective Ways to Find and Test Vital Behaviors.
  1. Grenny, J., Maxfield, D., & Shimberg, A. (2013). How to 10X your influence (Rep.).
  1. Patterson, K., Grenny, J., & Swizler, A. (2012). Crucial conversations: tools for talking when stakes are high. (2nd ed.).
  1. Executive Overview of The 4 Disciplines of Execution. (2012). Retrieved November 08, 2016, from

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