Sometimes we can get so set in our ways and our world that we miss vital business insights.  When that occurs we need something to give us a new perspective.  That is what happened to Kim Lowry, principal of South Elementary in Kennett, Missouri.  At the time, Lowry’s school was not meeting key federal and state benchmarks.  That left the school vulnerable to state takeover.

Her superintendent took the initiative in 2009 to enroll Lowry in a part-time business program via the University of Virginia, Darden School of Business.  Initially, Lowry was very resistant to engaging herself in a new academic program when she could so clearly see the needs at her home base.  Nevertheless, if you talk to her today, she is thrilled.

Lowry aggressively took all she learned about best business practices and contextualized them into the educational arena.  She created a school transformation plan that got key stakeholders involved.  She tapped consultants for specific components of the plan.  Finally, she made certain every teacher was held publicly accountable for student performance.  Today her school meets the required federal standards.  Student test scores jumped 26% in English and 29% in math.

I never cease to be amazed at the blessing of a new perspective.  Although I earned my M.B.A. later in life than most, I found the experience to be richly rewarding in so many ways.  The educational experience gave me a new perspective on so many things.  I gained new tools, resources, ideas, concepts, and insights.  My perspectives were genuinely broadened in totally positive ways.

The next time you feel you are in a difficult situation, why not seek a new perspective?  You won’t necessarily need to earn a new degree, but I am certainly not discouraging that.  Sometimes just reading a new book or article, doing some fresh research on the Web, or having a significant conversation with a mentor, is all it takes to give you a new perspective.  The results may surprise you and everyone around you.

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About James Meadows

Currently I serve as a training team manager for Tyco Integrated Security at a customer-care center in Kansas City. Additionally, I am a business consultant, a freelance corporate writer, an Assembly of God ordained minister, a Civil Air Patrol chaplain, and a blogger. I believe we are living in the most fascinating times of human history. To maximize the opportunities these times present, I have a passionate interest in leadership development and organizational success, both of which I view as inextricably linked.

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