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Identity First, Then Culture

First, allow me to get this outta the way, real quick like.  

I am, unabashedly, an Indiana University basketball fan to the core of my being.  I grew up in Indiana and in Indiana, if you were raised right, you were raised to be an IU fan.  Unfortunately, the vast majority of my lifetime, they haven't been that great.  I don't remember the national championship in 1987, I was only 4.  

Recently they hired Archie Miller from Dayton University who is known for defense and toughness.  A "grind it out" culture if you will.  He gave an interview  (here) and in the interview, he mentioned something about culture that struck a chord with me this morning.  


“The big thing is to create the first identity opportunity,” Miller said. “Not culture.”
I stopped Miller there. Coaches love talking about culture – it might be the most popular buzzword in the profession today. What’s with the avoidance?
“I think culture is earned,” he said. “You don’t start talking about culture four weeks down the road. Our culture at Dayton was built over the course of hard wins and hard losses, overcoming adversity. Culture is resiliency, not ever bending away from what you want to be about. But identity is different – we can start to implement identity right away, every day.
“Culture is five or six years down the road – whatever they say about Indiana at that point, we’ve earned. But we don’t have one yet.”

This got me thinking...
  
Educational leaders, how do you/did you EARN the culture in your building? 

 What's your identity?  

What's the identity of your campus?  

And, as an Assistant Principal aspiring to have his own building one day, what was your first identity opportunity as a new Principal?  

Please, leave a comment below to answer any or all of the questions above!  

Honestly, Coach Miller could have said pretty much anything about anything and I'd be like, "YEAH, RIGHT ON COACH!" but the more and more I read about how he is going to run that program the more and more interested I am to see what he can do with the program.  

I think lessons can be learned from this venture and I plan to stay tuned both as a fan and as a leader who strives to learn from other leaders.  Personally, I think Coach Miller is someone who will be easy to support.  

Oh, and GO HOOSIERS!  
#IUBB

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