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How SBMs can gain an A* life

Something a bit different today.

We spoke with Andy Cope, who describes himself a teacher, author, happiness expert and learning junkie. He has written The Art of Being Brilliant and Be Brilliant Everyday’ (Capstone) as well as ‘The Art of Being a Brilliant Teacher’ (Crown House).

Andy goes in to a number schools and speaks at a number of events on the subject of “being brilliant”, and so we asked him about how School Business Managers could benefit from what he has to say. (Although, people in different roles may benefit too).

Most people, says Andy, get stuck in what he calls a “C+ life”.

In school report terms, he says, people “could do better and, for many, life can become a bit mundane”.

Says Andy: “Too many people settle for C+ in the hope that A* will happen at the weekend or next year or when they retire.

“The solution is not some rose-tinted Polyanna approach that annoys people and papers over the cracks of reality, but a genuine expectation that today is going to be a fab day because you’re going to choose to be upbeat, passionate and positive.

“In a spooky Matrix-style psychological shift of mindset, you are more likely to have a fabulous day. You see, ‘happiness’ isn’t actually real, at least not in the sense that you can cart it around in a wheelbarrow. Happiness is a mental construct that you’ve created in your head. And genuinely upbeat, happy folk have certain mental habits that allow them to create more of it.”

As a school business manager the chances are you have a “to do” list that’s longer than both arms.

Andy continues: “Let me guess, you haven’t got enough hours in the day to tick everything on that list? I appreciate that causes you some angst but this article is about something much bigger.

“Running alongside your ‘to do’ list is your ‘to be’ list. And, in your environment, your ‘to be’ list is everything because it dares you to point the finger back at yourself and ask ‘who am I being while I’m doing my job?’

Am I being worn out by a lack of budget and an impending Ofsted visit? Or am I being radiant, positive, energetic and full of passion? And, dear reader, one of those will get you a brilliant day and the other will suck the life out of you and your school.”

“So, the basic message we have in our books is to stop waiting for the right person, job or moment (yikes, they might never come!) and learn the basics of how to create more happiness from within. And, if you’re going to have a happier life, you need to put some effort into being your best self – those A*s don’t happen by accident.”

Of course, this sort of advice may not be needed by everybody, but it’s worth a thought or two.