Get comfortable being uncomfortable!

Every now and again you meet someone who uses a particular turn of phrase that resonates and stays with you. Last night I was listening to Brendon 'Bolts' Bolton, relatively new Head Coach of the Carlton Football Club - the AFL team I have followed since my teenage years.

By Philip Brown, Ed.D. www.linkedin.com

Every now and again you meet someone who uses a particular turn of phrase that resonates and stays with you. Last night I was listening to Brendon ‘Bolts’ Bolton, relatively new Head Coach of the Carlton Football Club – the AFL team I have followed since my teenage years.

‘Bolts’ offered this gem:

‘Get comfortable being uncomfortable’, because that’s what life’s about – putting yourself in challenging situations.’

Previously I’ve also heard ‘Bolts’ say it this way:

‘I have lived by the mantra of getting comfortable being uncomfortable. What I mean by that is, if it’s comfortable, you already know it and you can do it. If it’s uncomfortable, it’s new or different. If you are in that space regularly, you are learning and developing.’

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Listen to Bolton long enough and you quickly learn he knows a thing or two about learning and teaching (and leadership).

In fact Bolton began his professional life as a high school teacher in Tasmania. In more recent years he has transitioned through a number of coaching appointments before late last year commencing as Head Coach of the Carlton Football Club. Carlton is a football club that has tasted success (16 premierships) as well as experienced some lean years too (4 wooden spoons in the past 14 years) yet it appears that in a relatively short space of time Bolton is bringing a connectedness that has been missing at the club for some time.

Another ‘Bolts’ gem:

‘If you can generate an emotional connection around whatever you’re doing, you’ve got a better chance of it being implemented or understood’

Not a bad lesson for educators and leaders alike!

Last year Carlton finished at the bottom of the ladder with just 4 wins from 22 games. Already under Bolton’s teaching, coaching and leadership, essentially the same players have won 4 games in the last month.

What is Bolton’s approach?

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In his own words it starts with pushing values, challenging values, celebrating them when people do them well, and more importantly, getting people into our club that will drive them.’

Bolton values the tactical side of the game but says the way you think determines how you feel and the way you feel determines how you act and play.’

Thanks ‘Bolts’ for reminding of the importance of getting comfortable being uncomfortable – and reminding of the value of putting oneself in challenging situations in order to learn and develop.

Finally, best wishes to you, the reader of this post, as you choose to get comfortable being uncomfortable in all life’s situations – whether as a learner, a leader, a learning leader, or a leader of learning!