• Investigating answers and building awareness without external prompting
  • Pushing forward to gain knowledge, understanding and experience
  • Enhancing our skills and expertise on purpose

For anyone who has read one of my blogs knows I’m a huge college football fan. Go Sooners!!!! I’m also a huge fan of Coach Lou Holtz. I’ve followed the coach throughout my life, not because of his ability to win a football game, but because of who he is as a person and how he lives his life on and off the field. Coach Holtz once said, “In the successful organization, no detail is too small to escape close attention.”

I’m sure at the time Coach Holtz uttered these words he was speaking about the football team he was actively coaching. In my humble opinion, the word “organization” can be applied to many things outside of college football as well. Such as: your family, your friends, or your place of work. To be successful in any endeavor, it’s critical to be intentional in your actions, words, and deeds. 

At the time I started writing this blog, the 2018 college football season is 33 days, 4 hours, 2 minutes, and 47 seconds away from kickoff. Man, I cannot wait for the 2018 college football season to start! As the clock slowly counts down to the first kickoff, I cannot help to think of what lies ahead of each team in the coming days and weeks. I know from experience; the next season started the day after the last game ended. Sadly, that doesn’t give each team the time to enjoy the victory or commiserate the loss. Each team had to be intentional in the tasks that lay ahead so they could focus on being successful in the coming season. 

You must be intentional in every aspect of life to be a champion on the field, or to have success in the organization you are part of. I once read that most accomplished learners are intentional learners. They set goals for themselves, monitor their progress toward those goals, understand and seek out the conditions in which they learn best, and actively make connections and meaning. That said, the ability to be intentional in this way is not something that most of us are born with.

Intentional Learning is one of the GuideMark’s at Funds For Learning. Working with the E-rate program requires each of us to be intentional in everything we do daily. It’s easy to say intentional learning is one of our GuideMark’s, it’s harder to put intentional learning into practice. It’s easy for any one of us to depend on others around us to seek out an easy answer to a current E-rate conundrum. It’s difficult to take the opportunity to actively learn the things that will help us to become an expert in this field. The problem with taking the easy way out is we rob ourselves of an opportunity to gain understanding, or to learn something that will benefit us in the future.

Our clients’ success is our success. Success can be measured in many ways. For me, our clients’ success means each client receives a positive funding commitment for the services/products they requested E-rate funding for, receive reimbursements for these services/products, and their continued compliance with the program rules and regulations. Each success depends on our understanding and application of all the E-rate rules. To have this kind of understanding requires each of us to be intentional in our learning of the program rules and requirements. 

I will leave you with one more quote from another fairly (sarcasm) successful football coach, Jimmy Johnson. Coach Johnson once said, “The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra.” Choose to do that little EXTRA something today to be EXTRAordinary tomorrow.

Key Words and Phrases
Strive for understanding; Gather knowledge; Seek wisdom; Build awareness; Discover information; Gain expertise; Become skilled; Find answers.

Opposite Terms
Muddle; Disarray; Hit-or-miss; Indolent.


GuideMarks – Distinguishing Characteristics of FFL E-rate Guides

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