Today is our 5th birthday. May 20, 2011 was the official day Eklund Consulting became “legit” – at least according to the state of Minnesota.
I feel like I could write so much today as my heart and head are so full on this important day in my life. But I’ll reduce it down to some headings and bullet points for the sake of brevity and in hopes of spanning some of the depth and width of my appreciation.
· To date, we’ve surveyed over 10,000 American educators in over 230 schools across the country.
· Our survey is now on version 5.0 and is in constant improvement.
· We’ve gone from one survey to three: teacher, support staff, and administration versions.
Some thank yous:
Written in full, this list would be too long for any one blog post.
· To Scott Butler, who has been with Eklund Consulting before there even was an Eklund Consulting.
· To Todd Battaglia, our first consultant and who has been by my side through so much of the growth and re-thinking of our practice.
· To Keith Dixon, who as our Senior Consultant has not only been a constant source of support for me but has also done transformative work for our clients.
· To Lesley Fisher, who has jumped into our work with passion, insight, and tremendous contributions.
· To RJ, who has built this brick by brick with me.
· To Chelsea, who keeps my i’s dotted and t’s crossed and lets me sleep well at night.
· To my team of advisors: Andrew, Kari, jMatt, Derek Peterson, Bruce, Tenessa, Jon, and Evan, who have challenged me, pushed me, and moved me ahead when I get stuck.
· To J. Forrest, whose friendship and guidance have been central to my life since 1991.
· To my wife Erika, who is simply the greatest spouse ever for someone running their own show – patient, supportive, wicked smart, and altogether wonderful.
Lastly, some of the big take-aways from the first five years:
· Eklund Consulting isn’t for everyone. Our work can be scary, messy, and sometimes really, really hard. But we’re immeasurably fortunate to have been able to work with bold leaders, passionate staffs, and exceptional boards.
· Hard work pays off. Our clients who have entered into the journey of building great places to work have made massive strides. We’re just proud to be part of the process.
· Sometimes leadership and organization improvement is a lot easier than we think. Ask good questions. Take good care of yourself. Take good care of others. Be nice.
Looking forward to the next 5 years…
Finally, I issue Eklund Consulting and myself a challenge for our 10th anniversary. Simply put, we’re not doing enough. We’ve been alongside our clients as they’ve grown in remarkable ways. But the overall state of teaching and leading in American schools needs help. People are hurting. At times the whole profession is hurting. I want 12 year-old kids right now to be considering becoming a teacher. We need them. But we’re not doing enough. We need districts, states, and the federal policy makers to join us in pushing the big gears.
I don’t want to continue working only with an amazing assortment of schools. I also want to push an agenda that refreshes, restores, and re-thinks teaching and leading writ large. I can’t wait to write THAT post in five years.
Will you join us?