What leads to success in your school, class or business?

New years resolutions

One of the watershed moments in my teaching career was when I was reflecting on my struggles with a particularly hard class.  This class were close to uncontrollable and I felt like much of my time was spent being a juvenile justice officer.  I felt like I did very little teaching and a lot of disciplining.

New years resolutions


As I reflected on those students, it occurred to me, that those students didn’t wake up each morning strategizing how to fail more. They really did want to be successful at something.  So if they wanted to be successful, why were they acting this way?

Each one of those students were acting out of a culture of poor behaviour or a past history of bad choices.  Some had been labeled and were simply living up to the expectation, others were just easily influenced.  Whatever the reason, I discovered that day, that one of the best ways to lead was through success.

When I understood that each one of us wants to succeed, my approach to teaching (and leadership) changed.  I discovered that my students wanted to know what was the win; what did they have to do to succeed.  When they started to win, this became addictive, they wanted more of it.

[bctt tweet=”Even your most disengaged / disruptive student doesn’t wake up & strategize how to fail more. Help them succeed!” username=”mikereading”]

What is the win?

When your staff or students don’t know what the win is, they will lose interest.  I tested this theory one day with my students.  I took them to a a basket ball court that had no ring and gave them a ball.  It didn’t take long for the students to start asking what they were supposed to do.

I simply said, “You figure it out”.

A few of the boys started a game of keeping the ball away from a student, the others were disinterested.  The boys that did play only did so for six minutes and lost interest.  When there is no goal, there is no motivation…

…BUT goals aren’t motivational

We have all set goals and then done nothing about them.  Goals in and of themselves have no motivational power.  However the right goal structured the right way can provide the motivation you, your staff, or students need.

Your goals need to be SPECIFIC and MEASURABLE

If you can’t measure your goals, then they aren’t specific enough.

When you communicate a goal, you need to paint a picture, so that they can SEE what you are SAYING.

Test this out on someone.  Go to them and say the word elephant.  When they HEAR that, they SEE a picture of an elephant, not the letters. So we communicate in pictures.  With this being the case, you need to make sure that the picture you see in your mind is the same one they see.

The more specific you are the clearer the picture.  My elephant is pink, has a long green tail and is small enough to fit on the dashboard of your car.  Now hopefully you are starting to see a bit clearer.

How do you apply this principle to your role?

For the business leader, your staff need to know where they are going and what it will look like when they get there. Paint a picture for them with your words.

You will know if you have done this correctly when your staff have a common language – they speak the same way, refer to goals and objectives using the same adjectives.

For the school leader, your staff want to know when they are winning.  You need to take the time to clearly identify what success looks like and celebrate it when you see it.

How will you know when your BYOD plan is a success? What will it look like, feel like, sound like?  You will probably need to change your thinking on this.  Most schools say they want to improve learning.  That is not specific.  How exactly will you know that learning has improved and how will you tie that back to the fact you used a computer?

For the teacher, don’t use general terms like “I want you to be quiet” that isn’t measurable.  You want to say something like, “You can speak quietly while you work, but I want the noise level to remain low enough so that I can speak to someone at the back of the room without having to raise my voice.”

That is now measurable 🙂

Our goal in 2017

Our goal at Using Technology Better is to help you determine what success looks like and then help you measure that success.  We have zero interest in showing you stuff, teaching you how to use a tool, or providing training in your organisation if it doesn’t make you more successful.

This is not some nice marketing spin.  We honestly need to feel like we are winning to stay engaged and interested in what we do.  If you’re not winning, then neither are we.

If this resonates with you:

For those in education, check out our Certified Trainer Program and our eReady Certified Schools Program.  You can also contact us about a customised training program

For those in business, contact us to access more information on our business transformation packages and change management pathways.



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Privacy Policy

Using Technology Better Privacy Commitment


We hold the privacy of your personal information in the highest regard.

Using Technology Better regards customer privacy as an important part of our relationship with our customers. The following privacy policy applies to all Using Technology Better users, and conforms to Internet privacy standards.

This policy will be continuously assessed against new technologies, business practices and our customers’ needs.

If you have questions or concerns regarding this statement, you should first contact the support team on our Contact Us Page.

Collection of Information

In order to use the Using Technology Better website, we may require information from you in order to provide the best service possible.

All correspondence may also be collected and stored, particularly in regard to sales, support and accounts, including Email.

Any information collected by Using Technology Better is collected via correspondence from you or your company. This may be via the telephone, Email, mail, fax or directly through our website.

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Use of Collection Information

Any details collected from Using Technology Better customers is required in order to provide you with our

products and/or services, and a high level of customer service.

Correspondence is recorded in order to provide service references, and to assist in our staff development.

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Similar to other commercial Web sites, our Web sites utilize a standard technology called “cookies” (see explanation below, “What Are Cookies?”) and web server log files to collect information about how our Web site is used.

Information gathered through cookies and Web server logs may include the date and time of visits, the pages viewed, time spent at our Web site, and the Web sites visited just before and just after our Web site.

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The security of your personal information is important to us. When you enter sensitive information (such as credit card numbers) on our website, we encrypt that information using secure socket layer technology (SSL).

When Credit Card details are collected, we simply pass them on in order to be processed as required. We never permanently store complete Credit Card details.

We follow generally accepted industry standards to protect the personal information submitted to us, both during transmission and once we receive it.

If you have any questions about security on our Website, you can email us at <ContactEmail>.

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If your personally identifiable information changes, or if you no longer desire our service, you may correct, update, delete or deactivate it by emailing us at <ContactEmail>.


If you purchase a product or service from us, we may request certain personally identifiable information from you.

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Your school or organisation

Financial information (such as credit card number, expiration date, name on card, card billing address).

We use this information for billing purposes and to fill your orders. If we have trouble processing an order, we will use this information to contact you.


Using Technology Better uses personally identifiable information for essential communications, such as


Accounts information

Critical service details.

We may also use this information for other purposes, including some promotional Emails.

If at any time a customer wishes not to receive such correspondence, they can request to be removed from any mailing lists by contacting support.

You will be notified when your personal information is collected by any third party that is not our agent/service provider, so you can make an informed choice as to whether or not to share your information with that party.

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Using Technology Better may at its discretion use other third parties to provide essential services on our site or for our business processes.

We may share your details as necessary for the third party to provide that service.

These third parties are prohibited from using your personally identifiable information for any other purpose.

Using Technology Better does not share any information with third parties for any unknown or unrelated uses.

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As you visit and browse our Web site, the site uses cookies to differentiate you from other users. In some cases, we also use cookies to prevent you from having to log in more than is necessary for security.

Cookies, in conjunction with our Web server’s log files, allow us to calculate the aggregate number of people visiting our Web site and which parts of the site are most popular. This helps us gather feedback to constantly improve our Web site and better serve our clients.

Cookies do not allow us to gather any personal information about you and we do not intentionally store any personal information that your browser provided to us in your cookies.


We reserve the right to disclose your personally identifiable information as required by law and when we believe that disclosure is necessary to protect our rights and/or comply with a judicial proceeding, court order, or legal process served on our Website.


Links on the Using Technology Better site to external entities are not covered within this policy. The terms and conditions set out in this privacy statement only cover the domain name of usingtechnologybetter.com

Changes to Privacy Policy

If we decide to change our privacy policy, we will post those changes to this privacy statement, and other places we deem appropriate so that you are aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it.

We reserve the right to modify this privacy statement at any time, so please review it periodically. If we make material changes to this policy, we will not use the personal information you have submitted to us under this Privacy Policy in a manner that is materially inconsistent with this Privacy Policy, without your prior consent

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Most goods are digitally delivered instantly via email.  Our services may be delivered either via an online medium or live in person.

For our online delivery see below.  For services delivered live onsite, please refer to our speaker agreement form which is emailed to you on confirmation of booking.

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We do not offer refunds or returns unless we cannot supply goods or services or the goods or services are not delivered as promised.

Australian law is the governing body for all work, goods and services supplied by Using Technology Better.

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Using Technology Better (UTB) may film, record, and photograph me (the results of which are the “Recordings”). UTB may also incorporate into any production(s) any separate content (e.g., quotes, testimonials, biographical information, profiles, photos, videos, sound recordings, artwork, etc.) I provide to UTB or approve in writing (“Materials”).


I grant to UTB an irrevocable, perpetual, worldwide, royalty-free license to, in its sole discretion, (i) edit, translate, and modify the Recordings and the Materials, (ii) attribute the Recordings and Materials to me by my name, age, and city and state of residence, (iii) incorporate the Recordings and the Materials into content to promote UTB, its programs, or products (“Content”), and (iv) publicly use, distribute, reproduce, create derivative works from, and perform/display the Content, and any excerpts thereof, in any language.

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