Exerting My Influence

Categories6 sources of influenceEDLD 5304innovation planTagged ,

As the time to actually try and convince my colleagues to sign on to my innovation plan draws nearer, I have begun to examine the fundamentals of exactly what that plan is trying to accomplish, and how, and why. (Of course, I have that backwards, as the title alone of Sinek’s 2009 video Start With Why indicates.)

I discuss the “why” of my innovation plan more deeply in a previous post, but, simply put, I believe that by learning about the creative process of collaborative revision and feedback, teachers can adopt a strong growth mindset within themselves, and in turn help their own students develop. My plan proposes doing this by helping these teachers learn about creating their own music with the aid of digital audio technology.

While teachers in this technology-assisted music course will be learning technical skills and creating music of personal significance to them, they will be learning broader lessons as well, much as The Karate Kid‘s Daniel LaRusso learned more than home and auto maintenance under Mr. Miyagi’s tutelage (1984). The wider-ranging goals of the creative exploration in the TAM course, and the behaviors necessary to reach those goals, are outlined here.

Getting teachers to adopt these behaviors, as Grenny et al. suggest in Influencer: The New Science of Leading Change (2013), will require leveraging several different sources of influence. My strategies for making use of those sources are outlined here.

I’m looking forward to implementing these strategies. Aside from the desire to see my innovation plan put into action and hopefully help great numbers of students, as someone who has often been frustrated in attempts to convey my ideas to my colleagues in a convincing way, I am curious to see how much the Influencer model will help. The journey continues….


Dweck, C. S. (2016). Mindset: The new psychology of success. New York, NY: Ballantine Books.

Grenny, J., Maxfield, D., McMillan, R., Patterson, K., & Switzler, A. (2013). Influencer: The new science of leading change (2nd ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill.

Sinek, S. (2009). Start with why [Video file]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/sioZd3AxmnE

Weintraub, J. (Producer) & Avildsen, J. (Director). (1984). The karate kid [Motion picture]. United States: Columbia Pictures.

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About the author

I am an instructional technologist for the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry in Richmond, VA. Before that, I spent more than 20 years as a public school music teacher in Chesterfield County, VA, primarily teaching guitar and music technoogy at the high school level. I hold a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Richmond, and a Master of Education degree with a focus on Digital Learning and Leading from Lamar University. I believe that every person has the need, the desire, the ability, and the right to learn, and that as educators we must meet our students wherever they are, and help bring them to where they want and deserve to be.