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Mine sure do. My oldest struggled big time with long division. His teacher kept pressing onwards to higher level fractions, even though he hadn’t conquered long division…and that was proving to be quite a stumbling block for him.
He was beyond frustrated, was starting to hate school, and as his mom – I was pretty frustrated too. He would tell me, “Mom, I just need to know some strategies to help me get past this. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to understand other concepts if I don’t get long division.”
He was absolutely spot on accurate with that statement.
So, what was my next step in this math conundrum? I needed to hire an expert – someone who could help him develop a plan, a strategy, so he could move on to higher level math. And then along came Julia…our awesome tutor who has helped all my kids make great strides in math.
Julia commented that math has got to be mastered one step at a time. It’s just a sequence of building blocks. You’ve got to understand one step before you can really understand the next.
Talking with Julia over the past several months got me to thinking about how developing math skills is really like mastering the skill of strategy development. Strategy is simply the process (or the building blocks) for how you plan to accomplish something…and we all need this skill in order to survive.
It’s so interesting that our kids are learning about how life (and math) really is a series of building blocks, but yet, as adults, we tend to want to bypass the blocks and get to the end result immediately. The funny thing is – just like your kid’s math homework – you’ve got to implement strategies in order to accomplish the bigger things.
The same holds true for results we want to see quickly. We live in an immediate gratification world. Of course we want quick wins, and I think that’s important too. So, take a look at your “low hanging fruit” or those strategies you can implement to accomplish a quick win and keep your team motivated for more.
But, here’s the deal, you’ve got to balance the strategies for a quick win along with developing strategies that can help with long-lasting and sustainable change. If you don’t understand HOW you achieved “X,” it’ll be really difficult to replicate that strategy and ultimately see the same results over and over again.
And truth, isn’t that what we all want to see? We want those healthy habits that keep the weight off forever – not just for the beach vacation in a month. We want those strategies that keep revenue climbing and clients referring us for additional business opportunities.
At the end of the day, to remain healthy (in business or otherwise), developing building blocks and sound strategies to help achieve what you’re setting out to achieve is essential.
I’m a believer that in order to figure out the math problem or determining your key indicators in business, you’ve got to put everything on the table…you’ve got to write it out so you understand how you ultimately “got there.”
I think my son’s tutor has helped him crack the code in math.
Write out exactly how you’re going to go about solving your problem. It can be messy too. I don’t know about you, but my kids go through pencils and erasers like nobody’s business.
But, here’s the thing. You can’t just jot down an answer. A good tutor will want to see your work – the strategies you’re using to solve that problem.
So, get real. Get messy. And get ready to move on to your own version of higher level math!