DWYSYWD- Lessons from the Elementary School Guidance Counselor

One of the first things we teach in our personal leadership course is the concept of DWYSYWD- Do What You Say You Will Do.   It involves committing to what you can do, or as Covey would put it, committing to your circle of influence and focusing on being accountable with what you can do instead of worrying about things that you cannot do something about.  For example, I cannot do anything about whether or not a stay at home order is extended or relaxed this week in my state, but I can wash my hands, not touch my face, and wear a mask when appropriate to help stop the spread of the virus. 

As Covey states, this then allows us to be better leaders by helping our circle of influence grow. If my kids watch me wash my hands regularly, then maybe they will too.  If we can’t influence our own behavior, then how can we expect to influence the behavior of others? 

During times of uncertainty like we are in now, it is easy to de-commit to anything and to not hold ourselves and others accountable.  

I’m thankful for the staff at my son’s school for creating routines in their work and for guidance counselors like Jan Mendenhall who send out notes of encouragement, linking the current situation to leadership lessons for my children.  This helps them (and me) stay committed during uncertain times. 

Here’s her note to the students from last week.  I hope it brings you the perspective and motivation to DWYSYWD this week to better lead yourself and others.  And to hit the reset button if you need to. 



Wednesday, April 22, 20/20

Week 3 of Virtual Leon

Do you all remember way, way, way back in August when we were actually all in the school building together and were able to have conversations in person? We talked about goals and accountability, which means we should do what we say we’re going to do. I’ll be honest with you all: Last week I did better with my attitude, and it helped to daily write down three positive things. I tried to complete my daily to-do list, but I was beyond pathetic with my physical fitness goals. I didn’t do what I said I was going to do. Guess what? I hit the reset button Monday and have been much better about walking, exercising, and riding my bike – even when I’d rather lounge around, play Spider Solitaire, and eat donuts! What do you need to do better on? Be accountable to yourself, and ask someone at your house to hold you to it. One of my favorite authors is coming out with a new book next week, and that – not a donut! – is going to be my reward IF I DO WHAT I SAID I WAS GOING TO DO! Stay tuned for next week’s email because there may be a really cool prize involved! Until then, take care. Wash your hands. Be safe. Be well. Choose kind. Love you!


What is one thing this week you can do to follow through on DWYSYWD? 



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Mary Ila Ward