Giving Grace While Modelling Change

George Couros
3 min readOct 26, 2021

This is a short snippet from a longer podcast that I recorded titled “5 Ways We Can Drive Meaningful Change in Education.

One of the things I discuss in the video is how we give grace to people on their own journeys of learning in a myriad of endeavors. In the short video, I share the following:

“There are things you do today that you swore you would never do. So why didn’t you start them earlier?

We have to give that same grace to others.”

It is crucial to both “lead by example” and be empathetic that people are in different spaces and on their own journeys. It is about helping people move from THEIR point A to THEIR point B.

Here’s an example of how I didn’t model this practice earlier in my career.

I started on Twitter and social media probably around 2009 and saw so much value in the platform. I was hooked! I encouraged people to join the platform, but then I probably went to the point of wondering why people were so resistant. I was adamant that NOW WAS THE TIME to join, blah blah blah. Sometimes I feel that I did more to scare people away than see the value for themselves. Also, as I look back, I think I was doing more for the people who agreed with me than those who didn’t. It is not that hard to lead people that already agree with your direction.

But here’s the thing. Twitter existed in 2006, and my brother Alec was on my case about starting account years prior. But I resisted because I wasn’t ready.

I finally succumbed in December of 2008 with this epic first tweet!

Yeah…I had no idea what I was doing. No hashtags. No @s. Just me thinking that I could share my brother’s first name and he would find it somehow (he did, but that’s beside the point).

Even though I started an account in 2008, I didn’t see the value or start using it until a year later.

So why didn’t I start in 2006? Because I wasn’t in the space yet. I had to make my own connections and see the value in the process.

Some people didn’t see the value in social media for education use until years after I did. Some still haven’t and never will. But there are things that they do that I am not ready for, and that is okay. We all bring different strengths, experiences, and gifts to our spaces, and I think part of my job is to recognize that in others, especially when it seems not very easy to do so. It is easier to convince someone to try something new when a) you model it and b) they know you value what gifts they already bring to the table.

If we don’t do these things, we might lead them in the opposite direction we hope they arrive.

(Check out the short clip on YouTube where I discuss this idea!)



George Couros

Innovative Teaching, Learning, and Leadership Consultant. I also like dogs.