With many schools already “back-in-session”—I found something in our daughter Brittany’s fourth-grade “academic archives” that’s applicable to not only “students” or “kids”—but also us “adults” in life and business.

It was originally sent to me, by John Hopkins, Brittany’s fourth-grade teacher at Glen Grove School. And it’s excerpted from Dr. Haim Ginnott’s 1972 book, Teacher and Child.

(The red parenthetical comments are my additions.)

“I’ve come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element in the classroom.”
(office, boardroom, field, home)

“It’s my personal approach that creates the climate.”
(the culture, the environment, the family dynamic)

“It’s my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher, (leader, owner, sales pro, customer service rep, parent, child, team member…), I possess a tremendous power to make a child’s, (employee’s, teammate’s, customer’s, family member’s, friend’s…), life miserable or joyous.”

“I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and a child, (teammate, client, supplier, parent, husband, wife, partner, son, daughter, family member, friend…), humanized or de-humanized.”

Thanks John! It always fascinates me, when you learn valuable lessons, in unexpected ways.

Oh, Brittany passed the fourth grade in flying colors! And today—is a happy, positive, caring, compassionate, empathetic, productive and successful person and business-pro. Apparently, while in the classroom, she was paying attention! I love you Brit!


Jeff is a Hall of Fame speaker, best selling author, success coach, broadcaster and lawyer. His clients call him a “business-growth specialist.” If you hire speakers, please contact Sheryl Kantor at: 847.998.0688 or [email protected]. And visit to learn more about his other business-growth tools and to subscribe to Jeff’s FREE e-letter, The Results Report. Jeff’s Amazon bestselling books include; Stop Whining! Start Selling!, the 5th edition of Peak Your Profits and the recently published, (December, 2022), BULLSEYE! Hitting Your Targets at Home and at Work, which became a best seller within four days of its release. You can also stay connected with Jeff via Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter: @BlackmanResults

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