Have a question or comment


Ownership Mindset



Enhancing your life-skills:  ... Project Academy provides support to middle-school; high school students and people who are re-entering the work force of learning life-skills for college or career entry.  We also offer after-school and pre-employment programs that build community and company value.


We are a Massachusetts 501( C ) 3 non-profit corporation dedicated to supporting drop-outs and HS graduates that have no career direction to learn skills that will help them succeed in a career or additional schooling (college and career readiness (CCR ))


 Our unique  "Ownership mindset" is more than a list of actions but a culture that includes norms and values that the individual believes and follows.  The student learns to think like a business owner where they control their own business.   They live by this culture of mindset thinking.

Overview description:

The concept of thinking like an owner of your own business is to frame your learning in an area that you can relate to.  As an example, when we talk about the customer of the business that relates to your boss/supervisor in a company or your teacher in a school.


Understanding the need of the customer is finding what will make the boss happy or the teacher proud of you.  Your product that you sell is you and your knowledge and how you present and support your customer.


How do you build these skills and knowledge is using questions and curiosity when you read/watch videos to learn new traits?

The life-skills learned will make you valuable to your customer and help you better navigate in today’s competitive environment. We believe that these life-skills will make you valuable and these skills are portable to other jobs or careers.

 Uniqueness of the training:

·       Understand the business environment Good/Bad   Understand what a Business with a    heart is!

·       What is your business … Its you and your skills, attitude and values

     Customer focus... Understanding who your customer is (your teacher, supervisor) , their needs and thoughts; how to make things better and successful for them

·       Selling yourself- What’s your brand?  How do you want people/organizations to see you?

·       Improving your business – Its being a lifelong learner, you sell knowledge and skills; Developing your skills in problem finding and solving

·       Partnering with others – Working with your peers in a team environment  … Developing a learning team (culture )

·       Connecting with community – working with others for the benefit of your team.

·       Quality focus- looking for continuous improvements in the services you provide. What matrix's are used by your department to measure itself? 

·       Financial management- managing your finances to grow your business.

·       Product development- Being innovative and curious to develop new skills and services for your customers

  • PProcess Designer-Have the ability to create processes and their connection to measurements. 

     We teach two voices:

  •  A voice of the business - Need to operate efficiently.

  • A voice of the customer- What the customer wants and will pay to get.


Every problem is an opportunity; The bigger the problem the bigger the opportunity.

"V. Kosla"  see YouTube video    This is the foundation of Entrepreneurship

Cost Savings to companies:

When the employee is self-directed, that frees up the manager/supervisor to explore new or different roles.


One motive is better public relations at a time when inequality is a hot-button political issue. But bottom-line calculations also play a role. Employee turnover costs money—by industry estimates as much as $5,000 per front-line worker, or 20% to 30% of an entry-level salary. Standard turnover in retail is 50% in the first six months. If Wal-Mart can reduce this churn, persuading people to stay at least 12 to 18 months, it will save "tens of millions of dollars a year," according to Ms. Oliver.


Wal-Mart also hopes that the new training will result in better customer service and happier shoppers. Economists who study retail distinguish between "low-road" and "high-road" employers. One group keeps labor costs down, the other invests more in workers and reaps the benefits in higher productivity. Cost-conscious Wal-Mart is trying to move toward the high road.

John L. Colborn   2018

Life-Skills ...Students become cognitively aware of their life skills while  doing activities:


From our experiences in business & education, we have created a curriculum that sifted out the manual part of work and created thinking employees with unique mindset thinking and life-skills to be productive in your organization.  These are the people that AI will be difficult to replace.

The learning process with life-skills:




Ice breaker/ Intro.

Greeting skills, Eye contact, Non-verbal skills, Positive attitude 



Discussing about ownership Finding what "Bugs' " you;

Plus discussion about what makes up a business and its connection to learning


Forming the team

Diversity, Values of a culture, Time management Listening skills, Collaboration, Character development, Negotiation, Communications




Picking a few businesses

Team work, Handling adversity

Project planning, Scheduling



Research & planning

Measurements, Goal setting, Scheduling



Problem solving

Thinking skills. Self-reflection

Problem-solving structure, Brain-storming,

Decision making, Sorting



Testing & writing

Feedback, Iterations, Communication (without phones)

Elevator pitch,



Public dialogue/ Celebration


Presentation skills, Communications, Info-mapping 

Flowchart: Alternate Process: Focused-Simplified 
Tailored to the organization 
Starter projects
Flowchart: Alternate Process: Present Teams- Problem solving

Curved Down Arrow: Feedback

Flowchart: Alternate Process: Focused-Simplified 
Tailored to the organization 
Starter projects
Flowchart: Alternate Process: Present Teams- Problem solving

Curved Down Arrow: Feedback

Flowchart: Alternate Process: Focused-Simplified 
Tailored to the organization 
Starter projects
Overview plan:


  People need updated skills for employment

  They  need a learning community…   

  Corporate partners

  Positive & responsive employees

  Reduced employment costs - less turnover


Missing Skills according to corporate America

·       Attitude

·       Social & Emotional skills

·       Team player / Planning

·       Problem-solving

·       Communication

·       Listening/ Financial literacy




  Our Plan … Holistic & help create d  Dreams

  Training plan

   Jobs … tie in with companies


·             Tie in with court system

·             Family & community

·                Follow-up services

·             Life-long learning

  Problems are opportunities

  People involved/own their learning  

  Mentors, Tie into other organizations

 Building your brand & electronic              identity      


    Desired outcomes:

How / Uniqueness


Infuse life-skills during the training

Thinking like an owner of your own business.   Ownership mindset

Listen to their needs

Self-directed work teams

Cultural Engineering mindset (CEM)… leadership/ management skills   

Questions are the answer… be curiosity

The brain is like a muscle … use it or lose it … Growth mindset

Scheduled feedback & assessment with students


·         Provide  a chance to enter the work force with marketable skills and a &          positive attitude

·         Build a community culture of helping each other

·        Encourages personal values & commitment within the company & school l …Cost saving & better culture

       ·      Builds a work ethic & improved corp. values

·      Develops & encourages smiling, enthusiasm & thinking

·      See moving forward in life from an owner's view-point

Feel more productive as an owner.                 


Project Academy Corp. Culture --

 The following is our Corporate culture that we follow and believe in:

Key Word:





We will have high expectations to achieve the best results for things we strive for. Our outlook will be to always make things better than what we found. 


Trying something different

We should be willing to take risk in doing our projects and activities. We are looking for amazing things to be accomplished by all of us.


Believe in people

Each of us are unique in what we can do and accomplish. We look for the good versus the bad in our make-up.  W should strive to become better in our outlook.



Our organization doe not exist alone but is part of a community of others.  We should strive to continuously be looking to make it better and be an active member.



Caring, Empathy, Striving for the best. Loving kindness, Trust, Respect, Curiosity, Thinking skills (creativity, critical, questions, reflection), Responsibility. No excuses



We should communicate with our fellow team member to achieve results that make them look better and have a positive outlook towards them.

Our body language is a smiling face that looks at you in a positive way. We greet each other when we meet. and are polite and not aggressive.




Our tenants

We should take the time to celebrate our actions and communicate what we are planning or achieved.

We use visual measurement to communicate and keep each of us posted on our schedule


Overall symbol:

“Faber Est Suae Quisque Fortunae”

Everyone is the maker of their destiny


Our vision, goals, mission and purpose

Our organization documents are posted, clearly reviewed and discussed. We shall in include where necessary, time frames, measurements and expected outcomes to make sure these items are real.


Mindset thinking:


· Student ownership of their learning.

  • Questions and wonderment are the best way for learning

·     Ownership mindset … think like an owner


·      Cultural engineering mindset manage tasks around a project


·     Growth mindset … The brain is like a muscle use it or lose it


·     Team mindset: …work together like a winning learning team.


 Class room activities: Our instruction is based on project based learning vs "caulk & talk" learning.
One-hour Class Period Structure 


  • 15 min. of class learning/discussion 
  • 30 min. of Exercise / Activities by the teams
  • Break 

Teams build their learning thru answering questions and building their knowledge.

Class Activities  ... Tied to the curriculum 


It is important for you to understand that you will build your own knowledge by using questions of why, how, what. 

You will learn to think using creative questions as well as critical thinking question that will support you in your growth in a career or as well college.  You will see that you need to become a life long learner to survive.

Uniqueness of our training

Image result for unique approachOur approach is unique in that it brings together the needs of both sides in the workplace. Our program shows the new trainees how that can interface with the companies’ values while building their strengths to become a needed employee or owner.  The company gets an employee with a culture and values that fit nicely into a corporate culture.

The following are our Uniqueness:

The program focuses on teaching life-skills to create a well-rounded individual who will fit into the work environment.  It uses the concept of mindset thinking around the following:

·        Ownership mindset ... Think like an owner

·        Cultural Engineering mindset ... Provide leadership & management of a   project

·        Growth mindset  ...Your brain is like a muscle, use it or lose it

·        Team mindset ... To be successful. need to work together

·         Brand mindset ... Who are you and how to show the world 

·         Life skills … Students become cognitively aware of their life skills while doing activities


Project based learning activities …Self-direct learning

o   Getting to know each other

o   Team creation ,,, learning & building a culture

o   Picking a problem to work on

o   Problem solving

o   Public reporting

 From our experiences in business & education, we have created a curriculum that sifted out the manual part of work and created thinking employees with unique mindset thinking and life-skills to be productive in your organization.  These are the people that AI will be difficult to replace.

Comparison between ownership of a business and your learning habits

Lesson Plan





Overview above


2 - Need for skills

Show slides showing what corporation needs are and how they are changing to thinking skills.

3- What are the skills?

Start simply and build over time as part of your continuous learning

4- What are our outcomes / Goals


5- How will we measure this?


6- Setting our schedule/ plan


7- Deliverables and projects


8-How will we learn all this?

What’s our process for learning?

9-Building our team

Similar to a sports team/ Jazz group

Project (build a model of a company with a poor culture & explain)

10-What problem will we work on?

Research and developing the Requirements

Look for the root cause  Project

11- Problem solving process

Project ( using wooden stirrers & glue, build a model that represents your solution)

12- test- Reflection

Do a reflection on analyzing your solution Project (how do you describe improving your solution?)

13- Public reporting


14- Celebration


Use picture books/fairy tales as projects for the students; Pick a character, find a problem and design a solution


Tools/Quick notes:

Web site for links to Life-Skills descriptions- home web site Link

Teaching Ownership
Potential Corporate responsibilities

enabling employees to build real ownership in the business

open-book management, economic transparency, ownership culture  

People who work together will win, whether it be against complex football defenses, or the problems of modern society.

   Vince Lombardi


Processes Activities
One-pager Conflict resolution
Discussion Team charter work sheet
Flow-map Team roles work sheet
Five principles Listening skills
Wonderful Principles Like a sports team
  Team work sheet

Another important proactive measure is ensuring that your team shares the same purpose, values, and identity


Team members questions to themselves What do I bring to the team? 2. What are our commitments to one another? 3. What differences exist between us? 4. How will we operate? 5. How will we know we are succeeding?
Learning life skills & having fun


The art or act of improvising, or of  composing, uttering, executing, or arranging  anything without previous preparation:



Improv File
Agenda-Business-Needs File
Assessment/Rubrics File
Questions & learning File
Project framing File
Picking the problem File
Planning & schedule File  Getting set-up to do the project
Elevator pitch File    Short presentation of key items that you did
Mapping File   Information gathering plus how they are connected
Learning Process File

Brain Plasticity


Thinking skills

Creative thinking

Critical thinking
Meta-cognitive thinking
Reflection (feedback)
File  Maintain the state of doubt and to carry on systematic and protracted inquiry --- these are the essentials of thinking


Learning targets File Learning targets are short term goals or statements
Self-Reflection of the project File
Benefits of the process File
Preparing for the presentation check-sheet File
Scamper File   Coming up with ways to find new ideas
Links from home page of Project Academy


the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual