C.D. is the head of a large organization that includes a school, a church, and other community service groups. He has experienced some difficult transitions over the last few years but he's actually grown through these challenges to become a stronger leader.
On a call last week C.D. shared, "What you've taught us about talent and culture has transformed our entire organization--not just the school. Actually, this has changed my life!"
Chill bump city!
I was so excited to hear about how he had used these situations to learn and to grow. He has the humility combined with the determination to lead them through it all to advance leadership capacity and organizational health. Wow!
This journey began back in the fall when we started creating a Strategic Growth Plan. Over the last three years they had gone through some significant leadership changes and experienced a steady decline in enrollment and revenue. Gossip and dissension had invaded the culture, impacting teachers and parents. They couldn't afford to continue on the same path and needed to rediscover their original joy for serving the families in their community.
We started with a focus on the people--because talented, energized, engaged educators are critical to achieving the mission. Recognizing the importance of personnel quality, C.D. and the school leadership team developed a Performance Rubric to establish clear expectations.
This vital tool gave them the ability to articulate the characteristics of those who contribute at a high level along with those who do not. Using the Performance Rubric, they were able to communicate clear evidences and data regarding each employee, and then calculate their collective Talent Quotient (TQ). They then developed tactical plans for improving this critical key performance indicator (KPI).
No school will outgrow the Leadership Capacity of its administration and faculty. This realization is what transformed C.D.'s approach.
Complicating matters even more, a few weeks ago the head of the school submitted a resignation letter. For most strategic planning efforts this could have been a showstopper. But this was different--they had used our data-driven Strategic Growth Plan process that isn't dependent on the personality or leadership style of a single person.
With the confidence gained through this learning journey, C.D. and his team are even better equipped to chose a new leader for the school who is fully aligned with their refined mission, culture, strategies, and expectations. They aren't going to just choose from a list of available candidates--they are prepared to make a wise, data-informed strategic hiring decision.
They will publicly share their growth plan with their families and community in August. Even with an interim head of school in place and the search underway, they are committed to building engagement and trust.
That's why I LOVE what we do in growing schools and the people who have the courage to lead them. We have the privilege of equipping and guiding leaders who educate and inspire others. The calling to be an educator is a noble one, but it's also a really tough job. Hearing C.D.'s inspiration and joy was a memorable moment that I will long cherish.