In a world of continuous change, it can sometimes feel like we are chasing achievements that are impossible to reach. Sustaining high performance is a continuous work in progress. Hence, it requires that we all understand we are on an endless journey to excellence. Similarly, education continues to evolve right before our eyes. Under these circumstances, our goal as a leadership team is to evolve as well. Why is that?

Ultimately, our success as leaders and educators is dependent on the success of the people we serve — students. Excellent leadership teams generate excellent organizations. To become a high performing school district, leadership teams embrace these key factors:


New research focused on school districts reveals what bold leaders are doing right to drive teams toward success. First, we establish structures and systems that employees can use to continuously improve their skills. This can include providing support to help people manage time, review data and make decisions. In addition, establish time and space for people to share expertise and learn from each other.

Bold leadership teams strive to create and maintain a culture of engagement and high performance within the organization. To do so, leaders understand and share data that informs barriers and opportunities to improve. As we learn from both our failures and successes we are eager to share that information. After all, high performance is a ripple effect that starts with leadership teams.


A powerful leadership team is the foundation a successful school district is built upon. Use the nine tips below along with the key factors above to create a culture of high performance.

  • Be clear on what matters to the organization.
  • Start with aligning the mission, vision and goals of the organization.
  • Define the big aims and organizational values to create a purpose for measurement and identify what will be measured.
  • Use outcomes to have conversations with employees about professional growth and development.
  • Define annual and 90-day goals to distinctly support the long-term vision of success for the organization. These goals are commonly referred to as strategic plan goals.
  • Monitor progress to engage teams to analyze and adjust actions to achieve goals.
  • Execute with fidelity, communicate progress and initiate conversations that drive the right actions.
  • Be courageous and hold oneself accountable to tough and critical conversations about employee performance.
  • Commit to recruit, select, grow, recognize and retain the highest performers.

The behaviors of all team members shape the culture of an organization. At the same time, people lean on leaders to go first and model the way. It’s our duty to build a leadership team that is aligned, accountable and people-focused.

What can you do today to embrace bold leadership and strengthen your team? Select a tip from above and start now.

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