Leadership is a behavior, not just a title.
As parents, students, and employees within the School District of Menomonee Falls began preparing for the effects of COVID19, Superintendent, Corey Golla, reflects on the remarkableness of his entire staff to come together and accept the challenges they were facing. Rather than focusing on their anxieties, teams across the entire school system got together to identify problems, solutions, and use their guiding principles to make decisions with student safety as their number one priority. Under Corey’s leadership, SDMF saw a culture of people that stepped up to write a beautiful story in a difficult time. But even Corey will tell you, there was no way they could have accomplished what they have if they were only reliant on their leadership team, the culture of their organization has been foundational for serving in times of rapid change and uncertainty.
This episode addresses questions, such as:
- How does establishing a mission and a vision for the moment provide clarity and direction for your teams?
- What are the effects of establishing a can-do culture?
- Why is leadership more than a title?
Communicate what's most important and critical. Values and standards provide clarity. Developing standards of practice is one way to bring values to life in organizations. In this video, a community college human resources director explains how having a set of standards has transformed their organization.
The mid-level leader's ultimate responsibility is to ensure the strategic goals are implemented with fidelity by the teams they manage. Executive leaders decide what strategies best suit the needs of individual departments, but it is the mid-level leader who supports actions needed to achieve annual targets.
The Stoplight Report is a way to communicate how ideas, concerns, and barriers are being resolved. Items added to the Stoplight Report might be collected during check-in conversations, team meetings, or a process audit. The Stoplight Report is shared to keep the team informed of priorities for improvement and progress.
An organization that values transparency knows it's more than just reporting financial information to investors. Transparency is the open, honest, flow of information from an organization to all its stakeholders, both employees and the external community. When transparency is done correctly, employee engagement and customer loyalty increase.
While we all don't have direct reports or positions of authority, everyone can be a leader in their work and a role model for their colleagues. Leaders believe in the organization's mission and remind themselves regularly how they contribute.
Who is involved? A time sensitive situation analysis is conducted by the leaders or team members close enough to the situation to determine impact on the organization. The team members in the process must hold the positional authority to prioritize and deploy the needed resources.