In Evidence-Based Leadership, Leadership, Organizational Excellence, Our Partners, Performance Management, Quality

Maximize Performance

The second factor consistently emerging as the most influential in executive leaders success in high-performing organizations is a leadership evaluation tool that created accountability. All the organizations studied had an objective, weighted evaluation tool that helped the leaders know exactly what they were going to accomplish and what their priorities were. This moved leaders away from excuses; that is, they might have a full schedule, but they understood their priorities.

When school districts apply a measurable leader evaluation system that integrates alignment of superintendents, executive team leaders, principals, and department leaders, they set the stage for building a culture of excellence and continuous improvement. Here’s an example from the Santa Rosa County School District.


Superintendent Tim Wyrosdick acted bravely when he shifted his evaluation to a transparent, open, measurable evaluation that included growth measures on student achievement, employee engagement scores, parent satisfaction, satisfaction of principals with district services, and financial effectiveness.

By bravely, we mean that Superintendent Wyrosdick is not evaluated by the board; in essence, he is evaluated by the citizens of the community. Therefore, he made a conscious choice to use “hard” measures and to make the results transparent to the board and the public. Superintendent Wyrosdick serves as a model for other leaders, who made at least 75 percent of their evaluation dependent on measurable goals.

Today, Santa Rosa County remains one of the highest-performing districts in Florida. The leaders made a conscious decision to be held accountable when being complacent may have been easier.

When a district implements leader evaluation measures a new and different perspective on systems improvement is formed within the district. Leaders like Superintendent Wyrosdick demonstrate how transparent leader evaluation helps improve and sustain district measures, including student achievement results.

Subsequent posts in this “High-Performing Organization” series will provide examples of how the Organization Change Processes study results transfer to high-performing superintendent behaviors. “Follow” us to receive the next post where we highlight Leadership Development Institutes.

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Part 1 outlined the most influential factors driving high-performance in organizations. These evidenced-based research factors, when applied by leaders, drive positive outcomes and continuous improvement processes. Read Part 1 here.

Part 2 highlighted Dr. Pat Greco, Superintendent of the School District of Menomonee Falls (WI). Read Part 2 here.

Maximize Performance: Creating a Culture for Educational Excellence by Quint Studer and Janet Pilcher will help education leaders engage in systematic reviews to diagnose, apply, assess, and validate the execution of strategies across school, department, and school system levels. Learn more about Maximize Performance at Follow the authors on Twitter using @quint_studer and @janetpilcher.

Studer Group. 2005. Organizational Change Processes in High-Performing Organizations: In-Depth Case Studies with Healthcare Facilities. Gulf Breeze, FL: Alliance for Healthcare Research.

Our mission at Studer Education is to help education systems achieve measurable results that produce positive outcomes in student achievement, employee engagement, support services, and financial efficiencies and productivity. Our goal is to help school systems provide students with a great place to learn, teachers with a great place to teach, and parents with confidence that their children are getting a great education. Follow us on Twitter at @StuderEducation and visit us online at Studer Education is a division of Studer Group, ranked for the seventh straight year on the Best Small and Medium Workplaces by Great Place to Work® and a recipient of the 2010 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

Filed under: How to Lead…, Our Partners Tagged: #EdLeader, #MaximizePerformance, Baldrige, EBLK12, Excellence, High Performing Organizations, Janet Pilcher, Leadership, performance excellence, Pilcher, Quality, Quint, Quint Studer, Santa Rosa County School District, SRCSD, Wyrosdick

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