Leading Excellence

Anybody who accepts mediocrity — in school, on the job, in life — is a person who compromises, and when the leader compromises, the whole organization compromises. ~ Charles Knight

Reflecting on Week 33

It’s no secret that at Benton High School our journey to achieve excellence includes growing in leadership.  Our Benton Leadership Team (BLT) is just one example of growing teacher leaders within our building to make decisions and policy to guide and direct our actions daily.  Leadership, however, is certainly not defined by positional power.  Teacher leaders – individuals who are leaders irrespective of a position – are the bread and butter of a good school environment.  Have you ever wondered if you have “leadership capacity?”

In, “What does Leadership Capacity Really Mean?” Linda Lambert states that leaders in education must be skilled in problem solving, working collaboratively, and guiding values, focus and momentum in order to “develop lasting and respectful relationships.” You should click on the link to the article to get the full details, but she states that schools function in either low, moderate, and high leadership capacity status.  After you read the criteria, at what status is Benton?  What is it that earns us that rating?  Is there opportunity for us to improve?  What would that take?

Several years ago, I came across a TED talk by Tony Robbins that has resonated with me in my leadership and in understanding why others around me do what they do.  The title of the talk is, “Tony Robbins asks why we do what we do?”  The video clip calls us to examine what motivates or inspires us in our actions – whether selfless or selfish – and what we can do with the invisible forces that shape our ability to contribute beyond ourselves..

This week your BLT made tough decisions about policies and procedures that impact us all.  They decided as a team what goals and issues to focus on, what actions were needed to achieve that focus and those goals, and how they would grow consensus from their departments to work toward and achieve our goals.  They were amazingly unified in their decisions and will be sharing with you not only their ownership, but also our accountability measures and goals.

Research often claims that the greatest contributing factor to success in leadership is the ability to grow.  No matter what you are involved in, if you are not growing, you will not going to stay excited in achieving nor will you be successful.  Growing in a high leadership capacity school requires one of the six critical factors for success to be teacher leaders accepting and owning responsibility for leadership of the school. Your leadership team made monumental steps of growth on Friday during the retreat.  This IS our journey toward excellence.

Week 34 – A Look Ahead

This week we will have our student leadership elections.  Please look and listen for announcements on information about the candidates.  This Friday is the Lion’s Luncheon for our top 10% of the senior class.  In addition, it’s our Faculty Lunch day.  It’s time to celebrate and break bread together.  It’s going to be a great week.

~Excellence is a journey, not a destination.~

All images available CC on Flickr:  “3D Team Leadesrship Arrow Concept” by thegoldguys.blogspot.com/ or www.lumaxart.com/; “Leadership” by  pedrosimoes7; “Leadership” by Dunechaser.

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