School of Business Affairs - October -2017

8 OCTOBER 2017 | SCHOOL BUSINESS AFFAIRS Are We There Yet? Building a High-Performing Organization Dissecting the elements of leadership in high-performing organizations. By Marita Zuraitis LEADING FORWARD F or me, leadership boils down to three founda- tional elements: a compelling mission, continu- ous communication, and a relentless focus on solutions. To be a successful leader, you must have a clear purpose, communicate it effectively, and always be looking for solutions to common problems. Let’s look at each of these elements and how education leaders can use them to build a high-performing organi- zation. Identify Your Mission A desire to be successful isn’t enough when you lead a team. You need to articulate a way of “doing business” that resonates with your employees—a greater purpose that inspires them to come to work and do their best. One of my favorite TED Talks is by Simon Sinek and is based on his book Start with Why . Sinek highlights the power of communicating why you do your work, as opposed to what you do or how you do it. This appeal to emotion speaks to all employees (as well as external stakeholders), regardless of their personal motivations. For example, a desire to help and support educators has been ingrained in my company’s DNA. Everyone has had teachers, and most people can recall at least one who had a profound positive impact on their life. The nobility of the profession is something that each of our RAWPIXEL.COM/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM