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To improve performance, leaders must establish relationships with employees. One way leaders do this is to model good behavior and practice (Tip 2). While Tip 1 highlighted how student achievement is difficult to improve without leaders building effective working relationships with employees, Tip 2 suggests that when we as leaders fail to follow a rule or allow employees to break a rule from time to time, we are saying to others, “it is okay to break this rule” (Pilcher and Largue, SEEN Magazine). When we do this as school and district leaders, it delays and sometimes negatively influences the movement of the district to a “best place to work” culture. Below is Tip 2 in its entirety for leaders to apply throughout the year to build this type of culture:

Tip 2: Model good behavior and practice. ‘What We Permit, We Promote.’ When we fail to follow a rule or allow employees to break a rule from time to time, we are saying to others, ‘it is okay to break this rule.’ We model good behavior and practice it when we ALWAYS expect of ourselves what we expect of others.


What we find when we work with school and district leaders throughout the country is that few of them have been taught the relevance and skill for establishing and engaging in relationships with employees to achieve school and district goals. It’s possible to make a beginning by being consistent and modeling expected behavior. Remember (and practice!) this quote as a way to validate actions as a leader, “What I expect from others, I ALWAYS expect of myself.”





Adapted from the article “Building an Emotional Bank Account” online at: http://www.seenmagazine.us/articles/article-detail/articleid/3816/building-an-emotional-bank-account.aspx. Dr. Janet K. Pilcher is the Senior Executive Leader for Studer Education. Dr. Robin Largue is the Lead Coach for K12 schools for Studer Education. Both have teaching and leadership experiences in K12 schools and Institutes of Higher Education. They currently partner with leaders and teachers in K12 schools, colleges and universities to create “best” place to work cultures in schools.

Read Tip 1: Student Achievement is Difficult to Improve…

Read a blog post showing results from an aspiring leaders workshop, as well as additional blog posts focused on leadership and coaching. Join Pilcher, Largue, and school district superintendents, board members, executive teams, and educational leaders August 6 to engage in systems improvement conversations about evidence-based practices, including 10-minute mini lessons on tips/tactics “key words at key times,” “we/they – manage up,” and “reward recognition.” For more information on this complimentary conference or to RSVP for What’s Right in Education in Chicago, Illinois, August 6, contact us.

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. Visit us online at http://studereducation.com. Studer Education is a division of Studer Group, ranked for the sixth 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.