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Maximize PerformancePart 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.

The first factor consistently emerging as the most influential in executive leaders success in high-performing organizations is Executive and senior leadership commitment (relentlessness)These leaders didn’t rationalize why they didn’t get a particular result. They didn’t make excuses. They were relentless in pursuing their goals. This is similar to what Jim Collins, in his book Good to Great, describes as a Level 5 leader. That is, Collins describes these leaders as those who focus their drive on the success of the organization they’re leading rather than on themselves.

Bio Photo WorzellasSuperintendent Pat Greco of the School District of Menomonee Falls (WI) is a great example of a leader focused on achieving results. Here’s what makes her a relentless leader:

Dr. Greco and her entire leadership team show unified discipline in their pursuit of continuous-improvement processes, including Evidence-Based Leadership and Plan-Do-Study-Act in classrooms and school buildings as well as Lean and Six Sigma process-improvement tools. Dr. Greco models these behaviors herself, seeking opportunities to showcase the school district and continuing her lifelong work of making public education systems better for students and families. At meetings, she turns over the stage to the leaders and teachers who carry out the work every day. AS Jim Collins says, it’s not that Level 5 leaders do not have egos; rather, they channel their ego away from themselves and toward the larger good of the organization.

Dr. Greco is defined by her passion, vision, and commitment. She claims that for years she’s been looking for the right formula to make a difference in school reform and improvement, and finally she sees success as a result of finding the right combination and not wavering from achieving the district’s goals.

Leaders like Dr. Greco demonstrate how passion, vision, and commitment of top leadership are paramount for an organization be successful. They lead the management team’s unified vision, clear outlining of expectations, determination to stay focused, and discipline in following the process and vision. These committed and relentless leaders along with their leadership teams “walk the walk” and model all the behaviors they expect others to perform.

Tomorrow’s post and subsequent posts in this “High-Performing Organization” series will provide examples of how the study results transfer to high-performing superintendent behaviors. Join us tomorrow as we highlight Superintendent Tim Wyrosdick.

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Read #MaximizePerformance: The High-Performing Organization Part 1.

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
http://www.firestarterpublishing.com/MaximizePerformance. Follow the authors on Twitter using @quint_studer and @janetpilcher.

Collins, Jim. 2001. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t. New York, NY: Harper Business.

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 http://studereducation.com. 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.