Begin with clarity! Take the time to state the mission clearly, vision, and directional steps to reach the destination. This is the opportunity, to begin with, a reset, renewal, and redirection to recharge your group. Let’s complete the template provided in the website’s resource section, “Kick-Off.”
Before you begin with the guided template, start with the thought process. My background and focus is education; however, the process can be applied to all organizations. We begin with the focused areas:
- Clear and Focused Mission
- Safe and Orderly Environment
- Climate and Culture-High Expectations
- Frequent Monitoring and Accountability
- Positive Relationships with All stakeholders
- Clear and Consistent Communications
Before starting the race, you learn to crawl, walk and then run. The most important part of the race is to start! When we start, we always want to plan and know this is a continuous process.
Clear and Focused Mission
The first place to start is for Leadership to facilitate a meeting with staff to clearly articulate and commit to a shared agreed-upon mission—the goals, priorities, procedures, and accountability.
A mission is grounded in values and beliefs. They identify ambitious goals that everyone shares to build a framework for better environments. A coherent, mission-based culture can inspire and unify a community towards positive results. In schools, this provides responsibility for student learning of the curriculum goals.
Safe and Orderly Environment
The Two Rule philosophy begins with a strong foundation of core beliefs, values, and a focused mission. The purpose is for all to feel good and safe. In order for positive results and the achievement of goals to happen, the environment must be safe and orderly. When we focus on two rules, safe and orderly can be achieved with the strong foundation of a clear mission.
Climate and Culture-High Expectations
It’s no secret that scholars achieve more when teachers and society hold high expectations for their achievement and less when less is expected of them (Jussim & Harber, 2005; Rosenthall & Jacobson, 1968; Tenenbaum & Ruck, 2007). What is more important, it when we set high expectations for self and believe we can achieve it!
The conditions currently is a battle of losing faith in the public education system with the tossing of word salads filled with buzz words and trying to evoke emotions to cloud the foundational skills all of our children need. We are functioning with teacher and leadership shortages, adequate funding with equity, and many more issues created from the global pandemic. Encouraging environments where teachers nurture learners, leaders support teachers and believe all will achieve, establishing a high achieving culture and climate.
Frequent Monitoring and Accountability
Assessments generate information and, depending on the nature, and use of the information obtained, can play multiple roles in education. Frequent monitoring of progress supports steps towards achievement. Determining the frequency of monitoring should be based on the time needed to adjust instruction. The purpose of learning assessments is to inform student achievement levels with standards. Assessments for learning are part of teaching and learning as the process constantly needs adjustment to the instructional strategy. If we do not change instructional practices based on these assessments, we will continue to receive the same results. Accountability involves using some of this information to generate incentives to validate or change the behaviors of students and educators. Always important to remember, Education is something we do with children, not for them. Assessment and Accountability are tools in the process of achievement for all.
Positive Relationships with All stakeholders
Building positive relationships with everyone involved helps in seeing through all lenses. Establishing trust within this group supports people working together more efficiently and effectively. Investing effort in identifying areas of strength and continuing to build stakeholder relationships can increase confidence across the project environment, minimize uncertainty, and speed up problem-solving and decision-making.
Clear and Consistent Communications
Communication with all needs to be clear and consistent. It is an opportunity to clarify objectives, expectations, progress, achievements, recognition, and, of course, celebrations. Communication is an essential piece of the tools leaders focuses on achieving.
An effective leader is essential to the success of the organization. Many qualities have been identified to recognize what is needed in leadership. Effective leadership includes exhibiting a solid character. Leaders demonstrate honesty, integrity, trustworthiness, and ethics. Leaders model, speak and earn the right to be responsible for others’ success.