CEO Notebook |
Last week, the NBOA senior staff discussed a brief video related to the book “The Best Team Wins: The Science of High Performance.” In the video, co-author Chester Elton speaks about creating an organizational culture where you can innovate, challenge the status quo and have aspirational conversations. Some of the advice was simple and perhaps obvious, but overall it served as a great reminder that every organization can create cultures that successfully innovate and inspire.
Elton advocates for greater kindness in the workplace as a means of creating “psychological safety.” In my words, this suggests creating a safe place where team members can readily share new and different ideas that others consider and support — and that they can do so without fear of criticism or being ignored for going outside the status quo. His video is worth a quick view and has inspired many on the NBOA team to read Elton’s book and to flag his toolkit of “100 ways to inspire your team.”
However, what resonated with me the most in Elton’s video is the idea that “what is recognized is repeated.” Again, this is simple right? But the truth is, do we always find time in our hectic days to recognize what someone is doing right?
As business officers, you are very often rewarded for solving problems. Your aptitude for solving problems, in fact, may lead you to be on the lookout for systems or approaches that are broken, going wrong or no longer effective. You identify solutions, implement them and solve the problem. Your head of school, colleagues and faculty likely recognize this, and you are so gratified to fulfill your unique leadership role within your school that you do it again. Why? Because what gets recognized gets repeated.
But what about what is going right? As we enter the holiday season of gratitude, thankfulness, family and friends, I encourage you to look for what is going right at your school. Does your payroll coordinator distribute paychecks error-free and on time? Does your controller complete accurate monthly financial reports, enabling you to focus on something else? Has your manager of facilities prepared your campus for the winter months so that your school will be safe and operational throughout the season? Recognize it.
This is a great reminder for me as well. On the eve of Thanksgiving, I send my thanks to the entire NBOA membership across the country and around the globe for your emails of support, your constructive feedback and your questions about what NBOA is doing and why. Every message from you affirms either what we are getting right or how we can serve you better in the future. This is just another example of how the NBOA community of business officers is the envy of the independent school world. Nobody on the NBOA staff takes it for granted, and I hope you don’t either.
Let’s recognize what is right and see it repeated through the upcoming season and into the new year!
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