Wow I didn’t realize how hard it would be to keep up with blogging once the school year starts up! Nevertheless, my wife passed along this article that is being reviewed by senior leadership at Intuit. It is called “The Uncompromising Leader” (Eisenstat, Beer, Foote, Fredberg, and Norrgren) and appears in the July 2008 edition of the Harvard Business Review.
“High Commitment-High Performance CEOs somehow seem to comfortably bear the tension of reconciling the relentless demands of the market with their role as steward of their people. These leaders are clearly energized by delivering on their larger mission, by soundly thrashing their competitors in the marketplace, and by directly connecting with the people in their firms.”
It really underscores the struggle across all kinds of organizations– literally all over the world– to find the balance between achieving high “performance” and keeping people whole and healthy. Stewards of the People. “Leaders of high commitment and high performance organizations refuse to choose between people and profits.”
It also calls to mind the tension described in my previous post. Are we about raising test scores or raising children?
And I again come to the conclusion that if we expect our own children to excel in school, why would we not expect the children who are entrusted into our care as educators to excel? Academic excellence is a gateway to a lifetime of opportunity. Those who argue that we have dehumanized our schools in the “Age of Accountability” are projecting the expectation that children cannot rise to the level of high standards and high expectations.
We refuse to choose between people (which includes our students) and high productivity in the form of academic achievement. As a result, our children soar.