Good to Great

Our new faculty and staff members are now in full-swing. They have already impressed us by their active participation in our pre-planning meetings and discussions and in the poise and confidence they have exhibited at orientations, student visitation day, field studies, and any gathering where students and parents are having a chance to meet them. They are excited to be Flint Hill, and we are equally pleased they are here.

We talk all the time about the relationships that make learning truly dynamic and powerful. Real learning is personal and meaningful. And so much of it revolves around the people we are learning with–and from. Part of what you experience in life is the occasional need for more. By more, I mean a desire to push ourselves out of our own comfort zone. A desire to take on more responsibility or a willingness to step into areas where we could really make a difference, all take courage. But that courage helps us satisfy a drive or passion that is burning inside of us.

In too many businesses, when employees reach a point when they need more, the only way they can gain that additional opportunity is to go elsewhere. They have to leave. The same holds true for many schools. Once you hire someone and you have them in a position, some people begin to only see them in that role.

I am very proud of the fact that at Flint Hill, that has never been our practice. In fact, over the years we have had more people changing positions and moving internally, than we have had new people coming from the outside to join us. This year is no exception. We have 22 new faculty and staff members, but we also have 38 members of our school family, who have taken on additional roles, moved within departments or divisions, or ventured into new responsibilities to truly make their best, unique contributions to the school.

There is a series of leadership books by Jim Collins that focus on the concept of Good to Great.  In his reference to companies or schools, he talks about getting the right people on the bus and once on the bus, we need to get them in the right seats. In other words, build a team of great people and work to make sure they are in the right roles, so they can flourish as professionals and can have the greatest impact on your school.

The fact that we continue to move people within our organization, speaks to our confidence, our strengths as a school, the relationships we have build, and our willingness to work with great individuals to find the right seat on the bus. Sometimes it just is not possible, so occasionally, great people do leave us for new opportunities elsewhere. Most often, however, that is driven by geography or the desire to challenge themselves in a new school, state, or role.

We do know we are all on the right bus. Flint Hill is thriving and it is because of the people here.  We are going to be working together to make certain that our bus, or, as we say, using our own Husky terms, our sled, is going to lead us to greatness this year. Students, faculty, staff, and parents will make that happen from now to the end of the year.

P.S. On another note, we should pause and reflect for a moment on this day in history. As we all know, today marks the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington and Martin Luther King, Jr.’s speech that has become one of the critical moments in our great Nation’s history. As we hear the news reports of today’s events, let us reflect on the fact that once again…it is the people. The people who marched that provided visible evidence of our need for change. It was the speech that reached people’s hearts and minds and gave voice to hopes and to dreams. Our sense of inclusion and cultural competency are priorities for us at Flint Hill. We will be talking about them more as the year goes on. But today, let’s take time to reflect on this powerful anniversary.