Do you want to build a culture of success? Do you take time to acknowledge the successes of your organization?

Celebrating is important to build organizational culture.

[shareable cite=”Thomas J. Peters”]Celebrate what you want to see more of.”[/shareable]

As a leadership guide, I have the privilege of working with many leaders. The one thing I always encourage leaders to do is take time and acknowledge successes, large and small. Why? When you take time to honor hard-work and success, you unify your team and keep them moving towards your vision.

Like most leaders, when a task is completed, or a goal is achieved, I tend to move on to the next challenge. However, I was recently reminded by my coach to take time and celebrate success. As a result, I take time to celebrate our victories.

I would like to share a recent significant accomplishment of my organization. But first, I need to set the stage. Four years ago, I had the privilege of assuming my current position as the Principal of our High School. Although I had been serving as an Assistant Principal for several years, it was different when I became the senior leader of our organization…

It was an exciting day and position I had worked very hard to achieve. As the first female Principle of our school, I knew everyone would be watching. But, I was confident that we could successfully engage our students and transform our school.

As the Principal of an urban school, we face the same challenges as many inner-city schools. Many of our students are minorities, who qualify for free or reduced lunch. We also serve a large group of students with disabilities and English language learners.

Many of our students entered high school reading below grade level, which impacted their ability to graduate on time with a high school diploma. As a result, we needed a bold vision to inspire our students, faculty and staff. We set an ambitious goal to be a model school of excellence.

Over the last four years, we have made considerable progress towards achieving our goal. For example, we increased the number of student industry certifications earned by 108%, leading the district the past three years for most certifications earned. Also, our yearbook has been selected as national sample for two consecutive years.

In 2015 we became the first school in Florida to earn the STEM Accreditation by AdvanceED, one of nine in the nation. Our school also earned Magnet School of Excellence awards in 2013, 2014 and 2016. We were also designated by the SME Education Foundation as the only PRIME school in our district in 2014, one of two in Florida and 26 in the nation.

Having much to celebrate, we recently celebrated our most significant graduation rate accomplishment.

[callout]Our school was notified by the State of Florida of a 40% school graduation rate increase over the past four years! 40%![/callout]

Our graduation rates for student sub-groups also improved as follows:

  • At Risk Students by 99%
  • Students w/Disabilities by 69%
  • Black Students by 59%
  • Free & Reduced Lunch Students by 48%
  • English Language Learner Students by 44%
  • White Students by 12%
  • Hispanic Students by 9%

While we have made noteworthy progress, we still have a lot of work to do. Every day, we are faced with new challenges. Celebrating reinforces our motivation to overcome the next challenge.

Tony Robbins wrote, “Great leaders find the way to appreciate progress in themselves and progress in others.” Celebrating builds success and unbeatable teams.

What accomplishment can your school celebrate?

Your friend,

Dr. Kim Moore | Your Leadership Guide |

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Dr. Kim Moore

About the author

I'm Kim, your Educational Leadership Guide. I equip educational leaders with research-based and experientially learned educational leadership principles and best practices to promote student success.