The Head's Tales: Success and Passion

I have just completed reading an article from the Harvard Business Review entitled “Creating the Best Workplace on Earth” (May 2013). Within that article, the focus was on creating an environment that is aspirational, productive, and rewarding for the employees, management, and clients (in our case, the parents and students) it serves.  That can be a real challenge given the diversity of needs and sometimes competing demands of those connected to the organization. The author goes on to describe the ideal work environment as:

A place where individual differences are nurtured; information is shared and conversations are genuine; contributions are valued and recognized in enhancing the well-being and reputation of the organization; the organization stands for something meaningful; the work itself is intrinsically rewarding; and there are no stupid rules.

Any successful endeavour requires engaged staff, satisfied customers, quality service and a “sought after” product.  When I add the importance of passion (intensity, energy and drive/persistence) to this definition, it seems to me that long-term success of any organization is more than just the sum of its financial, human, and intellectual capital.  Passion is the driving force behind most start-up initiatives and provides the determination and tenacity to overcome obstacles and to “stay the course” during turbulent times.  Investing in “passion capital” helps maintain the core of an organization (its raison d`être), nurtures the current culture (what is valued and supported), and influences the guiding principles that sustain an organization in the future (value legacy). 

At St. Margaret’s, we encourage our students to:

• Try new things 
• Embrace possibilities
• Appreciate the importance of failures
• Find the strength to persevere
• Recognize patience as a virtue
• Believe in their dreams

It is these guiding principles that we believe will realize the human potential of all of our students and will be SMS’s investment in the passion capital needed for the future.

Suggested readings:

Harvard Business Review (May 2013)
Passion Capital – The World’s Most Valuable Asset by Paul Alofs (2012)


Written by: Cathy Thornicroft, Head of School (May 2, 2013)

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