However I seem to look at it, success is about determination, passion, persistence, commitment and resolve and it's funny how many people constantly tell me why they can’t do things; not enough time, not enough money, not enough experience or they are not clever enough. But actually the more brilliant places I visit and the more brilliant people I meet the more I realise that they are all excuses.
As the sun shone and I dodged the torrential downpours, I popped in to Carr Manor High School before I visited Ireland Wood Children's Centre with Greg Mulholland MP for their fifth birthday party. I attended the Aireborough Family of Schools celebration of their Stephen Lawrence Education Standard portfolios at the Civic Hall with the Lord Mayor. I visited Bramley St Peter's Church of England Primary School to be entertained by the children and to watch an 'Every Child a Reader' session before I managed yet another Education Leeds induction session. I also attended the Leeds 2012 Olympics Board meeting to talk about the work going on in schools across the city. I attended the morning session of the RM 'Celebrating Success' conference with Sir Tim Brighouse and listened to Stephen Heppell talk about the future of learning. I visited Oakwood Primary School and saw their early years provision before I attended the official opening of the new garden at Moor Allerton Hall Primary School with Cllr Richard Harker and Fabian Hamilton MP. And finally, I attended the National Sustainable Schools Conference at Skelton Grange Environment Centre.
It seems to me that Carr Manor High School, Ireland Wood Children's Centre, the Aireborough schools, Bramley St Peter's Church of England Primary School, Oakwood Primary School, Moor Allerton Hall Primary School, RM, Skelton Grange Environmental Centre; successful organisations with successful teams, all have the following characteristics...
- a vision, values and sense of purpose which shapes the way colleagues behave and helps everyone know they are making a difference;
- the courage to set challenging goals and to develop new and cutting-edge solutions;
- an innovative and creative culture that values people and makes them feel special;
- an innovative and creative culture that trusts, empowers and engages colleagues distinct and unique talents;
- a rigorous and inclusive approach to evaluating performance and individuals’ contributions;
- a concern for the wider community and the bigger picture;
- a reputation for excellence, hard work and passionate commitment.
Experience tells me that if you are brave enough, energetic enough, determined enough and work hard enough you can do just about anything.