Leadership Principles

Foundational Commitments for our Work and Culture

Make it better
What does great look like? It is everyone’s job, within our span of influence, to improve what we do. We will challenge assumptions, clarify what success looks like, and evaluate what worked so we can adapt and grow.

Go first
Leaders have a bias toward action and take initiative. In our work, we pilot and try things to see what works. In relationships, we reach out, ask the question, anticipate the need, and build the bridge rather than waiting for the other person to make the first move.

Embrace ownership
Having clear roles and partnering well keeps us from bumping into each other. We are owners and specialists who partner. Leaders know what’s theirs and how it’s connected with others. We will jump lanes to contribute – but we will also be clear on what is within our span of influence and work hard to make those pieces the best they can be. 

Communicate and collaborate
Our work is like a game of pick-up-sticks where one part impacts many others. Communication is sharing what we’re doing – with each other, students, and the campus. Collaborating is listening well, involving others early, and letting those with expertise and connection co-create in the areas we own.

Follow through
Plans need consistency, and ideas without action aren’t real. In order to be trustworthy and partner well with students and our campus community, we do what we say we will do, when we say we will do it. 

Simple > Complex
Making it better doesn’t mean adding more. Often it means simplifying, choosing the essential, and focusing on the clear goals and outcomes. It’s easy to add complexity, but leaders learn to focus on the essential and pursue the most critical outcomes and actions with energy and focus. 

See the gap. Then build the bridge.
Leaders criticize by creating. When they see a problem, they step in and ask, ‘how can I help?’ There are always things we would do differently, but sideline conversations (or meetings after the meeting) don’t help. Leaders go to the person involved and ask how they can help.

Renew and sustain 
Leaders recognize that this is a marathon, not a sprint. They create work and life practices that help them build spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical foundations. Like the feeling of tired that comes from a good workout, our work is both hard and worth it. We pursue a mindset that helps us enjoy the process and create space to celebrate the good with others.

Keep learning
Learning is never done. Therefore, we stay curious and open to learning about ourselves, about our students, about our context, about our field.