As mentioned in the 8/2/16 post, “Maximizing Which Results,” staff comfort and staff morale are not the same thing.  Even though the vast majority of educational leaders mistakenly believe this is the case. In fact, I would argue that in many cases the two are mutually exclusive.

Staff comfort is driven by the absence of (in no particular order) stress, accountability, reflection, growth, adversity, sweat, conflict, change, and/or work. As the previous list is reduced, comfort is increased.

Morale is something entirely different.  Morale is defined as… Unit cohesion in the face of adversity.

This means that without meaningful challenges, morale is near impossible to measure.  It also means that if your team slows down, disrupts progress and/or quits in the face of adversity, morale did not drop. Instead it means that there was no measurable level of morale to begin with.  As a leader you build team morale by introducing stress, accountability, reflection, growth, adversity, sweat, conflict, change, and/or work; while providing your team with the tools, training and support to overcome the challenge. And then providing your team with proof of some success.

Focus on team success over adversity and team morale will increase, which then becomes an additional lever of success. Focus on team comfort, and adversity will stop you dead in your tracks every single time.

Think. Work. Achieve. Your turn…

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