In my 30 plus years in education, Holdsworth is the best program I’ve ever been through.”
Chief of Technology and Student Services,
Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD
Holdsworth is helping me grow, not just as a leader but as a wife, a mother and a human being.”
Principal, Hale Elementary, Arlington ISD
Coaching has been the single greatest catalyst for growth in the Holdsworth program.”
Principal, Klenk Elementary, Klein ISD
At Holdsworth, we believe strong, inspiring leaders make for vibrant, successful schools. That belief is backed by research showing that highly effective principals can raise achievement in their schools by as much as two to seven months of learning in a single year.
We start by giving individual leaders the inspiration, tools and resources needed to grow. Then we help them take what they’ve learned and adapt it, creating the cultural environment and systems needed to move other leaders through the pipeline in a thoughtful way.
Over time, our belief is those systems will become stronger by consistently cultivating leaders who can push student achievement levels to new heights.
We also believe the most enduring work is done by teams. That’s why we involve superintendents, central office administrators, principals and their core teams in the 5-year partnership.
Our programs are designed with the belief that 70 percent of a leader’s development occurs through job-related experiences, 20 percent from interactions with others or coaching, and 10 percent from formal educational events. We strive to deliver learning experiences that span all three areas of a leader’s development. Working with teams allows us to bring a job-embedded component into every session we deliver.
Our theory of action is that stronger leaders will build stronger organizations that achieve stronger results for students.
01 | Develop personal leadership
To give leaders the tools they need to build a solid foundation, Holdsworth focuses first on the leaders themselves. Change starts from within. When leaders are willing to grow, others are motivated to follow.
02 | Grow & empower others
Next, leaders learn to empower others, coach them to success and build high-performing individuals and teams. We believe this muscle is built through exercise and create space during learning sessions for deep practice.
03 | Create change
After mastering key leadership concepts and studying high-performing organizations, teams create a clear and compelling vision for student success. Leaders assess their culture, develop a leadership definition, lay out a roadmap for developing future leaders and drive the needed change.
04 | Pipeline of ready leaders
At the end of the partnership, the goal is for districts to have strong talent systems in place that consistently identify high-potential leaders and invest in their long-term development.
05 | Engaged culture
For a vision to take root, it must be planted in fertile soil. Leaders work to build a positive and caring environment where educators and students feel engaged, challenged and supported. Sustaining that culture requires a steady infusion of inspiring leaders at all levels.
06 | Excellent & equitable student outcomes
Over time, we believe growing outstanding leaders at all levels of a school system will result in better outcomes for students.
How we invest in district leaders
District Leadership Program
Superintendents and their teams embark on a two-year learning journey that includes learning sessions with some of the nation’s top leadership experts and site visits to study high-performing organizations in the U.S. and abroad. Each team works together to define what great leadership looks like for them, then collaborate on a vision to identify and develop up-and-coming leaders from within the organization.
To help build capacity and keep the work moving forward, staff members on Holdsworth’s District Support Team are embedded in our partner districts over the five-year period. They are a cornerstone in our model and a significant asset to our partner districts as they work hand-in-hand to take stock of talent management systems and design and implement new strategies that are built to last.
Superintendents and their District Champion (a leader tapped to align the team’s efforts around the development of a strong leadership pipeline) receive one-on-one executive coaching, as well as coaching centered upon feedback from stakeholders. All team members form peer coaching groups to provide feedback and accountability to one another.
How we invest in campus leaders
Campus Leadership Program
Starting in the second year, cohorts of school principals and their teams take a two-year learning journey similar to district leaders, which includes executive coaching for principals. They also tackle a significant challenge tied to school culture and student outcomes. Rolled out in four phases, the program aims to serve 50 percent of campuses in each partner district over the five-year period.
We believe the benefit of a Holdsworth partnership is the potential boost in student learning that comes when great leaders are guiding schools. To help education leaders build an environment where students and teachers thrive, we provide opportunities to:
Learn from expert faculty and guest lecturers such as Hitendra Wadhwa from the Institute for Personal Leadership at Columbia University, Liz City from Harvard University, Jill Sharp from the Human Performance Institute, and Sydney Finkelstein, author of “Superbosses” and faculty director at Dartmouth University. Topics include personal leadership, communicating your vision, change management, team dynamics, coaching and mentoring, culture building and more.
Travel within the U.S. and abroad to study high-performing organizations from various sectors including business, government and education.Learn More
Leverage embedded support from Holdsworth staff to help implement your strategic plan.Learn More
Receive personal coaching and feedback throughout the program to help refine skills and apply learning.Learn More
Build close relationships with peer educators, forming a network that will support you throughout your career.Learn More