How do you define success?

by Peter Baron

I had the good fortune of speaking with almost two dozen former heads of school.

They were so kind to invite me to share how I plan to help schools reimagine the independent school business model.

But let me tell you, this was a distinguished group of folks, and I don’t often get nervous sharing my ideas, but I felt extra urgency to be on point.

Fast forward to the end— it was a great conversation.

I walked them through my journey, starting with my time as a boarding school student till today. I shared why this is such a purposeful moment in my life and why I’m dedicated to helping schools build a financially sustainable future.

But one moment at the end really stood out.

Someone asked me a terrific question, and I’ve been thinking about it ever since.

“Peter, how will you define success with your work?”

It made me stop and pause.

Here’s the thing: success is a layered, iterative process that evolves with time. It’s anything but a straight line. All this to say, defining it is complicated.

Here’s how I responded.

When I think about success, I like to lay it out as a series of goals on a roadmap. And I’m focused on the next 12 months, particularly the next eight months.

Here’s a window into my approach:

  • Goal One: Hosting TransformED: Let’s Reimagine the Independent School Business Model on November 7. This is a given. It’s happening, and I can’t wait! My goal is to program an exceptional day of learning to spark conversations and showcase examples of schools transforming the model. That’s job one! ​
  • Goal Two: Announcing my new company. The conference is just the start and next week, I’ll unveil my company’s name and how I will support schools (hint: it will lean VERY heavily into professional learning and growth). You’ll hear about this soon!
  • Goal Three: Executing my plan in quarters one and two of 2024 but permitting myself to be adaptable. As of this writing, I have the first six months of 2024 mapped. But here’s the thing: I know things change, so I’m permitting myself to adapt based on what I learn over the next few months. I will position my company to deliver exceptional value, but I am not afraid to rethink the plan as I get deeper into the work.

But to answer the question more succinctly, what does success look like for me?

  • It’s about sparking an era of business model exploration and iteration.
  • It’s delivering an exceptional conference experience.
  • It’s being adaptable.
  • It’s building the best company to help you and your colleagues grow skills and solidify your school’s financial future.
  • Oh, and for sure, it’s hitting my revenue goals.

So that’s what success looks like for me.

Let me ask you this question: What does success look like for you and your school in the next 12 months?

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