Nonprofit service isn’t for everyone, but it’s a way of life for everyone at High 5. We believe what we do makes a difference for others, and that difference deserves the very best from all of us individually and collectively. Now you may be asking yourself who is Benjamin Fairless, and what’s the connection to High 5’s “way of life”, aka work culture? Simply put, Fairless’ quote provides a timeless solution to the age-old question of how to find joy and satisfaction in your work, especially during turbulent times. Fairless didn’t lose sight of the human experience, and offered a recipe to keep employees and organizations connected. Here’s our recipe for achieving a strong team at High 5 while retaining the human element that we value so much in our people and in our work.
We are a mission-driven organization and our mission serves as our guide in everything we do. While mission statements can often capture the right words, they sometimes are just that, words. Our motto brings it to life: Connect. Empower. Lead…Be the Example. That motto reflects the main emphasis of our Edge of Leadership (EOL) program, which serves students and teachers in Keene, NH, and other locations.
EOL’s logo is a clear and powerful expression of the program’s philosophy: a wedge of geese in flight, signifying their physical connection, the empowerment that attends a sense of belonging, and the shared responsibility of leadership, as each goose, in turn, takes the lead, charting direction and buffering headwinds for the rest of the flight.
Over time, Connect. Empower. Lead…Be the Example has become a call to action for all of us at High 5. Why? Because it defines us in so many ways. For starters…
The results we are able to achieve and the positive example we set for our clients encourages them to discover their own connections. And those discoveries, in turn, empower them to be leaders in their own communities–educational, institutional, corporate or athletic–creating cultures that are inclusive, insightful and successful, able to overcome whatever challenges might come their way.
The COVID-driven separations and disconnection that have challenged us for the past two years have also taught us about the importance of staying present in our lives and our work, not dwelling on how things were in the past, or worrying about what the future might hold in store. Staying present and connected is what enables us to be aware of those moments when we are making a real difference in our own lives and in the lives of others–a sort of yardstick by which to measure how well we are living up to that motto: Connect. Empower. Lead…Be the Example.
It takes effort to remain present, to stay in the moment, but it is the only way we can know when we are having a genuine impact on others. Those moments aren’t measured by any ruler, but rather come in the form of small joys and little victories. They can be found, if we listen, in the sounds of children’s voices, yelling encouragement to one another as they negotiate an element on a High 5 challenge course. They can be found in the quietly insightful encouragement a teacher gives to a student in helping them overcome their fear of being back at school and participating in the activities of a classroom.
Individually and collectively these moments carry us forward, buoy our spirits, and shape our hopes and expectations for the future. Together, they strengthen us as individuals and as teams of people trying to know and be our best selves. And they sustain us through the times when our energies flag, the needs of those we serve seem to double, and the challenges we face appear insurmountable.
No one can know what challenges lie ahead for us individually or together. But we do know we are in the best position to meet and overcome these uncertainties when we are connected with one another and share the same purpose, making us even stronger together. So be aware and stay mindful of how strong your team can be together and you will find the means to thrive individually and organizationally in the days ahead. Connect. Empower. Lead…Be the Example. Remember: we have been, are now and always will be in this thing called life…together!
At High 5, we’re in the midst of a growth spurt and seeking team members for multiple departments. If you are interested in finding a career you love, being part of an amazing team, finding purpose in your work… then we hope you will seize this opportunity to see our current openings here.