SUCCEED Leadership FAQs

SUCCEED Communication Program FAQs

What is The McGrath SUCCEED Communication System?

The McGrath SUCCEED Communication System is a breakthrough methodology that trains administrators and managers to powerfully communicate with their employees to impact performance under the protection of sound legal principles. The SUCCEED System emphasizes the interrelationship of the supervision, evaluation and documentation process. When communication with employees is grounded in the values and requirements of both employee supervision and labor relations, administrators gain the will and the skill to fully communicate and affect systemic change.


Who uses The McGrath SUCCEED Communication System?
Since 1983, we have trained over 100,000 school administrators throughout the United States and Canada in The McGrath SUCCEED Communication System. In fact, the McGrath Template©, a central tool of the current SUCCEED System, was adopted by the California Leadership Academy as the heart of its Professional Accountability Module based on its proven effectiveness.


What is the McGrath Template ©?
The McGrath Template© is a series of questions which direct thinking to various areas. These particular questions have been selected because they inquire into the constellation of behaviors, attitudes, and needs which make up a person; in this case, both employee and manager. The purpose of the McGrath Template© is to align both manager and employee with the principles that allow for stability, receptivity and growth. These principles include such qualities as honesty, compassion and accountability.
The McGrath Template© is designed to manage the manager by organizing thinking about a situation and providing a logical sequence for communication. The McGrath Template© is unique in that it correlates fundamental principles with the rights and protections the law affords to the workplace or school environment. The McGrath Template© is a map which allows managers to align their supervision of employees with human relations standards while navigating today’s legal waters.


Why is this training so essential for School Systems?
We all feel that we must rid education of the problems of mediocre performance among teachers and staff. And because we know that honest evaluation and documentation is the most critical piece of the solution, it is essential that administrators are able to do so capably and comfortably.
Supervision, documentation and evaluation are the responsibilities we have as managers where our leadership capabilities are put to the greatest test. So often when we are required to judge and assess the people we work with regularly, we feel so uncomfortable with the task that we sandwich the truth between meaningless platitudes and we remove ourselves from the collegial relationship we are most comfortable having with our people. Worst case, we never tell them the truth, and their performance deteriorates to painful levels. Many administrators also find that the task of honest evaluation simply overtaxes both their writing skills and their understanding of what will hold up in court.
The solution is to give administrators a tool that empowers them to communicate clearly and justly through documentation. The McGrath SUCCEED Communication System is that tool.


Is the SUCCEED System just for Schools?
Absolutely not.
The same dynamics that take place between school site administrators and teachers occur in private enterprise and public agency management. While we got our start in public education, we have designed The McGrath SUCCEED Communication System to be delivered in any workplace setting from businesses and corporations to not for profit organizations to City, County, State and Federal government agencies.
The McGrath SUCCEED Communication System also has applications outside of the manager-employee arena, including teacher-student and parent-child communication and can easily be customized for delivery to these groups.


Who is the author of this program?
Mary Jo McGrath, Attorney at Law and Founder of McGrath Systems, Inc., graduated magna cum laude in 1974 from the University of California Los Angeles, and from Loyola University School of Law cum laude in 1977. She has been a practicing employment law attorney for over twenty-three years, specializing in employee performance issues and legal mandates in the workplace.

Ms. McGrath is acknowledged as an international expert in both labor relations and employee performance, quality and discipline law. She was an expert consultant to the office of the California Governor Pete Wilson on teacher tenure reform and has been a featured legal expert on both CBS’ Eye to Eye and 48 Hours on the issue of sexual harassment and on ABC’s 20/20 on the issue of teacher quality and performance. Ms. McGrath currently serves as Chair of the US Department of Education Expert Panel on Safe, Disciplined and Drug Free Schools.


Will this documentation satisfy union and legal requirements?
The McGrath SUCCEED Communication System is structured to provide evaluation, reports, and documentation, which satisfy requirements of due process and just cause, fundamental employee rights demanded by both unions and courts. Administrators trained in The McGrath SUCCEED Communication System know what to do and say in a meeting regarding employee performance, how to write communications that get the point across but don’t destroy staff relations, and how to think through issues, knowing what’s important and what’s not.


What about the successful employee?
Most importantly, The McGrath SUCCEED Communication System allows administrators to make the documentation and evaluation process an opportunity for growth not just among unsatisfactory employees but among all employees. Much more than a system for employee discipline and termination, the system is designed to help administrators:

  • Commend and challenge highly effective employees to new levels of excellence
  • Encourage growth in average employees
  • Remediate ineffective employees

How long is the program and are written materials included?
The McGrath SUCCEED Communication System is usually delivered over a two-day period
We provide your administrators with an implementation manual, providing step-by-step instructions for applying The McGrath SUCCEED Communication System in the workplace and using it to create powerful results. It also contains a documentation checklist and sample letters of commendation, remediation and reprimand using the McGrath Template© documentation models.


What advanced training is available?
The two-day McGrath SUCCEED Mentorship Program is designed to provide your administrators with additional hands-on practice using the McGrath Template© and implementing the SUCCEED model in your supervision and evaluation process. During the first day of the Mentorship program, participants will have an opportunity to develop an actual fact scenario from initial intervention through documentation, with an emphasis on constructive communication. The second day of the program focuses on incorporating the McGrath SUCCEED System principles into your organization’s existing evaluation system. Participants are also introduced to the legal steps of an employee dismissal action.

The McGrath SUCCEED Site License is a cost-effective means to ensure that The McGrath SUCCEED System is applied in the day-to-day management of employees. It allows designated team of trainers from your company or school district to facilitate the implementation and application of the McGrath SUCCEED System within your organization. These designated trainers, called McGrath Mentors, will be trained to provide on-site assistance, regular coaching and review of written work product.


What does it cost, and how do I schedule a workshop in my organization?
Costs vary depending on length of training, location, and class size. For more information or to schedule a workshop, please contact us.