Leaders Learn

Leadership is a learned skill.  Everything you learned about being a leader you learned from someone else (from shared knowledge or observing them in action).  Some people find it easier to learn so we have the myth that there are born leaders.

Christian school principals report to school boards.  The board’s job is to provide leadership for the school while the principal manages the school. Your school board is one of the many leadership examples you can study.

Here are a few questions to ponder:

Would you use your board as a good example of skillful leadership?

Who are the board members you would recommend as mentors for aspiring leaders?

Who are the board members you would use for yourself as a mentor after they leave board service?

How many of your members are leaders you learn from?

Do all of your board members understand how to lead and are they all examples of good leadership?

Have you told your board what you think it could do to sharpen its leadership skills?

Do your board members understand the difference between leadership and management?

Is the leadership quality of your board improving each year?

Does your board have leadership standards and hold itself accountable for its leadership performance?

Does your board chair lead the board or manage the board?

Have you and your board chair discussed the leadership skills of the board, the quality of the board’s leadership, and your satisfaction with the board’s leadership?

Are you committed to being a high-quality leader and being surrounded by high-quality leaders?

Does your board share your commitment to good leadership?

Do your leaders proactively address problems when they discover them?

Does your board have the commitment to excellence in leadership necessary to fulfill the promises of its mission, inspire stakeholder support, and increase sustainability?

Next Step:

Discuss the leadership of your board with your board chair

Encourage your board chair to engage a mentor

Ask your board development committee to set standards for board leadership, hold board members accountable, and provide board members with training to be the leaders you and your school need

Find a mentor for yourself

Develop a structured and intentional program for your own leadership development

Your Christian school has a rich history of achievement.  Those achievements are a testimony to the quality of leadership you currently have and had in the past.  Regardless of the quality of your board’s leadership today, you know it could be better.  With better leadership, your mission can have an even bigger impact on the lives of your students, careers of your employees, and the community your school serves.

Leaders are constantly learning while surrounded by a rapidly changing world.  In order to lead the change process, the leader must learn faster than the speed of change.  Do what you can to learn to be a better leader and encourage the leaders you work with to keep pace with you.  Through learning, you and the other leaders of your school can evolve from good leaders to great leaders.

What are the things that your school must learn to do better to increase its sustainability, effectiveness, and level of excellence?

Take It Further:

Create a learning culture

Create a culture that values and encourages excellence in leadership

Help your board recruit board members who are better leaders than you are so that you are surrounded by the best possible examples

Work with your board to develop meaningful ways to measure the annual improvement in your school’s leadership (board and staff)


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