Recipe for Effective Leadership

As part of the team implementing the Kids for Jesus  School of Virtue at our school, I have had a unique bird’s eye view of the dynamics between our second year principal and our teachers.  Before school I helped train the teachers on the program; I am going in each month to speak briefly with them about the new mission where I am involved in the direct planning of activities that will affect them.

In the process, I am observing the recipe for effective leadership.

First, all of the teachers meet with the principal for a prayer meeting every Monday morning for 10-15 minutes.  It is there were I would speak and where they would discuss plans for the school.  Regularly meeting with your team is one of the cardinal rules Dr. Lynn Jones mentions in her blog on effective management.  It provides a healthy outlet for concerns and creates opportunities to problem solving.  I’ve noticed benefits myself since I applied this at work with my office manager after reading Lynn’s blog.  Something as simple as 10-15 minutes a week of planned communication ramps up employee satisfaction.

Second, the principal walked well the line between collaboration and being directive.  He was open with the teachers about the vision and the plan, while giving them regular opportunity for input.  He still would implement priority ideas.  But he gained cooperation from the teachers because he had invested in their emotional bank account (link) by being sensitive to their needs..

Seeing the positive results from these simple strategies triggered insights about how to improve a low-grade undercurrent of rebellion and disobedience recently surfacing in our home.

You see, my husband and I had just begun to do similar things as the principal.  We had open communication with regular family meetings.  We were building the emotional bank accounts with being in tune with each of our kids’ needs and wants and making reasonable attempts to satisfy them and scheduling one-on-one time with each of them.

But it isn’t just vandals whose sin causes hurt and even harm for us.  Often we are sprayed with the negative effects of sin of those closest to us.  The challenge as Catholics is to discern the   self-protective measures we be need to be taking while still keeping ourselves as open as possible to love.

Catholic Women’s Guide to Healthy Relationships:  Your family is like a business too.  Don’t hesitate to use business principles to make it better.