by Henry Contant, SCSBC Executive Director (2003 – 2015) ◊
In my continuing role working with Christian school leaders, I am frequently asked, “What do I need to do to be a great school leader?” Phrased somewhat differently, I’m also asked, “How do I know if I’m being effective as a leader?”
I typically respond by asking them, “Are the people you are called to lead growing and flourishing?” Ultimately, school leadership is not so much about you, your reputation, or your personal success stories, but about the people and organizations you are called to lead. Effective leaders continually equip and mentor individuals to grow and flourish as leaders. Fundamentally, the leader role ensures that those around them also grow in their passion, insight, and skillset to effectively fulfil their call.
I am profoundly grateful to the many mentors who invested in me throughout my educational and leadership journey. I have been able to stand on the shoulders of those who came before me. Their examples and experiences further fueled my passion for ongoing leadership development.
As SCSBC continues to equip school leaders and boards, I urge current administrators, learning leaders, teachers, and board members to be intentional about leadership development, share time, and offer guidance, encouragement, and wisdom with a younger or less experienced person. Mentoring others is personally rewarding and a valuable gift every administrator or teacher can give to others, ultimately strengthening Christian education’s cause. Over time, small, incremental, and intentional steps will lead to significant change and growth.
Don’t be a “lone ranger.” We live in community, learn from others in community, and are held accountable by community. Don’t try to walk alone as a teacher, administrator, or school board member. SCSBC is all about community. Draw from the wealth of experiences, life stories, and examples of others. Be an active part of a larger Christian school support community. For example, get involved with the CPABC (principals), the CEBC (teachers), the SCSBC (School Board members), or one of the many networks that SCSBC has established for principals and superintendents, business managers, development directors, board/committee members, teachers, learning leaders, special education coordinators, librarians, international student coordinators, and IT directors.
Blessings as you encourage others to grow and flourish, and in doing so, you will be fulfilling your calling as a leader.