Lessons From Leaders

by Jay Krause

What distinguishes a top school or organization from another one or average one? When you really look at it, there is no one-size fits all solution that gets the great results you are looking for. There are, however, common qualities of success that one should be able to realize in every school or organization.

  1. The people that work with you are the greatest asset of your school: Leadership must put the employees at the center of their thinking in all that they do. Studies show that employees consistently tell the leaders of their organization that a sense of appreciation and confidence are very important to their success in the organization.

  2. Leaders must further develop their ability to LISTEN: The best leaders listen to the feedback given to them by their staff and use that in the decision making process as they strategically plan for the future. This builds a needed sense of commitment and accountability.

  3. Leaders must work to “keep everyone in the loop”: Your staff wants to be well informed and can’t feel a sense of ownership if they are kept in the dark. Leaders in schools and organizations recognize this and work to create environments that further develop this with their employees. Be committed to sharing both the good and bad news of the organization so that there are minimal surprises in the future.

  4. Lead and Live with a Purpose: All employees (especially those in our schools) want to live and lead with a greater good in mind. They want to feel as though their work is much more than just the daily grind but contributes to something far more meaningful. God gave us the ultimate sacrifice through His Son Jesus Christ so that we could be meaningful examples to others—that we might go out and share that message in our schools and communities.

  5. Speaking of Community…Build It: Do what you can to build a sense of community within your school or organization which will carry you far into the future. Frequent studies show long range success when people feel as though they are part of a larger community of people pulling together. The sense of continuous improvement is essential when building a sense of community with the people you work with.

Find a way to make the employees in your school or organization matter!

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Dr. Jay Krause is the Principal at Metro-East Lutheran High School in Edwardsville, Illinois. He can be reached at jay.krause@melhs.org.