Portrait by ellen Marello
Effective leadership is built on trust, and in an era of inexorable change, trust requires a commitment to transparency, thorough planning, and flexibility.
Transparency is crucial for aligning leadership’s vision with key stakeholders’ expectations. For example, if you form an executive search committee for a new leader, regular communication between that committee and your board will help foster unity and ensure no surprises. At the outset, inculcate a prevailing sense of ownership.
Operate with a level of certainty (because you have done your homework) and remain organized. Ensure the board meets its fiduciary duties while undergoing any organizational change. Commit to the discipline of this and enjoy the fruits of milestones met and obstructions avoided.
A measure of flexibility will perpetuate progress. Distractions or unexpected events may threaten to derail your initiatives. Regroup, keep your eye on the prize, and flex as needed.
Granted, these are basics of effective leadership – but easily forgotten in the fray of the moment.
With theological education transforming in both scope and delivery, boards must stick to the basics: Do your homework, stay organized, build in transparency around your initiatives, and remain flexible.