Leadership – with the School Approach

Enrollment into schools could follow normal applications, or special considerations including scholarships or recommendations from all sorts. So it is with lieutenants available to leaders, they come from all sorts of backgrounds. Students are admitted to be trained not because they are perfect; and leaders must realize this about their lieutenants as well. Because of how unique man is, it’s difficult to find that one person that ticks all the boxes. Everyone “learns on the job!”

Agreed, good schools will not let everyone in, they will interview and select the best and brightest. Despite this careful consideration, students are necessarily a mix of the good, the bad and the ugly; even the disciples of Jesus Christ necessarily had Judas Iscariot. Leaders must realize this about their lieutenants as well.

Screening criteria into schools may include age, academic performance, attitude, and appearance amongst other things. This is basically same when selecting lieutenants.

Happy Independence Day Nigeria Photo Credit: Mrs Fyafa Ashasim

Excellent schools will focus on teaching, discipline, sports, drills and trainings to prepare students for life. The students will dislike discipline at the time mostly; while teachers will dislike laziness, incompetence, indiscipline, insubordination as well as dishonesty and disloyalty amongst other ills in their students. This is exactly the kind of relationship that is likely to be obtained between leaders and their lieutenants. The excerpt below from Plato’s Republic, capturing Socrates’ thoughts on education should be useful to guide all to know that while improvement is possible and should be honestly and rigorously pursued, perfection will be found only in heaven.

And our intention in educating the young, is to give them self-con“control; the law desires to nurse up in them a higher principle, and when they have acquired this, they may go their ways.

“What, then, shall a man profit, if he gain the whole world’ and become more and more wicked? Or what shall he profit by escaping discovery, if the concealment of evil prevents the cure? If he had been punished, the brute within him would have been silenced, and the gentler element liberated; and he would have united temperance, justice, and wisdom in his soul—a union better far than any combination of bodily gifts. The man of understanding will honour knowledge above all; in the next place he will keep under his body, not only for the sake of health and strength, but in order to attain the most perfect harmony of body and soul. In the acquisition of riches, too, he will aim at “order and harmony; he will not desire to heap up wealth without measure, but he will fear that the increase of wealth will disturb the constitution of his own soul. For the same reason he will only accept such honours as will make him a better man; any others he will decline. ‘In that case,’ said he, ‘he will never be a politician.’ Yes, but he will, in his own city; though probably not in his native country, unless by some divine accident. ‘You mean that he will be a citizen of the ideal city, which has no place upon earth.’ But in heaven, I replied, there is a pattern of such a city, and he who wishes may order his life after that image. Whether such a state is or ever will be matters not; he will act according to that pattern and no other…”

Excerpt From: The Republic – Plato

While the schools need students to stay FOCUSED! Excellent schools realize their students will have other interests and they support them with this, it allows for flow of fresh ideas and innovations. So must the excellent leader realize about his lieutenants!!!

Still Waters. Source: engageworship.org

Students will commit offences, and these could be misdemeanors or serious offenses. Excellent schools must be discerning enough not to “kill a fly with a sledge hammer” for minor offenses; nor treat serious offense with kids gloves. Only in extreme cases will they expel a student outright! So also leaders must approach their lieutenants.

Students will be examined objectively and certified, and excellent schools admit that the favorite student or one with record of best performance previously will not always emerge as best in the end. Just as certificates are not issued at the beginning of school, but at the end after due process, so leaders should not certify lieutenants without due trial.

The consolation is that the best graduating student doesn’t always “make it” (whatever this means to you) ahead of all other classmates in life. Thus leaders must resist the temptation to tamper with results, that would be exam malpractice!

Now even while in school, leadership roles are given to students… good leaders will select the discerning and wise as Pharoah did with Joseph; who solves problems with such excellence, that Pharoah said in Gen 41:44 – “You shall be over my house, and all my people shall be ruled according to your word; only in regard to the throne will I be greater than you.” indeed wisdom is sublime!

Besides excellent management, an excellent school will necessarily have excellent teachers. Thus an excellent leader must seek out excellent advisers for his lieutenants.

Generally, should leaders approach matters as excellent schools do; we should experience progress.

Ande Elisha

The Amateur Philosopher