Leadership in the charism is crucial to the future of our schools. This special form of leadership needs to be cultivated not only in the school’s administration but also among other staff members who have the initiative and the ability to exert a positive influence among their peers.
Father André Coindre identified and encouraged the development of leaders in his nascent community. Even when exercised from afar through correspondence, his leadership was effective. Father Coindre identified needs and responded decisively. He appointed and mentored directors and formators and cultivated “pledge-holders” who were a network of financial support.
Two other effective leaders in the early Institute were Brothers Xavier and Polycarp. Brother Xavier’s leadership style was rough and ready. Its weakness was found in his solitary approach. Nevertheless, he successfully restored the financial health of the Institute at a crucial juncture in its history. Brother Polycarp’s style was more refined and pastoral but just as bold. He saw the need to move the Institute beyond the boundaries of France and identified leaders to carry the mission to America.
As the current stewards of the educational charism in our schools, we look to models in our history and also to contemporary expertise. This directed reading challenges the participant to explore the cultivation of leadership in the local setting and to correlate the selection with the essential elements of the educational charism.
Through this experience, the participant will:
- understand the need to develop potential leaders;
- understand the need to mentor future mentors;
- understand the need to differentiate between good organization and good leadership.