web analytics
April 26, 2015 / 7 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


From Good to… Good Enough?

Front-Page-032114

A few months ago I wrote a front-page essay (“Leading to Greatness,” October 11, 2013) with the goal of bringing attention to what I perceive to be a serious issue within our community.

The concern relates to a high level of pressure, distress and turnover among senior executives in many of our communal organizations. I outlined how anxiety and transience are widespread issues at the foremost positions within our schools and institutions, and how such conditions fundamentally compromise growth and optimization. I went on to highlight two primary factors that contribute heavily to the problem: Experience and Expectations.

Experience reflects the pathway our leaders take to the top. Naturally, a substantial number of leaders ascend to their roles after serving in second-tier administrative capacities or in positions that can be viewed as legitimate stepping stones for more robust leadership opportunities. Many also pursue some form of advanced degree in organizational or school administration in preparation for their posts.

I can testify from experience, however, that despite such experience and/or training, top-tier leaders often begin their tasks unprepared for the rigors of their new position, particularly when the experience and training focused on instructional leadership (such as classroom observation and curriculum) rather than organizational stewardship and management.

Moreover, many leaders never had the benefit of one or both of the aforementioned. They rose quickly to the top after toiling successfully in classrooms, poring studiously over texts, or doing meaningful work “in the field,” but were never challenged in a manner similar to what they then experience as chief executives.

While common wisdom might suggest the exemplary competence they previously displayed in other capacities would hold them in good stead in their new positions, many such professionals soon find that not to be the case.

Of course, the shortage of meaningful, congruent training and experience is not limited to professional leaders. Lay leaders, despite successes in their personal careers, are often unprepared for their capacity as board members. They accept their duties as an opportunity to serve but lack clarity as to how they can be genuinely helpful in supporting professional staff.

I also wrote that unrealistic and/or unclear expectations were key contributors to leadership turnover. Our hopes when it comes to leaders and their organizations are greater and more varied than they’ve ever been. Not only do we ask more from our institutions – particularly of those in the educational realm – in terms of core production, standards and service, we also have higher expectations for them regarding professionalism, financial and fundraising skills, reporting, communication, and a host of other qualifications and competencies.

Even leaders with many years of administrative experience are bound to struggle with heightened levels of expectation, especially if they lack updated skill sets and experiences necessary to meet new demands.

Perhaps you are wondering why I continue to harp on leadership-related challenges. Maybe you think I am overstating the matter by labeling the aforementioned a deep and serious problem when it really isn’t. Granted, we do not look favorably on burnout, relatively high turnover, inadequate training and the like, but are they really such a big deal? After all, aren’t our schools, shuls, kiruv organizations, etc., functioning, growing and generally succeeding?

* * * * *

Before I respond to those questions let’s first take a look at what research has to say about leadership and its impact on organizational achievement. In Good to Great (HarperCollins, 2001), author Jim Collins highlights what he terms “Level 5” leaders. These are corporate executives who have dramatically transformed their companies’ productivity and fiscal well being over an extended period of time.

About the Author: Rabbi Naphtali Hoff is an executive coach and president of Impactful Coaching and Consulting (ImpactfulCoaching.com). He can be reached at 212-470-6139 or at president@impactfulcoaching.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “From Good to… Good Enough?”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Children are asleep at last as adults in the Chabad House continue to deal with the crisis in Nepal.
Chabad Co-Emissary in Nepal Hopes for ‘Only Good News’ in Video
Latest Indepth Stories
World Zionist Congress elections end April 30.

Groups promoting anti-Israel/anti-Jewish BDS right on their websites are running in the WZC election

Former New York Governor George Pataki

Pataki is the last Republican Governor to win a majority of Jewish votes.

President Obama

Obama’s desire to be “fair” enables Iran to get nuclear weapons which will threaten global security

israeli-american flags

All GOP candidates will continue seeking – and praying – for Jewish money with greater success.

The one reason to make Aliyah outweighs all the arguments not to move to Israel.

“We returned to this Land not in order to be murdered, or uprooted. We came here to be replanted!”

I don’t fear for the future of our people because I believe Yeshiva University has created an “Iron Dome” of Jewish leadership

Poland’s great Jewish cities where Jewish life had once flourished and thrived, were now desolate

Chief rabbi, Rav Dovid Lau, stated that the Torah community’s turnout in the WZO election is vital.

Iran has at its core the same ideology as that of ISIS but, inaccurately, is thought a lesser threat

An early Yom Ha’atzmaut gathering for Israel’s 67th birthday with Pres. Rivlin of Israel and guests

Israel’s Memorial Day shouldn’t be a day of mourning, it’s a day to honor, not another Holocaust Day

God’s 3 part promise for Israel: to the Avot; a plentiful land; the eventual return home by all Jews

A committed Religious Zionist, he was a sought-after adviser on Zionist affairs around the world.

More important, Mr. Obama is simply acceding to Iran’s position on the timing of the lifting of sanctions.

More Articles from Rabbi Naphtali Hoff
Rabbi Naphtali Hoff

We must create an atmosphere of complete intolerance for such conduct, while reminding our children that we can take pride in our unique and distinctive purpose without knocking others.

Hoff-040315

In which specific respects are we to attempt to “relive” yetzias Mitzrayim?

Until recent times, every powerful nation that has ever ruled the world has been fundamentally anti-Semitic.

The Holocaust was the latest attempt of Amalek to destroy the special bond that we enjoy with God.

A central concept in any discussion about happiness is achieving clarity. “Ain simcha ela k’hataras hasefeikos” – there is no joy as that experienced with the removal of doubt.

Great leaders like Miriam and like Sarah Schenirer possess the capacity to challenge the status quo that confronts them.

He ruthlessly crushed the revolt, and, despite lacking official Roman sanction, ordered the rebel leaders put to death without trial.

Where did this incredible strength come from? What drove these Jews, who had nearly lost all of their national identity and spiritual connectivity, to risk their lives by standing up against one of the strongest and most fearsome governments of its time?

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/front-page/from-good-to-good-enough/2014/03/19/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: