web analytics
March 31, 2015 / 11 Nisan, 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
Photo from President Barack Obama's past visit to Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
Netanyahu’s View of Obama: Trust and Consequences
Latest Indepth Stories
Photo from President Barack Obama's past visit to Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

{Originally posted to author’s website, FirstOne Through} TRUST Trust is the bedrock of a functional relationship. It enables one party to rely on the other. A trust that includes both intention and capability permits a sharing of responsibility and workload. The relationship between US President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu started off badly and further […]

jabotinsky with sword

Jabotinsky said “Go To Hell” was a good retort to opponents of the Jewish people; fitting for Obama.

Obama Racine

Obama pulled off one of US history’s greatest cons,twice fooling a gullible electorate and most Jews

Auschwitz Entrance

While in Auschwitz I felt a tangible intensity. I could sense that I was in a place of sheer evil.

Obama needs to wake up. The real enemy is not Netanyahu but Iran, Hizbullah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad,IS

My beliefs & actions have led to numerous death threats against me; my excommunication by my church

In November 2014, Islamic Relief Worldwide was classified as a terrorist organization by the United Arab Emirates.

Too rarely appreciated for its symbolic weight; it can represent freedom and independence.

Erica Pelman is a spiritually-driven woman. She is founder and director of “In Shifra’s Arms” (ISA), an organization that offers aid to pregnant Jewish women of all religious backgrounds practically, financially and emotionally. Its arms are open to any pregnant woman in need whether single, divorced, separated, or from a financially-strapped family. “Presently, we are […]

Many so-called “humanitarian NGOs” frequently abuse Israel by applying false moral equivalencies

Israeli history now has its version of “Dewey Defeats Truman” with headlines from 2 anti-Bibi papers

In God’s plan why was it necessary that Moses be raised by Pharaoh, away from his own family&people?

In their zechus may we all come to appreciate that life is a fleeting gift and resolve to spend every precious moment of it as if it were the last.

In any event, Mr. Netanyahu after the election sought to soften his statement on Palestinian statehood and apologized for what he conceded were remarks that “offended some Israeli citizens and offended members of the Israeli Arab community.”

More Articles from Rabbi Naphtali Hoff
BibiatAIPAC15.jpg

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

An anti-Semitic poster seen in Europe.

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?

Of all the Jewish holidays, I would say Sukkos is far and away the least appreciated.

While there is no formula that will work for everyone, there are some strategies that if followed carefully and consistently can help our children – and us – gain the most from the upcoming school year.

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: