Re-energize Your School for 2014

As we begin 2014, we know it will be a year of change.  Five years ago, in 2009, a new President of our nation took the oath of office, inherited a difficult economy, and, all politics aside, things are still changing, not only when it comes to issues surrounding the Affordable Healthcare Act, but new IRS rules kicked in on January 1st.  As we start the second half of the school year, more learning will take place in our schools, and, when learning takes place, change happens.  So, it might make sense to this year to make a resolution to embrace change rather than fear it.

Speaking of our President, let’s take a quick look back before taking a look forward.  In 2009, there was some analysis done as to why the Democratic Party gained so much ground in the national election in 2008, as well as the elections that occurred in 2006.  These were the things that were highlighted as reasons for success:

– Charismatic leadership
– Use of the Internet
– Successful Fundraising
– Grassroots Campaigning
– Consistent Messaging
– Calling for Accountability

Note that five of these six items deal directly with the five aspects of advancement:

– Development (Successful Fundraising)
– Retention (Use of the Internet) to solidify relationships
– Enrollment (Grassroots Campaigning to register voters)
– Asset Management (Calling for Accountability)
– Marketing (Consistent Messaging)

Also note that all these aspects have an effect on one another, and without each other, there would be a breakdown in the process.  When all five of those elements operate as a system, there is an emergent property that results, which could be considered to be Charismatic Leadership.  Is the leadership of your school “charismatic?”

If not, may I be so bold as to say your school may lose…enrollment, that is.  Today’s parents are seeking an excellent “experience” in all things they pay for, and their children’s education is no exception.  As we’ve seen, charismatic leadership provides a compelling vision which can engage individuals, and change even ingrained mindsets.  A compelling vision is step one – not one that’s built on expectations, but one that’s built on excellent experiences.   That’s step one for 2014.

© Michael V. Ziemski, SchoolAdvancement, 2009-2014 (Original Publication Date: 20090105)