Leadership and the Winds of Change



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Leadership and the Winds of Change

John Maxwell is a well-known leadership expert and New York Times best-selling author. A lesser-known fact about Maxwell is that he was also a pastor for more than 30 years. The link between leadership and ministry is certainly evident in Duplin County Schools. As October is National Principals Month as well as Faith-Based Community Appreciation Month, this seems like a perfect time to honor both of these groups and the value they add to our school system.

John Maxwell writes, “The pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The leader adjusts the sails.”

Mark 4:35-41 tells the story of Jesus calming a storm. While on a boat with His disciples, Jesus fell asleep and a storm arose. The disciples woke Him in a panic. He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.

The leaders adjusting the sails for our schools during the constant winds of change over the last 18 months of the pandemic are our dynamic school principals. School leadership is a massive task in the best of times. Principals steer, inspire, advocate, coach and empower staff and students to continuous career and academic improvement each and every year. They create systems and processes to achieve goals. They set benchmarks and collect data along the way to gauge progress. They make hundreds of decisions. They discipline and celebrate. They do all extra-curricular activities and after-hours events. Now, multiply all of these normal duties by the uncertainties, challenges, and changes presented by Covid. Yet our principals just kept adjusting the sails, kept steering the boat and kept the course. They remained strong, and still remain so, for those whom they lead. They are instructional leaders, social/emotional leaders and spiritual leaders who are dedicated and determined to heal and recover all that the pandemic has tried to take from their stead. For this we are thankful and appreciative during National Principals Month and always.

We also take this time during Faith-Based Community Appreciation Month to thank all of our partners in this arena who pray, serve and support our schools in the name of the same Jesus that calmed the storm. Thank you all for this powerful partnership in the ministry that is education. We are truly blessed even in the midst of strong winds and storms because we know we are stronger together.