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Seeing the forest for the trees

An interview with Jeff Struecker, Lead Pastor, Calvary Baptist Church

The situation is a common one for many school leaders. A beloved administrator has been called to another position and you have the challenge of determining your next steps. Often, the tendency is to jump to a solution mindset and quickly fill the position. However, Jeff wanted to ensure that he had a clear picture of the "climate" of the school BEFORE he started trying to fill the position. The climate and/or culture can be particularly challenging in a church/school scenario. We posed several questions to Jeff to gain perspective on his thought process, action steps and outcomes:

What was the leadership issue or pressure point that you needed to address? We were looking for a new head of school and wanted to have an accurate assessment of our morale and leadership climate before offering the position. 

How did you decide the support that was required to address the need and who did you seek out for guidance? We knew the assessment would require an outside perspective.  We looked for a consulting firm that was familiar with Christian Education and had a reputation for honesty and accuracy. 

How did you get Bowdon Miller as a possible resource and what were you looking for from them?Through mutual relationship between our school and Bowdon Miller.  (Len MacWilliams)

How would you articulate your interactions with BowdonMiller from first contact to conclusion of their work? Bowdon Miller exceeded our expectations.  The took the time to understand the way that our school was structured.  From this information they developed a system to analyze our strengths and weaknesses.  They then made recommendations that greatly benefitted our school.

What one word or phrase would you use to describe the result from your engagement of Bowdon Miller to help you address your need? Insightful.  I don’t know of another firm that could provide the kind of feedback that Bowdon Miller provided to us.

You may find yourself in a similar scenario where you are faced with a significant leadership opening and desire to effectively distinguish the "forest from the trees." BMSG has found that the cultural analysis provides tremendous insights to leaders to help in their decision making process. Let us know if we can help you gain valuable insights into your school community through a cultural analysis.

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