In May, 1996, “Jesus, CEO: Using Ancient Wisdom for Visionary Leadership” by Laurie Beth Jones was published by Hyperion.  The synopsis of the book is as follows:

Following the example of Jesus, a “CEO” who built a disorganized “staff” of twelve into a thriving enterprise, a handbook for corporate success details a fresh, profound approach to motivating and managing others that translates to any business.

For a more modern example of a small group of people who changed the world, there’s this company:

microsoftWould you have invested in the company these folks had in 1978?  The gentleman in the lower left corner was a college dropout, and founded the company.  That’s Bill Gates, and the company is Microsoft.

Much of the difficulties schools are experiencing is from a failure to think systemically.  Everyone has their own tasks to complete, but what happens (or doesn’t happen) in one office can have a dramatic effect on another.  What happens at the front desk of the school can make or break the admission interview for a family with 5 children that just moved to the neighborhood.

As for finances, if you just focus on the bottom line, at some point you’re going to run into a wall.

Schools need visionary leadership, but also need to think systemically, aware that Asset Management, Retention, Marketing, Enrollment and Development work BOTH as a process AND as a system, and provide balance and completeness to the systems of what makes their school a school (Faith Identity or Founder’s Heritage, Activities, Curriculum, Technology, and Surroundings) to serve parents so their children can become SIGNS (Serve, Inspire, Grow, Nurture and Succeed) to the world.  There are also two other systems at work, one that describes the “who” regarding your school (with five elements, represented by the acronym TEACH) and another that speaks to “where” your school is headed in accordance with the vision that’s been set for it (also with five elements, represented by the acronym FAITH).  Notice that all five acronyms create a systemic acronym – STAFF (SIGNS, TEACH, ARMED, FACTS, FAITH).

It’s not all about the money, it’s not all about enrollment, and it’s not all about activities, curriculum and technology.  It’s about ALL of it, and how all those elements interact with one another to create the experience of your school, and who creates, and is responsible for creating, that experience.  Indeed, it’s all about “The Experience.”