The SCN Encourager – Thursday, December 13, 2012

Called to Serve vs. Serving when Called

An outsider’s perspective frequently provides a good mirror – if you’re not afraid to hold it up, look closely, and think about what you see reflected. (Usually I try to avoid this. Just let me use my safe rose-colored mirror, where all is well. No gray hairs, wrinkles, or spinach in my teeth.)

But Max DePree’s book provides us a supportive outsider’s mirror. When he penned “Called to Serve” it’s clear he was intent on offering ideas to people who care about the quality of their organizations. His book presents a critical eye without a critic’s agenda – and there is a difference.

His many years of business experience and organizational leadership (which also included thousands of hours devoted to serving on non-profit boards), have instilled in Max a unique kind of wisdom. Sometimes someone will use the word “unique” in describing me, but never has anyone included the word “wisdom.” Read his book and you’ll see why he’s legitimately earned both labels.

One of the principles Max states is this: “An effective board stays in touch with its world (whatever its world is).”  The parenthesis is his – and it’s important.

And what an opening for us as school communicators!  What is our organization’s “world?”  What are the relational person-to-person touch points that make up our organization’s world? What do we want our organization’s world to be, anyway? You and I can help our school leadership team ask and wrestle with these questions.

Tom Page, SCN managing editor
cartoon 12:13:12


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