This article was contributed by Barb Gilman, teacher at St. Margaret Mary School in Omaha, NE.
In continuation to An Inspiring Keynote Address: Dr. Dale Hoyt – Part 1, are traits 5 through 8.
The 5th trait of a leader is looking to Jesus as a Servant Leader. This is our number one call which asks us not to follow our own agenda but God’s plan. Dr. Hoyt shared Matthew 20:25-28 and Luke 22:26 which shares this teaching of Jesus where He did not come to be served but to serve.
Dr. Hoyt shared the story of Cary Dupont, president of St. Paul High School in Bristol, CT. Mr. Dupont has built a community of family where attitudes are positive and students are empowered. They are transforming the lives of their students and believe success is important but being a person with values is more important. Mr. Dupont had a student with a transportation problem on the first day of school. This student woke up at 3am and walked 15 miles to make it in time for school! This student had a strong desire to be part of the family at St. Paul’s and the community figured out a way for him to come to school, each day, without having to walk the 15 miles.
The next leadership trait of Jesus for us to follow is to offer forgiveness. Jesus surrounded himself with sinners. He spoke with tax collectors, prostitutes, the woman at the well, Judas, and Peter after the Resurrection.
As leaders, Dr. Hoyt asks us if we take the time to know the whole story of our students and their family life? Do we look into the eyes of one another? He reminds us that we are human and we make mistakes, but to put aside the paperwork as we are called to know the people we serve. At this point he shared a video from the Cleveland Clinic. Not a dry eye was in this crowd as the video he used had an image of Jesus superimposed over the whole video.
The next leadership trait is having a sense of humor. When Jesus shared the story of the mustard seed maybe this story was used as a hyperbole to exaggerate his message. Perhaps the crowds of people laughed with Jesus talked about the lamp under a bushel basket.
Having a sense of humor is very important to those in a place of leadership. It energizes people and can even disarm an uncomfortable situation. The old joke about the student who was sent to a Catholic school because he was failing at Math brought belly laughs from the attendees.
Dr. Hoyt’s final leadership trait was having a balanced life. Jesus’ life contained elements of work, rest, taking time with his community and time in solitude. His example of living as a Servant Leader contains all the keys we need to live a balanced life.
Sr. Therese San Miguel, of San Antonio, TX, showed Dr. Hoyt the example of living a balanced life. She taught him to take time to play! He shared the memory of being picked up by Sr Therese and driven to a lake for a swim. She reminded him that we should have activities and interests outside our Catholic school and that we must not let the demands of being a Catholic school teacher cause family problems. We must remember that there is more to life than just being a Catholic School leader.
As I prepare for my new year with my students, I can’t help but think of the traits of Jesus as a leader and pray that I can truly lead as Jesus did.
You can find Part 1 here.