Saturday, June 15, 2013

Reviewing Kenneth S. Coley's The Helmsman: Leading with Courage and Wisdom

I was fortunate to be able to purchase The Helmsman at an ACSI conference in Thailand this past fall. It was required reading for one of my last M.Ed. classes at Columbia International University. The Helmsman is a 250-page book with five sections consisting of 12 chapters, and it is a book for Christian principals or those who will become principals one day. The titles of the sections and chapters are:

I. Perspectives and Personas
    1. Biblical Perspective - What are specific ways administrative tasks are performed differently in Christian schools as opposed to non-Christian schools?
    2. Historical Perspective - Is our school effective? Am I an effective principal?
II. The Helmsman as Administrator: 1 Corinthians 12:28
    3. Designing Your School's Philosophy - Is Christ the foundation of every aspect of our school programs?
    4. Establishing Your School's Governance - Is Scripture being used to develop and maintain the governance of our school?
    5. Curriculum Leadership - What do our units teach us about God, humankind, creation, moral order, or purpose?
III. The Helmsman as Builder: Nehemiah 1-13
    6. Community Builder and Transformational Leader - What weaknesses do we need to improve upon in our school?
    7. Six Forces of Leadership and Leadership by Outrage - What are my strengths and weaknesses as a leader, and what needs to change?
IV. The Helmsman as Builder of the Body: Ephesians 4:11-16
    8. Supervision of Instruction - Is the supervision of teachers being differentiated?
    9. Leadership Development - Is Jesus the supreme example of leadership development in our school?
V. The Helmsman as Steward: 1 Corinthians 4:1-2
  10. Finance and Facilities - Are biblical practices being conducted to generate funds?
  11. Legal Issues - Are we doing anything that would defame the name of Christ?
  12. Shore Leave - Is now a time when you need to consider stepping away from the demands of your position?

Although I have served as a middle school principal for three years, Dr. Coley taught me new information and gave me ideas that I will further reflect on. I clearly see why this book was a part of my educational administration course. It is a solid book that has blessed me, and I am sure will bless many others.