Transcending the Founder: A Necessary, If Fraught, Step for Schools

Every founder’s dream is to create a school that transcends them, that endures long after they are gone. My son attended The Wilson School in St. Louis for elementary school, and its creation story was as Miss Wilson’s School, begun in her house in 1913. Miss Wilson’s impact, by virtue of having started a school that endures to this day, has been multiplied many times over by succeeding classes of students.

At the same time, the actual moment when founders depart schools is one of the most fraught and problematic of times in school life. Few seem to go quietly and many end up doing damage to the school they ostensibly love in the process. Triangle has worked with several schools through such transitions.

Blue Avocado’s recent post addresses precisely the issue of founder transition. In a thoughtful, caring way, the author, Julie Stiles, raises points about how boards can navigate these treacherous waters while remaining true to their fiduciary duties. Useful reading for anyone facing (or expecting to soon face) this sort of leadership transition.

Business and leadership, Governance, Headship, Strategy  |  permalink

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