November 4, 2016
Recently at the Archdiocesan Administrators’ Conference, keynote speaker James Kane gave a series of talks on loyalty. He outlined three overarching components that are required in order for true, authentic loyalty to be present in a community. The three components are trust, belonging, and purpose. I’d like to take each one of these over the next few weeks and reflect on how they impact our Christian Brothers School community.
Certainly authentic loyalty cannot exist without trust. In order for members of a community to trust one another, according to Mr. Kane, they must perceive the community to have four qualities: 1.) competency, 2.) character, 3.) capacity, and 4.) consistency.
Competency—the ability or skill to accomplish the task—in this case, a quality education, is what you expect and deserve from us. We should be displaying on a daily basis, markers that indicate our competency—knowledge of material, the ability to instruct creatively, healthy communication with parents and students, sound pedagogical practices, compassion and understanding for human needs, and the ability to adapt as a situation changes.
Character, or integrity, is the shared values of all members of an organization, such as our Lasallian and Dominican Catholic identity. We could also consider the five core principles of a Lasallian school as indicators of our character: faith in the presence of God, respect for all persons, inclusive community, quality education, and concern for the poor and social justice. More than simply what we say we believe in is the necessity to manifest those beliefs in our words and actions. Because trust must be mutual, it is as much about parents and students trusting one another as it is about parents and students trusting the school and all of us together being witnesses to the character and the values it promotes.
Capacity is the resources needed to live out the school’s mission. We work creatively and diligently to ensure that every resource available to us is utilized in a manner that supports those values that we hold dear. Likewise, we recognize parents as a vital resource and critical to our capacity to live out our mission. Of course, there is no more precious resource to a school than its students. At CBS we are blessed to have young men committed to their spiritual and academic education.
Consistency is the need for all of us to exhibit the other three characteristics across the many situations we are faced with each day, whether in the classroom, on the blacktop, or on the field, in English, at lunch, or at a game. The school is called to live its mission in all facets of its life. We, in turn, invite you, as members, to do the same so that you may fully participate in the vitality of the experience and so that together we may build the trust necessary to live out the mission of Jesus Christ as a Christian Brothers School community.
What I appreciated about Mr. Kane’s remarks was their applicability to the many dynamics of our human and spiritual beings. While I outlined some ways in which they apply to us as a CBS community, I invite you also to reflect on the application of his four qualities of trust and how they relate to other relationships in your lives in which loyalty is an important component.
Thank you for your continued commitment to CBS and for working with us to create an environment of trust which ultimately leads to the loyalty we know to be so critical to the education of your sons and our students.
Have a great weekend!