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Directors Have Two Jobs (at Least)
September 17, 2019
Just to be alive is a grand thing.
-Agatha Christie

Roger Neugebauer, writing in the book, Art of Leadership: Promoting Early Childhood Services, quotes Wess Stafford as saying: “I spend half my time comforting the afflicted, and the other half afflicting the comfortable.”  He goes on to explain: “As President Emeritus of Compassion International, Wess Stafford has been a high-profile advocate for children in poverty worldwide. His work on a global scale mimics your work in leading an early childhood program on a local stage. You employ and motivate great teachers, you craft and maintain an engaging curriculum, and you support the parents in your program to be the best parents possible. But to really make a difference, your work must also be outwardly directed – seeking support needed to sustain your program as well as advocating for public policies that promote the well-being of all families.”

One job many directors have that is both inwardly and outwardly directed at the same time is working with a board of directors. In their book, Staying on Course: The Early Childhood Board’s Guide to Success, Syretha Storey, Barbara McCreedy, Helen Stine write this about the need for mutual understanding:

“Program Directors often express great concern about the lack of clarity between their roles and those of Boards. We have also found that Board members often share the same frustration. This ambiguity often results in unclear direction, unproductive meetings, and limited forward progress. Simply put, a Board has the legal responsibility to govern an ECE program. A Program Director and staff are responsible for carrying out recommended policies, as well as plans and decisions approved by the Board.”

The Art of Leadership
Early Childhood Organizations

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