At Leaps & Bounds, we strongly feel that principle-centered leadership has the most merit of any leadership philosophy yet forwarded. Principle centered leadership basically says we identify the truly important things and dogmatically live by them. Principles are core, fundamental, non-negotiable concepts. Thomas Jefferson said, “In matters of style swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.” This means treating breaches of principle differently than other breaches (matters of style). A common phrase that parents often hear is, “pick your battles wisely”. This phrase is a way of reminding us to separate the “big things” (matters of principle) from the “little things” (matters of style). A good principle vs. style analogy is the difference between character and personality.
HERE THEY ARE:
- 1. Unconditional respect: We offer and insist upon unconditional respect between teacher and student. Humiliating, embarrassing, demeaning or hurtful behavior is not acceptable and will not be tolerated.
- 2. Keep the kids safe: This is done through vigilance, awareness and safe training methods.
The next three principles we call the “Leadership Triad”.
- 3. Clearly communicate expectations: Tell the kids what you expect of them.
- 4. Catch the kids doing things right: Focus on things gone right rather than things gone wrong.
- 5. Discipline with natural consequences: The natural (and unpleasant) consequences of a poor decision should form the basis of our discipline, not “punishment.”
- 6. Be enthusiastic : It shows you care and inspires others to care.
The next two principles we call the Teacher’s Paradox.
- 7. Offer daily challenges: Going past perceived limitations is the only way to stretch and grow.
- 8. Offer daily successes: “Sense of accomplishment” is one of the most powerful motivators to “try again when the going gets tough.”
- 9. Perpetual motion: Kids learn by doing, not by sitting or standing in line.
- 10. Creativity, variety, fun: Kids (and adults too, for that matter) learn best when there is an element of fun built into the training environment.
- 11. Love empathy, compassion: Paraphrased, Dr. M. Scott Peck, in The Road Less Traveled, defined love as “effort dedicated toward helping oneself or another person change and grow.” What is teaching and coaching if not that?
We deeply hope that each and every Leaps & Bounds family experiences a great season filled with joy and harmony. Life is too precious to live any other way. Please enjoy and may God Bless you.
Founder and President