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Good leadership: What does it take?

From the January 2004 issue of The Christian Science Journal

Wanting to get more involved in my community, I accepted the job of vice-president of the PTA (Parent-Teacher Association) for my son's elementary school. It promised to be an exciting year, and an enriching one for the children. Because of budget cuts in the school district, we hoped to raise money for programs that had been lost. The PTA president was a fifth-grade teacher full of creative ideas. The school's principal who attended our board meetings tried to keep us realistic about the costs.

But right from the start, these two individuals butted heads. Our first few meetings were disasters of frustration and accusation. I found out later that the teacher had been agitating for the principal's resignation, and was on the brink of dismissal for insubordination.

Serving on this board didn't feel like community service. It felt like warfare. I wanted to resign. But before I did, I prayed. And this is what happened. Although I didn't know what was going on behind the scenes with these two individuals, I felt instinctively that we had the right to stand up to anything that would thwart the school's progress. Even though the teacher and principal seemed to have leadership styles that clashed, I knew that God had to be the source of their individual talents. And I recognized that His divine power, governing all of creation, was also holding everyone in right relationship to each other. I saw that anything trying to undermine constructive relationships had to be powerless in the face of God's control.

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