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3 Powerful Lessons from Citizen Leader Lab’s Newly Launched School Management Team programme

In April, Citizen Leader Lab celebrated a tremendous milestone when it successfully launched its pilot Senior Manager Training programme in Tshwane

Generously funded by the Capitec Foundation, the programme’s goal is to equip school management teams with the leadership knowledge and skills they need to manage their schools’ day-to-day operations while strategising and implementing the activities necessary for educating learners. Over the 12 months of the programme, 18 school management team leaders from Mamelodi Secondary, Chipa Tabane Secondary, Zithobeni Secondary and Ramabele Secondary will participate in a unique leadership development journey – all with the expert facilitation of Citizen Leader Lab’s Learning Process Facilitator and experienced Executive Coach, Dr Mariette Myburgh and close support of her coach supervisor, Kay Moodley.

While the 18 school management team leaders are still new in their learning journey with Citizen Leader Lab, already the learning is significant. After the Time to Think workshop held at the Cullinan Diamond Lodge, Tshwane, the following learnings emerged strongly for the participants:

1.Creating an environment for independent thinking: One of the key lessons that has emerged was the importance of listening without interruption to facilitate independent thinking.

Lazzy Masunda from Mamelodi Secondary emphasised the value of uninterrupted listening, as it allows individuals to fully express their thoughts. By fostering an environment that encourages independent thinking, leaders enable others to contribute their unique perspectives and ideas, leading to richer and more diverse collaborations.

Kgomotso Komati from Ramabele Secondary, too, captured this sentiment by simply recognise that a leader must “give people time and space to think for themselves.”

2. The act of listening as an act of love: Confidence Mathabathe from Chipa Tabane Secondary shared a profound realisation: “Listening is an act of love.”

This simple yet powerful statement underscores the transformative nature of listening attentively to others. When leaders truly listen, they demonstrate care, respect and empathy and create deep connections and understanding. This approach creates environments where individuals feel valued and heard.

3. Balancing appreciation and criticism: The importance of maintaining a healthy balance between appreciation and criticism was another empowering realisation.

Masunda highlighted that the appreciation-to-criticism ratio should ideally be 5:1—appreciating much more often than criticising. Recognising and acknowledging the contributions of team members boosts morale and encourages further growth. Constructive criticism can be a strong catalyst for improvement. Striking this balance encourages a growth-oriented school environment.

By innovating new programmes that reach even more leaders, Citizen Leader Lab is helping to create #TheFutureWeWant. We cannot, however, do this without you. Email info@Citizenleaderlab.or  for options on how you can get involved.