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7 Questions with Brendan Wood
helps you in your leadership.
7 Questions with Brendan Wood
Name: Brendan Wood
Current title: Marketing & Community Relations Manager
Current organisation: Green Point Christian College
Initially training and working in Fisheries Research Brendan retrained as a Baptist Minister and has served for over a decade in two Churches. In between this parish ministry Brendan moved into marketing and business development roles at both a state and national level. The most challenging of these was heading up the Marketing Department for BaptistCare NSW & ACT in which time he led the rebrand for the organisation. Brendan's latest role with Green Point Christian College sees him leading a small team focused on Enrolments and Communications, in particular social media.
1. What have you found most challenging as a Christian school leader?
I have only been serving in a school role for a year and a half, which included 2020 and everything Covid-19. I have learnt that in a school community there are many things you can be involved in, but the biggest challenge is continually stepping back and re-prioritising what focus is going to provide the greatest impact for the school.
2. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I have done a lot of work personally and with my mentor to identify the periods in the day when I'm most creative and experience my best energy. These times are early morning, mid to late morning, and late in the afternoon just before dinner. I try to protect these times so I can harness them as effectively as possible. I keep general admin, meetings or answering emails for other parts of the day when I'm not as sharp.
3. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
It isn't a new lesson, but certainly reminded again of the value that neuro-science brings to leadership in how I respond to people who are communicating or behaving in a way that has the potential to trigger a negative response in me. Just learning to not react and to come back to the issue or person with calmness and composure is a real gift to me and others.
4. What's one book apart from the Bible that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
How To Lead When You're Not In Charge by Clay Scroggins really impacted my leadership a few years back. Clay talks about leveraging influence when you lack authority. I suspect every leader at every level feels like they lack authority as we all report or are accountable to someone (hopefully). This book really helped me to focus on those things I can influence and change, knowing that as we do that we actually develop trust and the opportunity to speak into and develop other areas of our organisation. Basically, get on with what I am responsible for, and do it really well!
5. How do you find and keep great Christian teachers?
I don't recruit teachers directly, but I do help our College develop and communicate our reputation in a way that attracts and keeps quality teaching staff. Having excellent leadership helps as word does seem to get around regarding the positive culture and great teacher development on offer.
6. What's most important as a Christian school leader for developing a culture of wellbeing in your staff and students?
Here I refer to a few of the points that McCrindle have identified in their research. In particular, accessibility of leadership, flexibility in work/life integration (when needed), and a workplace or school that encourages genuine community. Do the staff and students like coming to school each day? If not, what can we do to make this an environment that they enjoy being part of? Being willing to ask and address this core question is paramount.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a Christian school leader so far?
One real highlight since joining Green Point Christian College has been reconnecting with some of the young people my wife and I pastored and helped disciple over two decades ago. It makes me sound really old, but some of these young people are now teachers who are now leaders in the education sector. Witnessing how they have gone on in faith, and in life and ministry, has been a real joy of this season we're in.
What's one question you'd love to ask other leaders in our audience to generate discussion about leadership? Eg. 'How do you do difficult conversations well?', or 'What's one tip for leading a remote online team?'
Do your team and your staff articulate the organization's mission in a way that does it justice? If not, how would you help them become positive brand ambassadors?