7 Questions with Ken Faffler
Name: Ken Faffler
Current title: VPEM
Current organisation: Dallas Christian College
Having had enrollment success at every level and at three different institutions, I have been blessed to be part of teams that have increased enrollment and lowered tuition discount rates, while building strong, enthusiastic teams. I love the impact that faith-based education can have on a student's life. The impact over the next 75 years is incalculable.
1. What have you found most challenging as a Christian school leader?
Just as good is the enemy of great, so cheap is the enemy of excellent fiscal responsibility. That is to say, we cannot overlook legitimate financial investment for the sake of saving a few dollars in the budget. The tail is wagging the dog. We need to obtain the resources necessary to promote and protect the future of Christ-centered education.
2. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
Unfortunately, I am run by the tyranny of the urgent, as we all are. I have founded a consulting group, TeamWorks, in part to help new, up-coming enrollment leaders avoid the same futility. The way I try to structure my days is by posing the question daily, "What is MOST important right now?" It is a question that helps to organize and prioritize each day.
3. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
Humility, Hunger, and Wisdom with people are the most essential qualities that we, and our staff, can present. These are Godly qualities and therefore, timeless and absolute. I try to implement them every day and I attempt to make my staff aware of them and arouse a desire to seek after them.
4. What one book has had the most profound impact on your Christian school leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
I assume that the Bible is out of scope here, because it is the obvious answer. Aside from that, I have found Jim Collins' "Five Levels of Leadership" and just about anything written by Patrick Lencioni as great examples of how Christians need to lead.
5. How do you find and keep great Christian teachers?
This is not applicable to my role.
6. What's most important as a Christian school leader for developing a culture of wellbeing in your staff and students?
Every day, and I mean every day, a leader must be in touch with his/her staff and students. You do not need to ask about enrollment numbers or financial aid distributions. Rather, we need to ask about the person, their family, their job satisfaction, their obstacles in work, and what they envision to be the keys to the success of the institution. If we pay this kind of attention to our people, they will be greatly encouraged, and will do their best to ensure their job is done well and that the institution moves forward.
7. If you had to pick just one story, what would be the most meaningful story from your time as a Christian school leader so far?
Sorry, but that's impossible. There are so many stories in my mind over the years that are inspirational to me and to my staff, to whom I relay them. I thank God for the impact that the thousands of students I have had some contact with have had in their lives, and in the lives of others, for the sake of the Kingdom.