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7 Questions with Kristin Garner
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7 Questions with Kristin Garner
Name: Kristin Garner
Current title: Program Coordinator - Internships
Current organisation: Columbus State Community College
Currently I am the Program Coordinator assisting with Internships focused in Business, Engineering, and Technology majors at Columbus State Community College. I have been working with the College for 3 years, prior to my work with the College, I was a Career Transition Specialist with JobCorps for 2 years and I was a Youth Service Coordinator for 7 years prior to Job Corps.
I have a deep passion to work with youth and young adults to help them become self-sufficient while achieving their personal goals.
1. What have you found most challenging as a Christian school leader?
One of the most challenging things that I have encountered as a school leader is that you cannot want success for the students than they want for themselves, too many times I have found myself disappointed and upset with students because they have not shown the urgency and/or passion to find or obtain success that you have envisioned for them.
2. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
My daily structure, usually is me beginning work around 8 - 8:30 am. Usually the first thing I do is check my calendar for any appointments or meetings, then I will check through my email to make sure that there are not any major pressing issues that have occurred. Then I being to prioritize my work for the day starting with what is the highest priority that needs to be taken care of.
One of the tools that use that has been proven to be majorly beneficial is called a Priority Matrix. A priority matrix is a 4 quadrant matrix that is determined by effort and impact of your actions, it helps you determine what are major projects (high in impact and effort), quick wins (high in impact and low in effort), fill ins (low in impact and effort), and thankless tasks (low in impact and high in effort).
Through the priority matrix is how I structure my tasks. Once I have wrapped up my day of work. I usually take a couple minutes to unwind and reset myself to go into dad and coach mode, taking the time to spend with family and getting prepared for football practice.
After all that is said and done, I am usually in bed by 9:30 - 10.
3. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
Communication has been a great lesson to learn in a leadership role. Without communication there will be major breakdowns in flow of information, understanding, empathy, and workflow.
With communication you have to talk less and listen more. People will pay attention to what you say, just because of your position. The leader’s job is to pay attention to what other people say, especially those who think their views don’t count. Show you’re listening by acting on what people tell you, and gain their trust by giving them the credit.
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?
Leadership Coaching: The Disciplines, Skills, and Heart of a Christian Coach by Tony Stoltzfus.
In part I looks in-depth at how coaching fits with the purposes of God. Starting with key biblical concepts about how God builds leaders, this book goes beyond proof-texting to present an integrated, values-based paradigm for leadership coaching. Part II uses a hands-on, interactive approach to show you how to coach. Utilizing the seven key elements of effective coaching as a framework, each facet of the coaching relationship is explained in detail.
Through this book it has helped me become a better listener and communicator when working not only with students but also working with my co-workers, without jumping to conclusions about what I perceive the problem or situation may be.
5. How do you find and keep great Christian teachers?
I believe that creating the culture of what you want to attract and what the vision of your organization is will be the driving force in how you can find and keep people. Along with demonstrating a sense of belong and belief in the work that being done.
6. What's most important as a Christian school leader for developing a culture of wellbeing in your staff and students?
Leading by example would be the most important key to developing a culture of wellbeing.
One of the major things that we are doing at Columbus State are that we have set created a culture of wellbeing through the approach of 3 C's : Care, Compassion and Communication.
Expressing care and compassion for the students and employees through uncertain circumstances and troubling times, while keep a clear and open line of communication and updates on what things are happening and providing platforms for questions to be asked and answered by the governing leadership team.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a Christian school leader so far?
Honestly, I have too many stories that come to mind, but I really enjoyed watching the students that I work with grow and become successful through their own hard work, lessons learned through the various programs offered to them and just their perseverance.
If I was to think about one story, I would think about a student that I worked with while I was working at JobCorps. This student came from not the greatest family life and home situation. The student came to JobCorps looking for a way to pursue their dream and as a safe haven. The student completed the program in plumbing, the student was also afforded the opportunity to go on for advanced training in the plumbing discipline with JobCorps, but the end of the students advanced training, they started their own business as a plumbing.