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Thank you to the 1,400 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 questions!
I hope reading

7 Questions with LisaAnn Haynes

helps you in your leadership.



Jonno White

7 Questions with LisaAnn Haynes

Name: LisaAnn Haynes

Current title: Director

Current organisation: Calibre Education

Currently the Director of Calibre Education. Calibre provides an alternative route to educating children in their quest to obtain a Matric certificate using a range of unorthodox strategies. Prior to establishing Calibre Education, LisaAnn has been an educator at Florida Park High, founder member at St Peter's College Sunninghill and Deputy at Knight's Academy in Bryanston.

7 Questions with LisaAnn Haynes


1. What have you found most challenging as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise?

In the private school landscape, it was a challenge to gain credibility. Parents are stuck in a mold in education - they want the blazer, the name, the network and to be able to boast about the school their child attended. It is a challenge to help parents step outside of these norms.

2. How did you become a CEO or executive of a large enterprise? Can you please briefly tell the story?

As an educator, and a mother, of two children of diverse needs and talents, I realised that the mainstream offerings in private education did not provide what I wanted for my children. I wanted my children to be individuals and not to be lost in a big system. They needed to be unique and not be a number. There is no real niche for high-achieving children or very independent thinking children or children who have given up. So I created a place for them where there was hope.

3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?

In the morning I meet with the management and generate goals for the day. We strategize for individual children - a plan for each one. I keep my days fluid and flexible so I can adapt to changing circumstances and meet people's needs. I rarely sit down and work on a single project for any length of time. I need to be available for those I serve. At the end of the day, the tasks must be completed before I switch off.

4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?

Not to micromanage. The management structure I have spent over 10 years developing needs to be responsible for the young people in their care. I expect them to generate solutions and not be told what to do all the time. This allows for what Calibre has capacity for rather than what only I have capacity for.

5. What's one book 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?

"Finding Your Own North Star" by Martha Beck. "How to claim the life you were meant to live." I believe when you live with your gifting and your passion, then it is not a job any more. Living and working within your own values and strengths is important to me.

6. How do you build leadership capacity in a large enterprise?

First, selecting a team that has the same values as Calibre. All of our management team have done every job at Calibre and have ingested its ethos. They relate easier to their colleagues, to students and parents and are able to draw on the well of their experience for individual and bespoke solutions. It is also important that their personal and emotional needs are satisfied - managing their own families and lives - then they will be ready to give deeply to Calibre's students.

7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise so far?

This year, I have received more acknowledgement for Calibre's work from students who matriculated over the last 10 years. While lighting candles for these young people, they have in turn lit candles for others. These were young people who had almost given up - in some cases had given up - but who saw Matric through and have gone on to find their unique place in the world.

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