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7 Questions on Leadership with Marc Popovici

Name: Marc Popovici

Title: Administrator (Head of School)

Organisation: Schaumburg Christian School

SCS Admin Meeting


The mission of Schaumburg Christian School is to prepare each student for a successful life through excellent academics, purpose-driven extracurriculars, and life-changing biblical instruction in a loving, Christian environment.

Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!

I hope Marc's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!


Jonno White

1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?

That's a tough question. There are so many aspects of being a leader that can be a challenge, but the most challenging aspect of being a leader is having patience and trust in God that your path is the right path. So many times when we have plans or visions, we want to run into the plan at full speed, but remain patient with a plan and trust that things will unfold the way they should take place. Good leaders often evaluate, come up with a process for progress, and then re-evaluate. It's hard to remain the course when outside noise gets in the way. But, remembering God has a plan is the foundation of any leader.

2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?

I'm not sure. My entire life, I was a servant. I was the one that was serving as the "worker bee." But, over time I worked hard enough, asked the right questions, developed a character that can lead, and made sure to surround myself with wise counsel (Proverbs 27:7).

My evolution from servant to leader really happened when I was coaching. I was always an assistant coach, I was always the one serving and doing things the head coaches didn't, but over time I noticed my voice grow on the team which grew my confidence. Soon, I was the head coach and after 5 years had a 69-44 record. Becoming a school administrator wasn't much different. I served in many roles in a school that gave me a rounded mentality of the school functions and systems, that when the opportunity came to be in charge of a school, I had a good idea of what it took to run a school and how to improve areas of the school.

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

The structure is very important, and it's very subjective to each person. I am the type of person who wakes up and has to get going on the day. The more I snooze in the morning, the harder it is for me to work. I always try to show up to work first in the morning - it gives me the time to get some work done to focus on my staff throughout the day. Lunch is crucial. A lot of leaders do working lunches. I leave. I get out and refocus myself so when I come back to work I have a fresh mindset, reset my thoughts/feelings, and am able to finish out the day. Mid-afternoon I make time to read the Scripture. I keep my Bible on my desk so when I turn around and look at something it's there to remind me and say "Rest in me." After school, I try not to focus too much on work but then focus on my relationship with my bride, my biggest supporter. To help me decompress for the day I often watch TV, cook, or go for a walk with her, and that helps me relax decompress, and focus on her.

4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?

The importance of patience and wise counsel while curating a decision. Someone told me this position is a lonely one. That's the complete opposite of how I feel. I speak with so many other leaders that I never feel alone - I have people that I surround myself with who guide me, pick me up, and support me while I do the same with them. It's so important to have a good network around you. (Proverbs 27:7)

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?

Simple. The Bible. Everyday when I dive into the Word of God I see how awesome our God is, how he's prepared people in our lives to make an impact on us, and seeing the Grace/Mercy He has shown us is always inspiring and revitalizing when it comes to my leadership. I usually look at Joseph and Moses when it comes to leaders. Joseph went through some hard times and every time he remained humble and served God, and was always lifted up to high positions. Moses, a man who was adopted by a foreign land, couldn't speak to the masses, and yet he had the confidence in God to make him a leader of thousands.

6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?

Stay consistent. Don't worry about what people want, how they want it, or when. Do what is best for the overall health of the organization and be consistent with it.

7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?

I had lunch with my dad once. I struggled through some things, and as a plant manager for over 40 years, my dad has much experience dealing with problems. My father gave me a note with Colossians 3:13-15 on it. We spoke about always forgiving people, loving them, and allowing God to work on the problems in our lives so that we can feel His peace.

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