The Prudent Leader

About the cohort

In most classical Christian schools, wisdom and virtue are the stated goals in our mission statements. However, when it comes to leadership, it is not clear how our classical aspirations translate to the practices of administrators. Classical Christian leaders, to fulfill our calling, need the virtue of prudence. We need the ability to aim at the right end, make the right decisions, and do it in the proper manner. The Prudent Leader cohort is for both current and emerging leaders in any position within a classical Christian school. The sessions will span a wide range of topics with a focus on being faithful and effective leaders amidst the complexities of running a school.

Meeting Dates and Time: Last Monday of every month, starting on Jan. 30 (Skipping June); 5:00-6:30 pm EST

Meet Your Cohort Leader​

Eric Cook is the President of the Society for Classical Learning (SCL). Eric has been formally associated with SCL for over a decade serving in multiple roles, including Executive Director and Board Chair. He was the Head of School at Covenant Classical in Fort Worth, TX for 13 years before joining SCL full time. Prior to Covenant, Eric was the Head of Upper School at Faith Christian School in Roanoke, VA. Eric also taught and served in leadership at several public schools. Eric earned a bachelor’s degree from Transylvania University, and a master’s degree in Instructional Leadership from Northern Kentucky University. He is currently working on an EdS in Classical School Leadership from Gordon College. Eric has taught a myriad of subjects from philosophy to thesis. He consults with schools and coaches leaders in a variety of contexts. He speaks and presents at conferences around the country. Eric and his wife, Liz, have six children. They live in Richmond, Virginia, home of the SCL headquarters.
Eric Cook
President, Society for Classical Learning

Cohort Syllabus

The first two cohort sessions will explore the principles and foundations of prudent leadership. We will consider the inherent challenges of making good, sound decisions as well as the underlying philosophical assumptions that leaders make when exercising discretion. We will also look at a few key texts, including Aristotle’s Ethics and Josef Pieper’s The Four Cardinal Virtues

The first two cohort sessions will explore the principles and foundations of prudent leadership. We will consider the inherent challenges of making good, sound decisions as well as the underlying philosophical assumptions that leaders make when exercising discretion. We will also look at a few key texts, including Aristotle’s Ethics and Josef Pieper’s The Four Cardinal Virtues

The liberal arts tradition illustrates Prudence as a woman holding a mirror. To be prudent leaders, we must know ourselves and be humble enough to come to terms with our own limitations. We are often our most substantial obstacle to prudence. Our ability to make sound, prudent decisions is fraught with sin, pride, and a myriad of other influences, many of which we are not aware. Without falling into the traps of self authentication, self justification, or unabashed self interest, we must know that who we are is how we lead.

In this session, we will focus on how leaders must exercise relational wisdom to lead well. Ken Sande defines relational wisdom as one’s ability to “discern emotions, interests and abilities in yourself and others, to interpret this information in the light of God’s Word, and to use these insights to manage your responses and relationships constructively.” We will unpack what this looks like in the daily responsibilities of a classical Christian school leader.

Every leader needs to be proficient at giving and receiving feedback. However, very few leaders are equipped to provide thoughtful, honest, accurate evaluations of their employees. They also struggle with knowing how to receive feedback from others without being defensive or dismissive. In this session, we will learn the process, skill, and relational wisdom necessary to help you and those you lead get better.

The most important decisions that leaders make are fraught with complexity and ambiguity. They cannot be reduced to policies, analysis, and formulas. How do we sort through all the variables to ensure the very best outcomes? This session will focus on the need to include a thoughtful, comprehensive hermeneutic in order arrive at the most prudent decisions.

Prudence is often hardest to exercise when we are in high stress, high stakes situations. Our emotions can sometimes cloud our judgment, and we can lose sight of what is most important. Learning how to assess what is relevant and critical as well as manage the people, processes, and communication in stressful situations is a necessary skill for every leader. This session will focus on leading well, prudently, in the most difficult scenarios we face.

Aristotle wrote: “Virtue makes us aim at the right mark, and practical wisdom makes us take the right means.” Prudent leaders not only get things done, they get the right things done. They know how to delegate, organize, and mobilize people to accomplish the mission. In this session, we will focus on how to use the best available tools, systems, and resources to be effective leaders.

Every leader is an interim leader. The best leaders understand that they need to build capacity for the school to thrive beyond their leadership. Learning to develop prudent leaders who can continue the work of your school is necessary for long-term sustainability. Growing prudent leaders means casting vision, knowing the people you are developing, modeling, coaching, and getting beyond skills and knowledge. It also means creating systems that allow for ongoing 

TOTAL COST

The Prudent Leader Cohort

$ 1,999
  • Regular Pricing will Begin January 1: $2,499
  • SCL Member Schools receive 10% discount
  • Monthly Payment Options Available
Early Bird

Joining a cohort

Cohort registration is offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Participants are asked to commit to the work and engagement involved. Due to the limited size, some individuals may be waitlisted until there are enough applicants to form a new group. Also, a minimum number of participants (the number varies) are needed for each group to make.

Questions?

Please reach out to Sarah Spencer at sarah@societyforclassicallearning.org