Stalwarts 2022

Education Stalwarts 2022 | Dr Suresh Reddy, Founder Chairman of Candor International School, Bangalore | Leaders in Education

Of all the qualities that a leader must possess, I think the ability to motivate the entire team to work towards a vision is paramount. In that respect, a vision is achieved through the efforts of the entire team and it is the leader’s responsibility to ensure there is clarity and congruence in his/her thoughts, words and actions, so that every member of the team brings his/her own strengths that propel the team towards the goal.

A true leader never counts his achievements in the form of followers, the percentage of growth or the recognition received, but rather on the real impact achieved. The metrics for success as a leader varies from sector to sector, but there are a few common denominators for good leadership. The ability to spot an opportunity to make an impact, and translating that to action, is imperative. There is a definite need for reform in the educational sector. With globalization, it is no longer enough for students to “prepare” for board examinations or entrance to universities. The preparation needs to have a much broader perspective, a well-rounded learning that prepares them for life. That is the motto of our educational institution – “Preparing for Life.” We have followed this approach in Candor International, Bangalore campus for ten years, and successfully replicated this model in our second educational institution, Candor NPS at Tirupati as well.

If we can create a culture of transparency, mutual respect and admiration for one another’s contribution, a high performing, inspired team can be nurtured. This is true of any team, and more so in the context of an educational institution where the leadership team and the entire staff have an opportunity to influence generations of students who will go forth and become future leaders, innovators, and change agents.

The last couple of years have been very challenging for everyone. A lot of changes needed to be made across all industries to adapt to the constantly evolving situation and new norms. The pandemic tested the planning and implementation skills of every sector, more so in the case of educational institutions, where there are no options to pause or postpone learning. Our team underwent a massive exercise to leverage technology – smart boards, video calls for remote learning, applications for scheduling classes and submitting assignments, to name a few. In the face of the raging pandemic, our management team along with the teachers had multiple sessions strategizing how online learning could replace in-class learning without creating screen fatigue and loss of engagement among the students, all the while trying to include physical activity in the schedule.

 

We are glad to let you know that we have been widely appreciated by the student and parent community for expertly handling the whole situation and making this a seamless experience. That is a true testament of what we have been able to achieve as a team. A team is never about just the leader, and seldom about star performers. It is about the synergy that can be generated when complementary skills come together and goals are aligned – that is when the sum of parts is much greater than the whole. So, despite the fact that there is always a person who serves as the face of the team, it is the effort of the entire team that makes us stand out. In this case, I’m honored to be the face of this team – which performed so well in completely unchartered territories and made us all proud.

Teachers are the backbone of any institution. It is their diligence, genuine care and concern towards the development of children, and an unrelenting desire to motivate students that make a huge difference. By nature of their profession, teachers are self-motivated, and what we as the management can do is to offer support in terms of providing the right resources, promoting a stress-free work environment and giving them the autonomy to perform. This will bring out the best in them, and as a result, make students the beneficiaries of a wonderful learning ecosystem where the pure joy of learning can be experienced.

Needless to say, it is a huge responsibility to equip young minds with knowledge, skills, values, character and a global perspective to make a difference to the world. More than a responsibility, we at Candor International School believe it is our true calling – one that we have happily embraced as we set forth on this journey of taking our vision to the next level.

My message to the existing and aspiring professionals in the field of education is simple – focus on the fundamentals, have the courage of conviction to challenge the status quo, back up your belief with a lot of research and most importantly, be resolute – do not give up. It is not just about building a school campus, but about building an institution whose legacy will live on for a long time to come. By no means is it an easy task, but I must say it is a very fulfilling one.

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