Passion or Experience?

I have recently pushed the little boat that is BK out into the stormy seas of recruiting for a new job, with the added turbulent winds of attempting to punch above my weight and move into a school administration position. Is it proving to be a very interesting process.

Navigating my little boat halfway around the globe to a Job Fair was a journey of significant expense and effort and as of this moment, has yielded very little. I sat with a dozen or so schools and spruiked the BK minnow as best I could in an effort to set up interviews, where I could learn more about their leadership positions, and they could learn more about my leadership capabilities.  Of the dozen or so, I successfully convinced two schools that I was worth 45 minutes of their valuable time and had the opportunity to sit with them and discuss their learning community, my capabilities as a leader and share my passion for learning

Both schools, in their emails that eventually thanked me for my time and saved me the inconvenience of having to speak with them again, commented on my “obvious passion” for learning. Both schools pointed to the fact that I did not have any experience as an Administrator as the key “crack in the hull” of the good ship BK. The schools that did not think I was worth 45 minutes of their valuable time were also wary of the no-experience-crack-in-the-hull problem. Which brings me to the question posed as the title of this post…

If you were the owner of a school, what would be the most important characteristic of someone leading your school? Passion or experience?

Maybe I am biased (because I know how well the little boat that is BK can sail in a strong breeze), but I’m going to choose passion every time!

Now admittedly, if you are going to employ someone to run your school, some experience of the nuts and bolts of organizational intricacies is important, nay, essential; but that as the highest and most important characteristic? I think not.

As an aspiring leader of a learning community, I would hope that a passion for learning would be seen as the most important element of a candidate’s bag of tricks.

You can learn how to run an organisation. You can’t learn passion!