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The true mark of great leadership is what happens after the leader leaves the scene

African Sisters Education Collaborative (ASEC)

Sr. Yvette Sam (left) with a handful of Students of St. Marys’ Catholic Comprehensive College, Ndop.

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Sr. Yvette's SLDI training made her realize it was not too late to start raising the next generation of leaders.

Every country or part of the world has its own literature that studies the lives of the people of that area as lived or imagined; its culture; its people, their habits, dressing and feeding styles. Telling stories (oral literature), especially around the fireside, in forms of riddles, folktales, puzzles, myths, legends, and proverbs was a very important and educative experience I had when I grew up with my parents in Cameroon. I learned a lot from my parents, especially my mother. Through this I came to cultivate many good habits through storytelling.

I am called Sr. Yvette Sam (SUSC) and I did SLDI training for two years (2014-2015) in Leadership and Administration. This was a great supplement to my university studies which also focused on the importance of the concept of school organization in John Dewey’s Philosophy of Education.

ASEC has greatly enhanced my being as a person and an African religious, as well as my work as an administrator in a secondary boarding college. Just after my training, I came up with a personal statement.

The true mark of great leadership is what happens after the leader leaves the scene.

That is lasting legacy the person leaves where she worked. I was glad to realize that it was not too late to start raising the next generation of leaders.

Telling my story as an SLDI alumna is an important exercise. It refreshes my memory and brings back with nostalgia, the good times I had with the excellent team of trainers. What is very striking in this is that I would gladly read and learn from the experiences of others. But before then hear me.

Effective Management

Effective management is one of the topics among many we treated in our training. Summarily, it is the coordination of individual efforts for organizational success by being personally present. Now, it was obvious that for the management to be effective, I had to be present on site and be part of the team – effective presence. As a team leader (administrator), I took my role seriously and set the pace by working hard in the subject I teach.  I made attempts to spend more time with the students, the teachers and auxiliary staff. I developed a personal charisma that inspired loyalty and great results from my collaborators, especially as I was leading by setting an example. 

Results

It was a community of satisfied student, teaching and administrative body. As a consequence, it greatly improved the enrollment of our college from 350 students last academic year 2015/2016 to 420 this academic year 2016/2017. Visibly satisfied with the remarkable improvement of the institution, my congregation provided finances and I constructed a security wall for the school. The accounts for the project were in one word – superb. The sisters remain happy and grateful as I gave them every minute detail of the expenses. I also showed them pictures of what actually happened.

Difficulties encountered and attempted solutions

Unfortunately, with the socio-political crisis in our country, schools in our region were suspended. So, much of the implementation was not completed. As an administrator, I did my best to remain in close contact and collaboration with the students, parents and teachers.

Conclusion

We continue thanking ASEC for the initiative that has helped me in my ministry and for helping to appreciate and celebrate the gifts of others. Management and leadership never ends and since I have followers (as a leader) I keep on working. I continue update myself on daily basis either through reading books, seminars, online/offline coaching from friends, fellow colleagues and mentors.

 

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Communities across Africa are counting on Catholic Sisters, but 80% lack the education needed to carry out their important mission work. You can be a Ray of Hope for a Sister who needs you by donating to her education today.

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Sr. Yvette Sam, SUSC


Author
SLDI Administration Track Alumna (2015) - Cameroon  

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