Lutheran Schools and the Rule of 51/49

Posted on Oct 01, 2018 by Mark Muehl - Best Practices - Lutheran Spirit

Gary Vaynerchuk (Biography) is a 42 year old entrepreneur who took his family’s wine business from a company of $3 million to $60 million. Some of his success is based on a rule of 51/49. For him, 51/49 means that in every relationship (business or personal) he wants to give at least 51% of the value within that relationship. His philosophy is driven by a desire to have an impact and leave a legacy.
At this year’s Global Leadership Summit, restaurateur Danny Meyer (author of Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business) referenced this rule of 51/49 as a key element to his restaurants’ successes. He claims that 49% of an employee is technical (skills, things that are learned) and 51% is Emotional Intelligence (see Tim Elmore's blog posts here) and attitude. Meyer declares there is no good reason to get the technical things wrong. Meyer says, “There’s no excuse to not get the knowledge stuff right. It’s there for everyone to have. The awesome part about this whole that we have to be right in respect to things that people expect us to do well.”What is Meyer talking about for a restaurant? His 49% is about food, hospitality, precision, and cleanliness. The 51% is a staff person's optimism, intelligence, work ethic, empathy (other-awareness), self-awareness and integrity (do the right thing when no one is looking).Is there an application of 51/49 for Lutheran schools? What is the 49% that are “have-to’s” with Lutheran schools and what is the 51% that sets Lutheran schools apart? The people who are part of our schools are the 51% that differentiates us from the other options. It’s why admission counselors and principals know that if a family visits our schools, they will fall in love with us. There’s an atmosphere that is Spirit-driven.But the all of us involved in Lutheran schools know and understand that the 49% are have-to’s, essential, no excuses? And what are the 49%? It might be wise to start with the standards and indicators of National Lutheran School Accreditation (NLSA). NLSA outlines a process for self-assessment that includes an examination of purpose, relationships, leadership, professional staff, teaching and learning, student services and facilities. As one drills down into the indicators of each standard, it isn’t a difficult conclusion that Lutheran schools’ 49% are laid out in this effort of ongoing improvement. If one accepts this as true, then each of us will admit that there is much work to do to get the have-to’s done. This includes a list from the NLSA “Facilities” section of “buildings and grounds reflect the institution’s commitment to maintaining a safe and productive learning environment for students.” That statement alone should give plenty of opportunity for the owners of our schools to define and implement.As a sales pitch for TLSP, our schools would benefit from an “all in” commitment to TLSP academic services. Curriculum mapping, critical friends visits, and the tech council provide meaningful, tangible ways of addressing the “have-to’s” of the NLSA “Teaching and Learning” standard. TLSP’s Alicia Levitt spearheads these efforts and provides the needed insights, processes and planning in addressing this standard.What are your thoughts about the 49%? Where do HVAC systems come into play? How about dependable Wifi? School safety plans? Issues addressed in “Protecting Your Ministry”?Lutheran Spirit is strong in northeast Indiana. It’s part of our 51. But let’s be sure we are showing our Lutheran Spirit by addressing our 49 just as strongly as we can.