Let’s Make Our Schools Great Again

Dear Friends,

I would like to know how you see the world right now. What's the difference between the world we grew up in and that of our children's? How did we get to where we are now and how do we turn things around?

The Authentic Leadership Foundation exists to share a Principled Decision-Making (PDM) Framework for Everyone. This is the Foundation’s Greater Purpose. The Greater Mission is to deliver PDM training for youth and educators, creating their Framework for Life to:

  1. Make principled decisions
  2. Build character strength, and 
  3. Execute mission

The Outcome is stronger leaders and improved results such as material & sustained improvement in the areas of leadership depth, institutional culture, student & family growth, teaching, test scores, enrollment, and finances.

One of the Foundation’s key goals is to help more families see the value of practicing principles to improve their lives. I know this sounds audacious, but the secondary and tertiary results we’ll achieve are making our schools achieve greatness and, as a natural result, strengthening Christianity in our society.

How? While the training is for you, it starts with trained adults. We help schools, in a phased approach, beginning with Presidents and Principals, practice principled decision-making. It starts with discovering who we are, and getting better, aided by meaningful accountability.

This creates a ripple effect.

  • Not only do school leaders get better through self-growth, their team members, students, and the student’s families are influenced by stronger leadership.
  • We build ‘winning’ schools that donors want to be associated with and which can make Catholic schools low or no fee and accessible to everyone.

Why will this work? Thriving families, organizations, and communities tend to have strong, principled leadership. Struggling ones usually don’t have strong enough leadership to make principled decisions, especially in hardship.

So, how do you predictably build the stronger, principled leaders you need?

The PDM Framework is based on Ancient Greek wisdom that’s elevated by Judeo/Christian thought. The Framework is understanding the relationship between your temperament and character.

The Framework is delivered through decision-making training for youth & educators (we define ‘educators’ broadly: parents, superintendents, board members, principals/presidents, teachers, athletic directors, coaches, etc.). Through the training, you acquire a language, two processes, and three metrics.

The Framework is impactful because it’s uniquely formative and practical. Most practical training isn’t connected to virtue and can be manipulative and most formative training isn’t practical and can be seen as meaningless. As a result, the Framework uniquely makes leadership a moral activity. Meaning, leadership is for the many, not the few. No matter your temperament or talents, you can be a unique leader.

Other reasons the Framework is impactful is because it:

  • complements every training you’ve ever taken.
  • can be shared with family & friends.
  • has built-in levels of increasing accountability depending on your needs.

Finally, the use of the Framework is based on the truth that we’re made in God’s image. We use the Framework to imitate Jesus’ example of making decisions in a visible, measurable way by

  1. executing mission, 
  2. practicing virtue, and
  3. using principles.

Please let me know when we can chat.


Darren Smith
Board Member, Authentic Leadership Foundation