Owners play an important role in the success of a center. You may say, well of course, that’s obvious! However, this statement is not as plain a cliché as it sounds. For example, how does your owner define “success?” “Success” for different owners may mean different things. Some may want to maximize profits, some may want to maximize their free time, some may have a mission and vision (e.g. educate children), and many more. The definition of “success” will dictate the organizational culture that predominates in any Center. However, no matter what “success” means to any owner, there are certain things that are necessary in all scenarios.
A good owner is one that gives the Director and Teachers the resources necessary to accomplish the owner’s definition of “success.” Usually, but by no means always, this is the stated mission and vision. Owners need to give Directors and, in turn, teachers, clear directions and guidance about what needs to be done, by whom, and by when, so that there is no confusion about the task at hand. This principle holds true as much for visionary goals (“make this the best center there is by 2020”) as it does for everyday tasks (“make sure the floor is clean by 3 pm”). A good owner will be familiar with the different types of leadership styles (e.g. coaching, command and control, authoritative, democratic, etc.), and will be able to smoothly transition between them – depending on the ability and personality of the employee the owner is dealing with. Lastly, a good owner is available as necessary when the Center needs his/her presence.
From the parents’ perspective, a good owner is one that is readily available to talk if necessary. A good owner will listen attentively and try to address the problem as readily and fairly as possible. A good owner is one who keeps parents happy by providing the Director and Teachers sufficient resources to keep the environment safe and clean. Essentially, a good owner is one that facilitates everybody else’s work – e.g. teachers are able to teach effectively and are happy doing that, parents are happy that their children are learning, and the Director is clear on which direction the Center is headed and has the resources to take it there.
In summary, a good owner will be clear about his/her mission and vision, will effectively communicate them to his Director/Teachers, and will provide the resources necessary to accomplish the stated mission and vision. Additionally, when necessary, the owner will clarify the nature of tasks delegated, the person the task is delegated to, and provide a timeline within which the tasks need to be completed. Of course, there could be a whole book written about what an effective Center owner should do, but these basic principles are a great start.