01 Dec 2008
Strategy is About PeopleTopics:
Jay Light played a number of key roles in McArthur’s Deanship. (He also served as first lieutenant to Kim Clark, who directly succeeded McArthur as Dean; when Clark assumed the presidency of Brigham Young University–Idaho, Light was his logical successor.) Looking back on McArthur’s tenure, he points to a key lesson learned.
“Strategy in an educational institution is in part about institutional mission and institutional objectives, and how you get to those,” Light explains. “But it’s also about what’s best for the people, person by person. You always have to keep trying to use people in ways that are best for them, and get them to do the things they’re really good at — the things they really want to do, and the things that they’ll deliver on with the kind of passion that really enhances the chances of getting things done.
“But at the same time, you’ve got to work toward the strategic mission of the School. And John had a masterful way of both keeping the interests of the individual foremost in his mind while managing a whole assemblage of individuals in a way that worked toward strategic objectives.
“That was an incredible lesson I learned from John, and an insight that I think is crucial to this kind of institution.”