TWEAKING De La Salle’s 10 CEO Leadership Principles

for the Millennial Teacher
Andres Winston C. Oreta
Professor, De La Salle University, Manila
andyoreta@yahoo.com
(First Draft - 8 May 2017, Revised - 18 Feb 2018))

INTRODUCTION

St. John Baptist De La Salle was the founder of the Lasallian schools and the community
of Lasallian brothers and educators with the order F.S.C. (Fratres Scholarum
Christianarum). St. De La Salle is the patron saint of teaches because he was the pioneer
in the training and formation of lay teachers during his time. That's what I know only about
De La Salle after teaching at DLSU for more than 20 years.

After attending a spiritual retreat in 2016 with my colleagues from the DLSU CE Department with Br.
Michael Broughton, FSC as the facilitator, I came to understand who De La Salle is. I become interested
about his life that I searched for books about him at the DLSU library. I found the book, De La Salle, CEO
(2004) by Napoleon G. Almonte which is about the ten corporate leadership principles that can be
practically be applied by leaders and managers of organizations. I contacted the author earlier asking him
where the book can be purchased. The author responded with the following message:

Hi Mr. Andres Oreta,

The copy of De La Salle CEO in the library is just a galley manuscript, or the third draft. It was a project
that I collaborated with the late and beloved Br. Andrew Gonzalalez in 2004 when I was still working at
DLSU-Manila. As you have read, the examples there are outdated so I am revising the book now and will
soon launch as second edition. I’m glad that you found value in the book. I will get in touch with you as
soon as the revised book is completed.

Best,
Leo Almonte

“What are the principles that the modern day teacher and administrator can learn from De La Salle that
he/she can apply in the present times,” I pondered. Excited to share the ten corporate leadership principles
of De La Salle to the administrators of DLSU, Manila, I sent an email to Br. President suggesting that this
book should be a “must read” for the administrators and faculty with the message: “I hope DLSU can
reproduce this and distribute to our faculty. It will be a good gift!” Br. Ray Suplido, FSC responded
positively, “I'll ask Br Mike Broughton to consider your suggestion, Andy. Thank you.” Since the book is
not available commercially, I reproduced a few copies and gave them to our GCOE administrators - Dean,
Dr. Jonathan Dungca and our department chair, Dr. Lessandro Garciano – with a message that they read
the book, sign it and pass it on to the next dean or chair, hoping that they will apply some or if not all the
10 CEO principles during their term as GCOE administrators and the legacy of De La Salle will be pass
on to the future administrators. I cannot wait for the 2nd edition of the book to be published. So I created
PowerPoint slides and uploaded the file at slideshare.com (Figure 1) and shared the link at Facebook and
in the email hoping that the faculty will gain interest about De La Salle.

As I reflected on my power point slides, I realized that Almonte’s list is more suited for leaders, managers
and administrators. This may be the reason that there is little positive feedback from our faculty especially
the young teachers – the millennial teachers when I share the slides at Facebook. “Millennial teachers” is
defined hare as teachers teaching the Generation Y Millennials (born between 1981 and 1999) and
onwards. I need to tweak (“adapt” is a better word but “tweak” seems appropriate especially when applied
to “millennial” teachers) Almonte’s list of 10 CEO leadership principles so that they become relevant and
more appropriate to the millennial teacher. The same 10 principles are adapted but tweaked to be suited
to a teacher. The “tweaking” of the 10 principles are personal and based on my experience as a university
teacher for more than twenty years. To understand more the “tweaks”, you must read the original book,
De La Salle, CEO.

Figure 1. https://www.slideshare.net/andyoreta/de-la-salle-ceo-10leadershipprinciples

The author (andyoreta@yahoo.com)
THE TEN TWEAKED PRINCIPLES OF DE LA SALLE FOR THE MILLENNIAL TEACHER

PRINCIPLE NO. 1. LIVE YOUR MISSION

De La Salle was first and foremost a teacher. The catchy slogan of De La Salle
University, “Teaching Minds, Touching Hearts, Transforming Lives” summarizes the
mission that every teacher must pursue. The present teaching-learning frameworks like
outcomes-based education (OBE) has shifted from “teacher-centered” to “learner-
centered.” The millennial teacher must now be guided by one OBE principle: “it’s not what you teach, but
what they learn.” Gone are the days where the professor is the center of attraction in the classroom. Today,
the teacher’s mission is how to become effective educators or facilitators of learning to the future
generation of leaders and managers. This mission becomes more challenging especially now when we
need to educate the Millennials. Price (2009) listed five characteristics of Millennials’ ideal learning
environments or five R’s that must be addressed by the contemporary teacher:
(a) Relevance. One of the greatest challenges of the professor will be to connect course content to the
current culture, and make learning outcomes and activities relevant to millennial learners and
their future.
(b) Rationale. Millennials were raised in a non-authoritarian manner and are more likely to conform,
comply, and adhere to course policies when they are provided with a rationale.
(c) Relaxed. Millennials thrive in a less formal, more comfortable learning environment in which they
can informally interact with the professor and one another.
(d) Rapport. Millennials are extremely relational. They appreciate it when professors show that same
interest, and they seem to be more willing to pursue learning outcomes when we connect with them
on a personal level.
(e) Research-based methods. Millennials have grown up in an era in which they were constantly
engaged. When they are not interested, their attention quickly shifts elsewhere. Millennials prefer
a variety of active learning methods, as opposed to a more traditional lecture-only format.

Live your mission as an educator! Remember this is the first and foremost reason on why you are in the
classroom!

PRINCIPLE NO. 2. SEIZE THE OPPORTUNITY – EDUCATE!

De La Salle’s decisiveness led to the organization of educators and establishment of
schools! For the teacher, decision and action in the delivery of a course is very important.
Every class meeting is an opportunity to educate your students. The teacher is guided by
the course syllabus and he/she must make sure that the learning plans and course learning outcomes will
be achieved. The pace and progress of your teaching and learning plan depends on your decisiveness.
Effective teaching must be demonstrated at all times. Seize the opportunity in every class meeting to make
the learning experience of the students to be productive and meaningful. Remember that an outstanding
teaching performance is a demonstration of your fulfillment of your mission and may be rewarded in the
form of promotion and teaching awards.
PRINCIPLE NO. 3. INSPIRE YOUR COLLEAGUES AND STUDENTS

The millennial teacher should emulate De La Salle’s character and personality on
competency, credibility and integrity. De La Salle inspired his people with his
competency (he has a Masters’ and PhD degree), credibility (he was a hands-on priest
and administrator and integrity (he comes from a rich family but he lived a frugal life).
The millennial teacher must show his/her competency by being up-to-date in his/her lessons and must
strive to earn graduate degrees. The millennial teacher can show his/her credibility by being prepared and
present in his/her classes, by giving feedback to the student through the properly checked examination
papers and reports, being readily available for student consultation. The millennial teacher can prove his
integrity by being transparent, consistent and fair in the assessment and grading of the students. He/she
never waivers when pressure is exerted on him/her by students, parents and administrators especially when
it comes to the final grades. When students are inspired by your teaching, they perform better. When
colleagues are inspired by your actions, they will try to emulate your good practices. Everybody wins!

PRINCIPLE NO. 4. BE AN EXAMPLE

De La Salle did what was humanly unthinkable – he renounced his family wealth and
inheritance in favor of the poor and his mission. His example encouraged his
subordinates to follow his mission. The millennial teacher should practice what he/she
preaches. He/she should never act as a very important person in any situation. He/she
must follow the university rules and policies at all times. He/she does not look at himself/herself as special
by doing what ordinary students and staff do inside the campus like falling in line at the canteen, following
entry rules to the campus or parking his/her vehicle. Even if his/her rank is full professor or he/she is a
multi-awarded teacher, he/she still attends the meetings and supports the activities of the department,
college and the university. He/she must not say anything that he/she cannot do. Example is the best
teacher!

PRINCIPLE NO. 5. INNOVATE AND EVOLVE

De La Salle changed the educational system during his time: vernacular was used, free
education was promoted, pioneered the training and forming of lay teachers, developed
new curricula and introduced the class method (during his time tutorials were done for
the rich). The millennial teacher must update himself/herself with student-centered teaching and learning
activities using technology and traditional methods. As Price (2009) observed, millennials prefer a variety
of active learning methods. When they are not interested in something, their attention quickly shifts
elsewhere. Interestingly, many of the components of their ideal learning environment – less lecture, use
of multimedia, collaborating with peers – are techniques that are shown to be effective, Price said.
Continuous improvement should be practiced in the classroom. Assessments through quizzes, exams,
reports and projects must be used not only for grading students but to improve the performance and
delivery of the course. A teacher must be alarmed when majority of his/her students do not meet the
required course outcomes. He/she must innovate and find ways to improve the students’ performance.
Doing scholarly research on teaching and learning is one strategy to discover ways of improving the
teaching and learning process. The millennial teacher must evolve (Oreta 2015) and must pursue life-
long learning. If a teacher does not evolve, he/she becomes outmoded.

PRINCIPLE NO. 6. FOCUS!

De La Salle was criticized for giving up his high church post, renouncing his wealth. He
was renounced by his family and colleagues. His schools were ransacked and confiscated
by the government. But De La Salle was unperturbed and pursued his vision to the end!
He was focused to his mission.

The millennial teacher must be focused on his/her primary responsibility which is teaching. A teacher
must first teach well and responsibly before undertaking other tasks like research and community service
which are demanded by the university. And for every undertaking that is pursued other than teaching like
research, administration or community service, he/she must remained focused on his primary task but
must also assure that the other tasks that have been started will be successfully completed and rewarded.

PRINCIPLE NO. 7. EMPOWER AND MENTOR!

De La Salle was so detached from his position as the head of his organization. At one
point he instructed his community that if a time came when his rules become obsolete,
they were free to change or innovate. He managed with faith and trust in the competence
of his people.

The millennial teacher, especially the senior professors, must empower their junior colleagues. In time,
senior professors will retire. And new teachers will be needed to handle the courses they usually teach.
Hence, senior professors must share their knowledge and skills to the young teachers. Team teaching is
one strategy that can be devise to train young teachers. Co-authorship in conference and journal papers is
another approach on empowering colleagues. I am reminded by one mentor who said that our intellectual
genes must be passed on and should be inherited by the new generation. By empowering the new
generation of teachers, the quality of education is sustained.

PRINCIPLE NO. 8. MANAGE YOURSELF

De La Salle did not resent obeying rules, keeping himself in order, following schedules
and putting everything in place. Although he had an opulent background, noble
breeding and powerful influence, he did not abuse his power or demanded to be treated
as nobility. He has no excesses! The millennial teacher shows in his words and actions in real life and
even in the virtual world that he/she is responsible, moral and ethical. He/she never engages in scandals
and in unethical and immoral practices and activities. Keeping physically fit, mentally alert and morally
upright are ingredients of proper management of oneself.
PRINCIPLE NO. 9. CONNECT!

De La Salle had three means in which he communicated: verbally through dialogue, in
writing though published handbooks and writings, and information sharing through his
‘roving leadership.’ The millennial teacher has various options of communicating with
his/her students, colleagues and administrators especially in the present world where the internet has
advanced. Social media like Facebook, tweeter, email and blogs are readily available at home and in the
university. These platforms, when used responsibly and properly, can be effective in the teaching –
learning process. Resource materials can be shared to the students, announcement can be easily and
immediately posted to students and student reports can also be received online. The present form of
communication using the internet and mobile phones has empowered both the teacher and student and
created an environment where information can be transmitted at a click of a mouse or simple press of a
key.

PRINCIPLE NO. 10. CONSULT AND RECOGNIZE!

De La Salle took the initiative to know the impression, opinion and perspective of
competent persons like his spiritual director, rector and his members. Millennial teachers
must also look at their superiors and mentors for advice in various matters related to
their teaching and other educational tasks like student advising, research and professional practice. The
modern teacher may know more on advanced knowledge and technology compared to the senior faculty
but the wisdom and experience of mentors are priceless and will always be relevant to the millennial
teacher. Recognize your mentors. There are many ways of recognizing your mentors – by acknowledging
they work, inviting them are guest speakers or advisers, organizing a forum in honor of them and many
more. When you recognize them, you acknowledge their contribution to you, your colleagues, the students
and the institution.

REFERENCES:
• Almonte, Napoleaon G. (2004). De La Salle, CEO.
• Oreta, Andres Winston C. (2015). "Engineering Educators Must Evolve, Too!" Journal of Professional Issues
in Engineering Education and Practice, Online Publication Date: 30 Mar 2015 online edition, To appear in
print on Sept 2015, ISSN (print): 1052-3928 and ISSN (online): 1943-5541, Publisher: American Society of
Civil Engineers (ASCE)
• Price, C. (2009). Why Don’t My Students Think I’m Groovy? The Teaching Professor, 23 (1), 7.
https://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/teaching-and-learning/the-five-rs-of-engaging-millennial-students/