Thu, 06/20/2019
Berwick Academy
31 Academy St
South Berwick, ME 03908

ISANNELeads Blog 2016

Click on the headers below to read the entire post...


As I try and disseminate the mounds of information at the midpoint of this program I keep coming back to this resonating theme of “rightfulness”.  Jim Mooney advises, “Do the right thing right.”  Linda Johnson suggests that we ponder, “What is the right thing to do?” as our first question in response to a crisis.  Lastly, Phil Peck lists virtue, integrity, and trustworthiness as some of the qualities / characteristics that heads look for in prospective leaders.  So if we all seem to value mindfulness as a driving force for leadership then why are we not incorporating this quality into the

“You are here not to shrink down to less, but to blossom into more of who you really are.” -Oprah Winfrey

Perhaps it's fair to say that most mid-level leaders did not receive significant risk management training prior to accepting their respective positions, myself included.  Check initial training in risk management involved hosting the "break the pinata" portion of my children's early birthday parties.  The ability to safely line up six-, seven- or eight-year-olds while the batter excitedly whacked away at a candy-stuffed pinata is an impressive skill-set in and of itself....  

There’s no denying it – independent school tuition is expensive.  As tuition steadily rises, a significant percentage of families who have historically been able to afford it are now applying for financial aid.  This afternoon, we spend a chunk of time discussing school finances – budgets, deferred maintenance, revenue models and the rise in tuition.  Amid the numbers and the financial jargon, Sarah Daigneault asked us to think about what happens at our schools, what is “the magic” that makes us unique?  As I sit and reflect upon the day, I am well aware that it is the “magic” that leads fa

As part of my work with the administrative team at my school over the last 12 years, I've had the opportunity to read several staple publications on the subject of leadership within the context of welcoming change or the desire, even the need, for innovation within the independent school market. Senge, Collins, Pink, Wagner, Gardner, Friedman, and other names have graced my nightstand and backpack throughout that process. Some encourage institutional thought, some refocus the reader's lens to be more global, and some direct attention to a specific process.

A number of times in the last day and a half we have been asked  to reflect on those people who we look at as leadership mentors and the qualities that they possess. This has led me to starting thinking about two things: 1. what does "what stands out to me in a leader" mean and 2. there are many people I look up as leaders, but nothing about their leadership is standing out to me. 

The results are in! Today we all received our long awaited personality test results for the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and Fundamental Interpersonal Relations Orientation-Behavior (FIRO-B). I had taken the MBTI many years ago and my results were quite polar in all areas, but one. Years ago I was an ENTJ and now I am an INTJ. It seems I have migrated a bit toward the middle, I guess in my youth I was a bit more black and white. Now I am more comfortable with gray, and all the ambiguities and nuisances that life brings.

After a twelve plus hour day, I am back in my dorm room to reflect on the hard work my cohorts and I were a part of today.  The day was long, the work difficult; yet fabulous and insightful. What has remained with me right now is what Phillip Peck just finished up with and that is that all of the competencies needed in being a good leader are skills that can be learned, worked on and improved upon. This is refreshing to me after a day of being indecisive as to whether this was actually a good path for me. 

The morning of the second day began with Jodi McGary’s session entitled, “Understanding Yourself and Those Around You.” During this session, we had the opportunity to develop a basic understanding of the Myers-Briggs personality types and most importantly, learn about our individual types. One of the things that really struck me throughout these discussions, was the importance and even necessity for effective leaders to build a team that represents varied personality types.

Here we are, starting our long awaiting session for the leaders. I am looking forward to challenges and collaborative work with all the participants; networking and learning from our mentors; exploring my personal and professional capabilities. It sounds like the week is loaded with very interesting topics and indeed, our first presenter dug into the most stimulating areas of our business, such as ethical, philosophical, team work and leadership styles.