Risk Management: Pinatas, Playgrounds, and People

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 that...my 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....  

"What is the Magic?"

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

"This group contains no slackers"

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.

Why do certain people stand out?

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. 

Personality, Style, and Skills

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.

“Leaders are born not made - ISANNE may beg to differ”

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. 

Understanding Yourself and Those Around You...

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.

The difference between leadership and management...

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.

"Every serve does not deserve a return"

One year ago I was named the Director of Academics at my school. After 24 years happily teaching high school math I hadn’t planned on having my career take such an unexpected turn. It was an exhausting, challenging, and gratifying year. I expect this professional development opportunity with ISANNELEADS to give me the tools to make year two lean more toward the gratifying and less toward exhausting! One of today’s lessons that will make a difference is “every serve does not deserve a return.”


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